Sports Beat “Wright’s injury hamstrings Mets”

Mets fans emitted a collective groan last Friday seeing David Wright writhe in pain after running hard to first base in the tenth inning of yet another extra inning game for the Amazin’s. The immediate diagnosis was that Wright had a suffered a pulled hamstring in his right leg.

Unlike in past years when Mets management would delay putting players on the disabled list in the hopes of some overnight miraculous recovery which never happened, Wright was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list. The immediate consensus however was that he would not be playing again until early September.

You can’t blame the Mets for being cautious with their superstar. Although he is younger than Derek Jeter, the team does not want to risk having their captain try to return to duty only to watch him reinjure himself the way the Yankees captain did. Unlike the Yankees, the Mets have no shot at playing in the post-season so it makes total sense for Mets executives to be ultra conservative when it comes to handling their best player who earns $20 million annually.

The silver lining about Wright’s injury is that it opened up a roster spot for outfielder and Whitestone native Mike Baxter who was unfairly sent down to the Mets’ Las Vegas AAA affiliate in June when team executives reached their patience level with struggling first baseman Ike Davis. General manager Sandy Alderson wanted to make it look like he was instituting a team shakeup to lessen the spotlight on Davis’s failure.

Alderson and manager Terry Collins were infatuated with the alleged talents of young outfielder Jordany Valdespin to Baxter’s detriment. While Valdespin did deliver a few clutch pinch hits, he infuriated teammates with his hot-dogging style which included standing at home plate marveling a home run he swatted in the ninth inning. If that wasn’t bad enough, his team was losing 7-1 at the time which is not exactly a great time for showmanship.

The next day, to no one’s surprise, a Pirates pitcher hit him in the back. Jordany publicly sulked because his teammates did not storm the field in his defense and even seemed to back the Pirates’ decision to nail him.

Valdespin was eventually demoted to the Las Vegas 51s. Last week, word came back that he was back to his old tricks as he stood in the batter’s box admiring a home run he swatted against the Sacramento River Cats. The opposing pitcher naturally drilled Valdespin the next time he batted.  This time however he got support as his manager, fiery Wally Backman, led Valdespin’s teammates onto the field for a brawl to show support. Both Valdespin and Backman drew one-game suspensions. The word is that Sandy Alderson wasn’t very happy.

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The Time Warner Cable-CBS dispute is the latest battle between a television network and a cable/satellite provider when it comes to carriage rights fees.

Time Warner Cable claims that it shouldn’t have to pay CBS to air its programs because it’s a broadcast network that airs its shows to the public for free. CBS argues that Time Warner Cable pays cable networks such as ESPN $6 per subscriber and that puts it at a disadvantage when negotiating sports rights fees. CBS is still smarting at how ESPN was able to outbid it for US Open rights beginning in 2015.

Time Warner removed CBS-owned stations from its lineup last Friday at 5 PM even though the Tiffany Network was willing to have its shows air over TWC systems while the two sides were negotiating.

Why was Time Warner Cable so eager to pull the plug on CBS? My guess is that TWC executives figured that August is the slowest time in the television industry since primetime shows are generally in repeats and that there are few marquee sports events.

In terms of using a prize fight as an analogy, Time Warner Cable executives were hoping to score an early knockout and have CBS settle on terms favorable to their side. If this dispute is not settled by early next month, CBS will get the upper hand for the middle rounds because it has the rights to National Football League games. They would really be in the driver’s seat if the New York Jets had a decent team but that will not be the case in 2013.

If things were to really drag on through late September it would be a draw because CBS needs distribution for its fall primetime shows to succeed while Time Warner would certainly lose a lot of customers to upstart challenger Verizon Fios if viewers can’t see their old favorites or be denied the opportunity to discover the network’s new shows.

The last time Time Warner Cable customers lost a favorite channel was when the company and MSG Networks could not agree on a deal and the channels that broadcast Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils games were pulled for 48 days. Both MSG and TWC ran acrimonious ads accusing one another of outrageous greed and negotiating in bad faith. Today Time Warner Cable is a major sponsor at Madison Square Garden. Go figure.

I wonder if former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has offered to arbitrate this dispute since he is both an NFL analyst for CBS Sports and a spokesman for Time Warner Cable as is evident from those annoying ubiquitous commercials.

Posted under Aaa Affiliate, Amazin, Collective Groan, David Wright, Derek Jeter, Early September, First Baseman, Hamstrings, Inning Game, Lloyd Carroll, Mike Baxter, Miraculous Recovery, New York Mets, Ninth Inning, Patience Level, Pinch Hits, Sandy Alderson, Showmanship, Top Story, Writhe In Pain

Brown’s hit rescues Mets in 13th inning (The SportsXchange)

NEW YORK — For the New York Mets, the third epic extra-inning game was the charm.

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The Juice: Oakland A’s end 18-inning marathon with a walk-off single against Mariano Rivera (Big League Stew)

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Mariano Rivera played his final regular season game at Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum on Thursday, and it’s probably one he’d like to forget.
Rivera — baseball’s all-time saves leader who is planing to retire at season’s end — gave up the game-winning single in the 18th inning of a marathon between his New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. Nate Freiman singled to left field, plating John Jaso for a 3-2 victory . The win gave the first-place A’s a three-game sweep of the Yankees.
Among the odd/impressive/interesting happenings in the game:
• Lots of zeroes : The Yankees scored their two runs in the first inning. The A’s scored their first two in the third. That left a lot of time before the A’s scored again in the 18th. It’s actually not the longest game the A’s played this season, though. You might recall they played a 19-inning game on April 29 , that crept over into April 30. They beat the Angels in that game 10-8.
• Yankee futility : The Yankees fourth-eighth hitters — Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells — were a combined 0-for-28 in the game with three walks. Total, they left 20 men on base.

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The Juice: Marathon Saturday includes 20-inning win for Marlins and 18-inning Blue Jays victory (Big League Stew)

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To say Saturday was a wild day in baseball would be an understatement. In fact, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tells us it was only the second day in MLB history where two games were played that lasted 18 innings or longer.
We’ll begin with the longest game of the day, which is also the longest game of the season. It took place at Citi Field in New York and the exciting pitching matchup featured 20-year-old Jose Fernandez for the Marlins against Mets ace Matt Harvey. It’s actually the second time those two young pitchers have faced off this season. The first time, on April 29, was a 15-inning game won by the Marlins, 4-3 . On Saturday, the teams managed to go five innings longer, with the Marlins squeezing out a 2-1 victory in 20 on Adeiny Hechavarria’s RBI single.
Incredibly, the same two pitchers matching up in multiple games of 15 or more innings in the same season has happened before, but you have to go all the way back to 1884. That’s even before Bernando LaPolla was born, regardless of which date of birth you prefer to recognize. According to ESPN , Jim Whitney (Boston Beaneaters) and Old Hoss Radbourn (Providence Grays) were the pitchers.
Among the other interesting facts surrounding the game: Mets starter Shaun Marcum was actually called on to throw eight full innings of relief. The last time any pitcher threw eight innings in relief was Scott Sanderson when he pitched for the Cubs in 1989. The Mets also set a new franchise record in futility by going 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position. That will sting for awhile.
Meanwhile, in Toronto: The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays were engaging in their own marathon at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon that required 18 innings to resolve. The home standing Blue Jays finally pulled out the 4-3 victory on Rajai Davis’ walkoff single to conclude what amounted to the longest game in the history of both franchises.

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Marlins edge Mets in 20-inning marathon (The SportsXchange)

NEW YORK — For Mike Redmond, Juan Pierre and Kevin Slowey, the second 20-inning game of their lives was a lot better than the first.

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The Juice: Shelby Miller retires 27 straight Rockies in one-hit shutout; Jon Lester one-hits Blue Jays (Big League Stew)

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A remarkable Friday night for starting pitchers was highlighted by the dazzling performance of St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller. The 22-year-old was basically untouchable, allowing only an Eric Young Jr. single leading off the game en route to his first career complete game shutout and a 3-0 victory for St. Louis .
That’s right, Miller retired 27 batters in a row (with 13 strikeouts) and essentially equaled a perfect game, but had to settle for one of the most dominant one-hit performances we’ve seen in recent history. So dominant, in fact, that according to Yahoo!’s own Jeff Passan , only 18 pitchers have posted a higher nine-inning game score than Miller’s 98 since 1916.
I bet that feels pretty good, no?
”I feel really good,” Miller said. ”It’s definitely the best game I’ve thrown in my life. How it finished was unbelievable. It was a great experience. Yadi (catcher Yadier Molina) was calling a great game and they were making great plays for me. It was a start I’ll remember the rest of my life.”
Matt Harvey of the New York Mets also threw a complete game shutout with one hit, no walks and 12-plus strikeouts earlier this week. He’s only 24, so I’d say the next generation of terrific pitchers has a pretty strong foundation.

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The Juice: Anibal Sanchez breaks Tigers franchise record with 17 strikeouts; Nats pitch another one-hitter (Big League Stew)

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Aniballin’: The general belief coming into the season was that the Atlanta Braves offense would be all or nothing. The early numbers bare that out, too, as Atlanta entered play on Friday leading MLB in home runs hit (35) with the fifth most strikeouts (185).
Basically, they’re hoping for those two or three big swings every night and counting on their own staff to make it stand up. If they run into a pitcher that’s locked in it’s likely to be a long night at the office. Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what they encountered in Anibal Sanchez on Friday night, as the Tigers right-hander set a new franchise record for a nine-inning game with 17 strikeouts in Detroit’s 10-0 victory.
Mickey Lolich previously held that mark for Detroit, striking out 16 batters on two different occasions in 1969. Sanchez managed to squeeze his into eight innings, so he actually left the game with a chance to tie the MLB record of 20 strikeouts set by Roger Clemens and equaled by Kerry Wood (Randy Johnson did it in extra innings). With the game well in hand his pitch count at 122, though, Jim Leyland’s decision to pull him was a no-brainer. And Sanchez certainly didn’t disagree.
”I don’t think too much about strikeouts and records and things like that,” Sanchez said. ”I prefer getting some zeros.”
As for the Braves, four of their seven losses have come via a shutout. They’re also 15-0 when they homer and 0-7 when they don’t, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution .

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