D-Backs release Blanco, then hire him as coach (The Associated Press)

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have released catcher Henry Blanco from his minor league contract and added him to the team's major league coaching staff.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Nats overcome deficits, injuries, top Mets in 10 (The SportsXchange)

Just the way the Washington Nationals' Matt Williams envisioned his major league managerial debut unfolding, right? "Lots of stuff," Williams said with a grin Monday afternoon after the Nationals outlasted the New York Mets 9-7 in a wild, 10-inning season opener for both teams at Citi Field. The Nationals trailed 3-0 in the first and 4-2 in the second, but center fielder Denard Span had game-tying RBIs in the seventh and ninth inning before Washington scored four runs in the 10th on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Ian Desmond and a three-run homer by third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Mets GM Alderson challenges team to win 90 games (The Associated Press)

General manager Sandy Alderson wants to make it clear: Yes, he is challenging his New York Mets to win 90 games this season. New York is coming off five straight losing seasons and consecutive 74-88 finishes. I can't really measure competitiveness.'' The Mets haven't won 90 games since 2006, when they went 97-65 and made their most recent playoff appearance. ''The number is out there and for the most part it's having an immediate impact on how the players on this team think about themselves and think about the team, and that was the goal in the first place.'' New York has spent the past few years trying to restock its system with talent while waiting for some bloated contracts to expire.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Rendon rallies Nationals past Mets 9-7 in 10 (The Associated Press)

After almost 4 hours of baseball filled with twists and turns, Matt Williams has his first win as a major league manager. Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and had a career-best four RBIs, twice rallying the Washington Nationals against the New York Mets' suspect bullpen for a 9-7 victory in their season opener Monday. ''I have a stomach ache right now,'' Williams said. I feel right in the thick of it.'' Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Play ball! Opening Day filled with early surprises (Reuters)

By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Opening Day unfolded across the United States on Monday with the promise of warmer days, the familiar scent of hot dogs sizzling on the grill and a batch of surprises in Major League Baseball's annual day of celebration. Unlikely players gave New York Mets fans hope at chilly Citi Field before the Washington Nationals rescued a 9-7 win in 10 innings with the help of a career-high four runs batted in by number eight hitter Anthony Rendon, including a three-run blast in the 10th. The Detroit Tigers sent their fans home happy with a 4-3 win after a ninth-inning, walk-off RBI single by 37-year-old Alex Gonzalez, acquired last week following an injury to shortstop Jose Iglesias, off Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland. Those were two early contests among 13 Opening Day games across the MLB landscape that signaled a belated end to a long, cold winter for many fans following the Los Angeles Dodgers' two-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks to start the season 10 days ago in Sydney, Australia.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Ramos leaves game with hand injury, X-rays are negative (Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic)

NEW YORK -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos left Monday's season opener against the New York Mets in the middle of the seventh inning after feeling pain his left hand. Manager Matt Williams said the initial X-rays are negative, but he will now see a hand specialist in Washington, D.C. for a second opinion. The Nationals are weighing their options at catcher just in case he misses time. Ramos took a foul tip off the hand in the bottom of the sixth inning, and felt discomfort during his at-bat in the top of the seventh.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos injures left hand (Big League Stew)

Wilson Ramos' bad luck continued Monday, the opening day of the 2014 season, after the Washington Nationals made him the cleanup hitter against the New York Mets. Ramos reportedly injured a bone in his left hand and was taken out after going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. First reports do not say how the injury happened. The Washington Post reports that Nats manager Matt Williams said initial X-rays did not show a break, but... : Per Williams, first x-ray of Ramos' hand negative but firm diagnosis comes Tues. from hand specialist. Concerned & looking to call up backup — James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 31, 2014 With Ramos gone for an undetermined period, Jose Lobaton takes over as the first-string catcher. Over the past two seasons, Ramos has played a combined 103 games — undergoing knee surgery in 2012 and sustaining two hamstring strains in 2013. Just three days ago, reporter James Wagner of the Washington Post wrote about how Ramos said prayers that he'd be healthy in 2014. He also took action in earthly ways by strengthening his legs with new exercises and reverting to old diets that weren't designed only for weight loss. Ramos, 26, was preparing like he never had before. “It’s been hard with all the injuries I’ve had but at no moment did I ever lower my head,” he said in Spanish at his locker at Space Coast Stadium. “I’ve always kept it up and worked hard to get here. If God lets it happen, this will be the year I’ll be behind the plate all season. I’m hoping it is.” Ramos has had a rough ride from the physical toll baseball takes. He survived a kidnapping in his home country of Venezuela in 2011 . He won't have a season without incident in 2014. An injured hand is not the end of the season, though it certainly might affect Ramos's power once he returns. The Nationals are a deep team and can compensate, but they went 48-29 with a 3.26 ERA as a staff a season ago with Ramos behind the plate. He hit 16 home runs with 59 RBIs despite playing in just 78 games. This is a big injury for them. At least it's only April, so there's plenty of time for Ramos to return and contribute. If he has any luck. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - David Brown   edits   Big League Stew

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Nationals 9, Mets 7 (10 innings) (The SportsXchange)

NEW YORK -- Shortstop Ian Desmond's sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning Monday afternoon gave the Washington Nationals their first lead of the game and lifted them to a wild 9-7 comeback win over the New York Mets in the season opener for both teams at Citi Field. The Nationals fell behind 3-0 in the first, 4-2 in the second and 5-4 in the eighth before center fielder Denard Span's two-out double in the ninth inning forced extras. Each advanced a base on a passed ball before left fielder Bryce Harper struck out. Desmond -- who began the Nationals' ninth inning rally with a leadoff single off Mets closer Bobby Parnell -- followed with his sacrifice fly, after which first baseman Adam LaRoche drew a walk against John Lannan.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

NYC mayor throws Mets’ Opening Day 1st pitch (The Associated Press)

It is a political rite of spring: the Mayor of New York City throws out a ceremonial first pitch and gets booed for his trouble. Bill de Blasio took his turn on the mound for the first time Monday at Citi Field, donning a customized Mets jersey with his name on the back and smiled through the jeers as he took his place at the bottom of the pitcher's mound. De Blasio said before he took the mound that he would not be upset if heard boos. ''I'm a sports fan and I think sports fans have a right to express themselves any way they want,'' he said.

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014

Bryce Harper gets kicked in the head, stays in the game (Big League Stew)

Your browser does not support iframes. After a banged-up 2013, the last thing Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper wanted was to get hurt on opening day. For half an inning, at least, it looked like he had. Harper was kicked in the head Monday while sliding into second base and breaking up a double play in the second inning. New York Mets second baseman Eric Young jumped over Harper, and his leg collided with Harper's head. Harper spent a couple minutes on the ground, as team doctors checked him out. He got up and walked off the field shortly after. Concussion fears being what they are in pro sports these days, it figured that Harper's day was over. But he emerged from the dugout to take the field for the bottom of the second. That was a scary shot to the head Harper took, and a quick re-entry. Have to wonder if/hope the Nats ran him through concussion protocols. — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) March 31, 2014  A disheveled, hurting Harper is immediately reminiscent of last season when he collided with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium . Afterward, Harper said: "I will keep playing this game hard … even if it kills me." More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

Posted under mlb

This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2014