Syndergaard’s Syracuse moment, deGrom’s extension and more takeaways from New York Mets’ Carrier Dome workout

first_img“He could tell how special this was for all the fans, and he wanted to do something special for them,” Callaway said. “… That’s one thing about Noah: He’s always gonna be there for the fans.”137 million dollar manReports started early on Tuesday morning that the Mets had signed ace Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $137.5 million extension. He flew to New York and wasn’t present at the workout, but his teammates were glad to see deGrom get his money before the season got started. My video of Syndergaard at midfield didn’t go through. Here’s this. #MLB #Mets #Syracuse pic.twitter.com/V5kozyd8ta— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) March 26, 2019 One Carrier Dome end zone featured a dance-off between Otto the Orange and Mr. Met on Tuesday, and that was one of many firsts for the building opened in 1980.The New York Mets open their season on Thursday in Washington, D.C. But they spent Tuesday afternoon, two days before, in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse’s Triple-A team switched owners last October, becoming an affiliate of the Mets and sharing the team’s name. Forty-eight hours before playing the Nationals, the Major League club worked out for about an hour-and-a-half on the Dome turf to build a local fanbase.Here are some takeaways from the Mets’ workout.Thor’s flagOne of the Mets’ star pitchers, Noah Syndergaard, made noise earlier in the week about the travel to Syracuse being an unnecessary addition to a hectic late-Spring Training schedule. The Mets played a game in Sarasota, Florida, on Monday and they open the season on Thursday in D.C.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut once in the Dome, Syndergaard “embraced” the scene, Mets’ outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. He was one of two Mets pitchers to throw bullpens on a special mound built just for the occasion. Syndergaard threw less than 20 pitches, seemingly all fastballs. “They did a great job of building (the mound),” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “… You didn’t even have to rake it.” Published on March 26, 2019 at 6:24 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 But the highlight of the day came when Syndergaard emerged from one of the Dome’s tunnels with the large, white flag that features a block ‘S’ that is waved during SU athletic events. It was all Syndergaard’s idea, Callaway said. He ran around half of the Dome’s perimeter carrying the flag, then he headed to midfield.Syndergaard had expressed conditioning concerns before the Syracuse trip. Callaway said Syndergaard got his work in, though. “He got a lot of conditioning in running that flag around today,” Callaway said. “So he’s gonna be in even better shape because he came here.”Once standing on the large, orange block ‘S’ at midfield, Syndergaard waved the block ‘S’ flag in his hands. center_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The behind view of Noah Syndergaard throwing peas in Syracuse. #Mets #MLB pic.twitter.com/A6ZqReccb0— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) March 26, 2019 It’ll be deGrom, the defending National League Cy Young winner, on the mound when New York takes on Washington and Max Scherzer on Thursday afternoon.“(DeGrom’s) the best pitcher in baseball, I feel like,” first baseman Dominic Smith said. “I see him go out there and compete, even when he doesn’t have his best stuff he goes out there and fights and finds a way to get the job done.”Callaway, worried about commenting too much about an unconfirmed signing, smiled when asked about his opening-day starter. “I want Jacob here as long as possible,” he said.Dome runMultiple Mets said they weren’t sure what to expect about working out in the Carrier Dome. Two batting practice cages were set up, as well as one bullpen mound that left a large area of the turf open for fielding and base-running drills. Callaway called the experience ‘neat’ multiple times. He’d been to Syracuse plenty, joking about the length of time he spent in Triple-A. But he’d never been inside the Dome.“To communities, these are kind of the holy grails,” Callaway said. “… I bet it was pretty cool to the fans to get to come here to their holy grail place and get to see the Mets out there.”The fan turnout was reported at 4,296. Mets employees worked their way around the building, asking Mets’ trivia questions to fans, and the fans answered all six correctly. Some of the players also made it a point to throw numerous baseballs into the stands, with Robinson Cano smiling on numerous occasions after delivering the ball to a fan he’d picked out from far away.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerOutfielder Nimmo added that he started to get some of his “football mentality” back on the Dome turf, so he “had to tone that down a little bit.” But a couple of Mets ran football pass routes in their initial games of catch.Before the workout concluded, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen spoke to fans from midfield. He joked: “Little concerned with how many kids are here, means you cut out of school.” He added, “We’re glad you did it for Syracuse and the Mets franchise.”When the workout concluded, Callaway gathered his team and led them in a jog around the perimeter of the Dome, high-fiving the fans that were down in the lowest rows. Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” played over the loudspeakers.“Without (the fans), we don’t have jobs,” Callaway said. “So we always try to recognize that.”Fresh facesDuring the workout, Cano hung near 23-year old shortstop and fellow Dominican, Amed Rosario. They joked and pushed each other around, and at one point, Rosario said something that caused Cano to roll around on the turf, laughing.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerCano is new to the Mets but familiar to New York sports fans, having won a World Series title with the New York Yankees in 2009 before spending time in Seattle. After the workout, Smith and Nimmo raved about Cano’s veteran presence.“Just to be able to lean on (Cano), he’s gonna take so much pressure off the young guys,” Smith said.Cano, 36, is one of a few veteran bats signed this offseason by the Mets, along with Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier. They’ll all provide a presence that was lacking in a rather young batting order a year ago.“Off the field, (Cano) is very vocal if you’ll go up to him,” Nimmo said. “… He’s a great leader, and we’re really excited to have him.”On the road againThe New York Mets’ previous Triple-A club was located in Las Vegas. Every time the big league club needed reinforcements, a player had to fly two time zones with limited rest to make it in for the next game. Now, it’s a much simpler trip from Syracuse to New York City, more than 2,200 miles shorter, per Google Maps. Nimmo was one of the players shuttled up and down in the last few years, and he definitely thought it’d be “easier” to travel from Syracuse rather than Vegas.“It’s taxing when you’re taking a red eye, not getting any sleep,” Callaway said. “… Syracuse is ideal for that.”Smith reflected on a lot of the Mets’ time in Binghamton, the Double-A New York affiliate, which he called one of the “funnest” cities in the system. Syracuse becomes the third city in the Mets’ system, along with Binghamton and Brooklyn, to be located within New York state. “To have our fans, our New Yorkers, seeing our players, is probably the most special part of it,” Callaway said. “There’s gonna be an energy here.” Commentslast_img

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