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Mets Infielder Wilmer Flores Wins His Arbitration Case
Cubs Mets Baseball
New York Times
Feb 5
Wilmer Flores, in his own way and not by his own choosing, has been at the center of some unusual circumstances. He cried on the field during a game on July 29, 2015, because he thought he had been traded from the one organization he had known, only for the deal to fall through that evening.

Flores ended up proving useful in the Mets’ run to the World Series that year, and again as a right-handed-hitting platoon infielder in 2016. Yet again, however, other forces intervened.

On Sept. 10, 2016, as the Mets fought for a wild-card spot, Flores doubled in the top of the eighth in a tie game against the Atlanta Braves. It was a big hit, and it put the Mets in position to take the lead.

But somehow, Manager Terry Collins and his coaches forgot to insert a pinch-runner for Flores, one of the Mets’ slowest runners. Sure enough, Flores was easily thrown out at home plate after a single by T. J. Rivera.

But that was the least of it. In colliding with Atlanta catcher A. J. Pierzynski, Flores injured his wrist; he missed the rest of the season and had to have surgery.

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Tim Tebow turns to Daniel Murphy as a baseball mentor
timtebowanddanielmurphy
USA Today
Feb 5
Getting ready for his first professional spring training experience, Tim Tebow has turned to a former New York Met for guidance.

Current Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy spent seven years in New York and Tebow says the two are “next-door neighbors” in Jacksonville.

“It’s not that we talk that much about the Mets organization, although they have been great to both of us,” Tebow told The New York Post at Super Bowl LI festivities in Houston. “It’s just about the pursuit of baseball, the ins and outs.

“He is a total analyst of the game and works like crazy. For us, it’s been going over the little things over and over and over again. Talking pitches, out of the hand, how we’re picking stuff up. That’s what Daniel does that’s such a different level.”

Murphy finished second in National League MVP voting in 2016, batting .347 with 24 home runs and 104 RBI – all career-highs.

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Hunter Greene, possible No. 1 pick in 2017 MLB draft, hits 100 mph in latest outing
huntergreene
CBS Sports
Feb 4
Hunter Greene, a right-hander at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, reportedly hit 100 mph in his latest outing Friday night. Greene is the early favorite to go first overall in the 2017 amateur draft.

Once upon a time it was extremely rare for a high school pitcher to reach triple-digits. It wasn’t until 2001 that Colt Griffin, the ninth overall pick that year by the Royals, became the first prep pitcher recorded with a 100 mph fastball. These days it’s still uncommon to see that velocity from a high schooler, but there’s usually one every other year or so.

Greene, 17, is currently ranked as the No. 1 prospect for the 2017 draft class by MLB.com. It’s important to note draft rankings are very fluid — the high school season just started in some states and the college season is still a few weeks away — and are subject to change. Here’s a snippet of MLB.com’s scouting report on Greene:

He features a live fastball that sits in the 94-96 mph range and can touch the upper-90s. Greene backs that up with a quality breaking ball that is really sharp. His changeup is his third pitch, but he has a feel for it. While Greene’s command was average over the summer — he can rush his delivery at times — there’s room for improvement, with his athleticism and a permanent move to the mound surely helping … (He’s) a top prospect on the mound, one with the work ethic and makeup to excel once he focuses full-time on his craft.

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Steinbrenner says he misspoke about Champan’s domestic abuse

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner / Co-Chairperson speaks to the media after Jorge Posada announces his retirement from the New York Yankees duirng a press conference at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Newsday
Feb 3
The Yankees took considerable heat last year by trading for Aroldis Chapman, and Hal Steinbrenner inadvertently stepped back into that fire Thursday when he talked about the team’s motivation for signing him to a five-year, $86-million free-agent contract in December.

Steinbrenner initially was asked about Chapman’s first stint with the Yankees and how that led to the club’s decision to re-sign him with a record deal for a relief pitcher. After serving a 30-game suspension for domestic-violence allegations, which included firing a handgun into a garage wall, Chapman was a dominant closer for the 2016 Yankees with 20 saves, a 2.01 ERA and a 12.6 K/9 ratio. He was flipped to the eventual world champion Cubs before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline in a trade that brought elite shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres to the Yankees.

Having Chapman on the Yankees, after a spotless stay in the Bronx, didn’t sound as difficult for Steinbrenner the second time around — at least until a 15-minute interview session at the MLB owners’ meetings.

“Quite frankly, it was manageable the minute he got here last year,” Steinbrenner said Thursday afternoon. “He was great. Look, he admitted that he messed up. He paid the penalty. Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right. And said everything right when he was with us, as far as I’m concerned.”

Steinbrenner’s use of the word “forget” turned that sentence into an inflammatory statement. But when reached later Thursday evening by Newsday and told of the outrage on social media, Steinbrenner insisted that he said “forgive” — not “forget” — and was surprised that the quote initially had read that way. It was not what he had meant at all, he said.

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