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WILL THE METS NEED A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

By Murray Chass

February 19, 2017

No team pampers its pitchers more than, or as much as, the New York Mets. Limits on innings, games, pitches, skipping starts, giving them an extra day of rest between starts – the Mets do it all. Yet all of the Mets’ starters get hurt, spend time on the disabled list, even have surgery and miss entire seasons.

As if on cue, on the Mets’ second day of spring training last week – the second day! – Zack Wheeler, who missed the past two seasons following what has become popularly known as Tommy John surgery, sat on the sidelines, not throwing with the other pitchers.

The Mets didn’t seem concerned, suggesting Wheeler’s problem was only scar tissue, which pitchers who have had surgery often encounter. The incident, however, clearly signaled to the Mets how fragile their starting rotation could be.

Except for Bartolo Colon, the Mets’ oldest and fattest pitcher, who has since defected to Atlanta, the Mets had only one pitcher last season who started 30 games. That was Noah Syndergaard. Jacob deGrom started 24 games, Steven Matz started 22 and Matt Harvey 17.

Harvey, Matz and Wheeler have all had Tommy John, a.k.a. elbow ligament transplant, surgery, all when they were in the Mets’ organization.

With all of the unwanted experiences they have had with pitchers’ injuries, I asked Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ general manager, on the telephone, have the Mets figured out a way to avoid them?

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IS MANFRED BAD FOR BASEBALL?

By Murray Chass

February 12, 2017

If Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, supports and lobbies for making betting on sports legal, as Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, has done, wouldn’t Manfred have to restore Pete Rose to baseball’s good graces, making him eligible for the Hall of Fame?

Rose, at 75 years old, shouldn’t get excited just yet – and as a man as full of conceit and arrogance as any human being and more than most he nevertheless will. But in the direction Manfred is headed M.L.B. could become a hotbed of gambling in Rose’s lifetime.

Fay Vincent, the former baseball commissioner, has been telling me for years that baseball would …

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BRAVES’ CHIEF HELPS FALCONS GET TO SUPER BOWL

By Murray Chass

February 4, 2017

In the summer of his first year as general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff called John Schuerholz, who had recently been promoted to president of the Atlanta Braves after having served 17 years as their general manager. Dimitroff was not looking for tickets to a Braves game.

The 42-year-old rookie general manager was seeking wisdom from the master, the man who constructed teams that won an unparalleled 14 consecutive division championships.

“It was when he first joined the organization,” Schuerholz recalled last week, speaking by telephone from what is now the vice chairman’s office. “He wanted to find out what made our organization tick and succeed as consistently as we did.”

Schuerholz, who has since become a Hall of Fame executive, invited Dimitroff to a game.

“He sat with me at a game,” Schuerholz related …

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