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Postby lw789 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:53 pm

NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had to hear the booing at Citi Field throughout a miserable homestand. He took steps to begin fixing the problems Monday after a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, firing hitting coach Dave Hudgens and cutting reliever Jose Valverde. "This is a very difficult decision to make. Ive known Dave for many years, decades," Alderson said. "Our situational hitting is not where we want it to be." Minor league hitting co-ordinator Lamar Johnson will take over for Hudgens. The 63-year-old Johnson has been in this role with the Mets for 10 of his 11 years in the organization and is responsible for helping teach the organizations hitting philosophy throughout the minors. The Mets have tried to implement a plan of patience at the plate but the results have not shown. "Our hitting approach will not change appreciably," Alderson said. "Any time theres a new person, theres a new voice, a new take, a different interpretation both from a mechanical and an approach point of view." The 57-year-old Hudgens was in his fourth season as the Mets hitting coach. The Mets began the day with a .237 batting average, ranking among the worst in the majors. They have scored just 32 runs in losing nine of 12. "This is by no means Dave Hudgens fault. Not whatsoever," manager Terry Collins said. "Its about trying to get the execution better. Well see if change helps." The problems are more glaring with runners in scoring position: New York is 13 for 66 (.197) in that situation in the first seven games of a nine-game homestand after getting one hit in eight tries Monday. The Mets hit into five double plays Sunday in a 2-1 loss to Arizona in the first-game of a doubleheader. Daniel Murphy hit into one of the teams two double plays Monday, wiping out another hit by Jacob deGrom. "Theres frustration at the way were playing. Theres frustration with the way the offence is going and that Dave unfortunately bears the brunt of that," Murphy said. "It stinks." David Wright was unhappy that the popular coach lost his job over what he thinks is the players fault. "When you struggle the way weve struggled offensively, a finger, obviously, gets pointed. A lot of times that finger gets pointed unfairly," Wright said. Alderson said this was not to read as a warning to Collins. "I think this is in response to a specific situation," Alderson said. "Nothing else should be read into it by any means." The Mets have been revamping their bullpen, and Valverdes dismissal after allowing four runs while getting only two outs in the eighth and ninth innings is the next step. With new closer Jenrry Mejia unavailable after pitching both games of the doubleheader Sunday, Collins turned to Valverde. Valverde (1-1) was booed off the field after allowing pinch-hitter Jose Tabatas tying single in the eighth. He returned for the ninth and was even worse, yielding four runs overall. "Dont think for one second that theres not a guy in there that realizes that this is part of it. We just released one of the best professionals I ever been around in Jose Valverde," a fired-up Collins said. "You deal with it, and if you cant you dont belong in the game." With one out in the ninth, Valverde gave up a single to Neil Walker and walked Andrew McCutchen. Gary Sanchez, who homered off Scott Rice to open the eighth, then singled to left, scoring Walker. Juan Centeno couldnt handle Curtis Grandersons throw that bounced to the right of the plate and skittered past Valverde, who was backing up but way too close to the catcher. McCutchen scored on Grandersons error for a two-run lead. Valverde gave up four runs as the Pirates took the lead. The 36-year-old righty was 1-1 with a 5.66 ERA. Valverde joined the Mets this year after pitching for Detroit last season. He briefly was New Yorks closer before losing the job. Reporters were told Valverde had left the ballpark even though his street clothes remained in his locker. Right-hander Vic Black is being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill Valverdes spot. "Our bullpen will get better when our young pitchers emerge at the major league level," Alderson said. "Not only will we have better arms, but well have more flexibility." In the minors, top prospect Noah Syndergaard was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to May 22, because of a mild flexor-pronator strain in his right elbow. The flexor-pronator muscle is on the inside of the elbow, forearm area. The Mets said the Triple-A Las Vegas ace will be brought to New York for an exam. Syndergaard was acquired in a trade that sent 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto. He is Baseball Americas No. 6 righty pitching prospect and is expected to make his big league debut this year. "Were very concerned about it, obviously, I dont know too many guys -- I shouldnt say that, I know a lot of guys who go to the doctor and its nothing. But I know some go to the doctor and its an issue," Collins said. "Anytime you go in and the word elbow shows up, especially when you throw as hard as he does, its a concern. NOTES: The Mets placed OF Eric Young Jr. on the DL because of a right hamstring strain. They recalled OF Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. ... Up Next: Pirates RHP Edinson Volquez (2-4) faces Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (3-3) on Tuesday night. . The 12th-ranked Haas served well throughout the match at the Ibirapuera arena, allowing only one break point to the 152nd-ranked Italian. Both players held serve until the first-set tiebreak, when Haas stepped up his game to easily clinch the set. . A strong fastball. A big, bending curveball that can buckle hitters at the knees. Against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, Elias put the entire package together against one of the leagues strongest lineups. http://www.shopdolphinsauthenticnfl.com ... te-Jersey/. Hamilton signed offensive linemen Mike Filer, Joel Reinders, Landon Rice and Carson Rockhill. . "Im very pleased to be able to add a quarterback with Adrians experience and skill set," Calgary head coach and general manager John Hufnagel said in a statement. . Raymond, 31, started 15 regular-season games for the Stamps in 2013, racking up 51 tackles. He also returned two kickoffs for 79 yards including a 61-yarder.NEW YORK -- In the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that led to 14 suspensions last summer, Major League Baseball and its players union announced Friday they are toughening penalties and increasing the frequency of testing in the most substantial revisions to their drug agreement in eight years. Players suspended during the season for a performance-enhancing drug violation will not be eligible for that years post-season. In addition, discipline will increase from 50 games to 80 for a first testing violation and from 100 games to a season-long 162 for a second. A third violation remains a lifetime ban. While there were two-to-four major league suspensions annually from 2008-11, the number increased to12 in 2012 and 14 players were penalized following last years investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. Among them were former NL MVP Ryan Braun, who agreed to a 65-game ban, and three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire 2014 season. "Obviously, that showed that there was a need for harsher and stiffer penalties -- and this is a very clear and resounding answer for all of that," Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz returned from their 50-game suspensions in time to participate in last falls playoffs. Peralta became a free agent and was given a $53 million, four-year contract by St. Louis during the off-season. "In the past it hasnt been fair that guys, they get popped, they serve their suspension and they come back and play in the playoffs," said Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle, whose team lost to Peralta and the Tigers in the division series. "Then on top of that, guys parlay it into a bigger contract and getting a raise ... it was frustrating, mainly because he did so well against us." Accused of being slow to react to steroids in the 1990s, baseball started testing with penalties in 2004, established a 10-day suspension for an initial testing violation in 2005 and increased discipline to 50 games in 2006. In the last year or two, many players spoke out and said the deterrent wasnt sufficient. "There are 32 states that have the death penalty for murder, and murders happen in those states every single day. Its not going to stop people from committing the crime, even if you have a death penalty," Arizona pitcher Brad Ziegler said. "Youve got to put things in place better to get them caught. Thats the thing. People do it when they think they can get away with it." New union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star himself, said his members wanted to make sure "a player is not coming back and affecting a change in the post-season as a result of the decision that particular player made earlier in the year." "Our hope here is that the adjustments that weve made do inevitably get that number to zero,"; Clark said.dddddddddddd "In the event that that doesnt happen, for whatever reason, well reevaluate and move forward from there. But as I sit here, I am hopeful that players make the right decisions that are best for them, for their careers and for the integrity of the game." Players who serve a PED suspension also will not be eligible for automatic post-season players pool money shares but may be given cash awards at the discretion of their teammates. "There are a lot of guys who havent done it right," San Francisco pitcher Tim Hudson said, "and I think the one thing that puts a bad taste in peoples mouth that are playing are the guys who have messed around with the stuff but then somehow have still benefited contractually and gotten paid more money than they might have done if they had been clean. Those are the things that kind of stick some players." A player serving a season-long suspension will lose all his pay. Under the previous rules, Rodriguez gets 21-183rds of his $25 million salary this year, or $2,868,852. "Although we had the strongest program in professional sports before these changes, I am committed to constantly finding ways to improve the program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game," said baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who had called a year ago for harsher penalties. An arbitrator would be allowed to reduce a suspension for a first or second testing violation by up to 50 per cent if a player proves by "clear and convincing evidence" that a positive test was not caused by his "significant fault or negligence." However, penalties may not be cut for muscle-building substances such as testosterone, human growth hormone, Boldenone, Nandrolone and Stanozolol. In-season random urine tests will increase from 1,400 to 3,200 overall in addition to the minimum two for each player, and off-season tests will rise from 250 to 350. There will be 400 random blood collections used to detect human growth hormone in addition to the mandatory one for each player during spring training. "We want to have a level playing field," Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. Players with PED violations, other than those who penalties are reduced for mitigation, will receive six additional random urine tests and three more blood tests annually for the rest of their careers. Foreign players entering the major leagues and those not subject to the major- or minor-league testing program for at least a year will be required to take urine and blood tests before signing contracts. "There are certain considerations we need to make in an effort to put guys in a position where the guys who are doing it correctly arent being adversely affected any more than necessary," Clark said. AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP freelance writer Mike Cranston contributed to this report ' ' '
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