PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets' intrasquad game Thursday lacked familiar names, and, more than that, it lacked creative names. The teams were cleverly labeled "Home" and "Away."
Oh, for the days when someone bothered to have some fun, like in the early 80s, when George Bamberger was the manager and coaches Frank Howard and Jim Frey managed the intrasquad opponents. Howard, 6-foot-8 and about 315 pounds, was the manager of the Jumbo Franks. Frey's team was named -- what else? -- the "Small Freys." And, extending the barbeque metaphor, Bamberger's surname easily morphed into Hamburger.
The names were seemingly changed after the game Thursday. Though the teams wore identical uniforms, one was named Orange, the other Blue. The Blue team beat the Orange team, 5-2.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Noah Syndergaard and Steve Matz pitched impressively for the Orange after Dillon Gee allowed two runs in the first inning, one on a home run by Danny Muno.
Syndergaard (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) apeared to be pitching from a mound left over from 1968, the "Year of the Pitcher." He dwarfed the others on the field. Syndergaard allowed four hits and a run, and he struck out five in two innings.
Gee was delighted with his breaking ball and command, and he said he felt significantly better than he did after his first appearance last year. He was coming off arm surgery at that time. Two scouts said they sense Gee is apt to have a more successful season in 2014. Matt Clark, a camp invitee, showed patience at the plate and had two hits for the Orange team.
Brandon Allen, Wilfredo Tovar and Muno had two hits each for the Blue. Jeurys Familia pitched two scoreless innings, striking out five.
Mets, Clear Channel lock down deal with ESPN Deportes
The Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment have extended their partnership with ESPN Deportes Nueva York 1050 AM to broadcast games in Spanish through the 2016 season.
The station, which began airing Mets games in Spanish last season, will broadcast 150 regular-season games, along with select Spring Training and postseason games.
"We are excited that ESPN Deportes Radio will continue to be the home of the Mets for our Spanish-speaking fans," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "We look forward to strengthening our relationship with them through our partnerships with ESPN Deportes Radio and Clear Channel and presence on their assets that appeal to the Hispanic community in New York."
This year's coverage will begin on March 9 when ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 will air the Mets' Grapefruit League game against the Braves at 1:10 p.m ET. It will also air the Mets' game against the Nationals on March 23 at 1:10 p.m ET. Regular-season coverage will begin with Opening Day on March 31 against the Nationals, at 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.
The Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment launched a five-year landmark multimedia partnership in November that encompassed Mets English and Spanish radio rights, Mets-related programming and promotion through all of Clear Channel's media assets, including radio, digital, outdoor and music and entertainment events.
• Bartolo Colon (strained right calf) has done no running since the strain occurred, but he will do his normal throwing Friday.
• Zack Wheeler will take Jon Niese's place in the rotation and start Tuesday.
• Reliever and free thinker Vic Black shared his first random fact of the day with his teammates Thursday. The first soccer ball used in World Cup competition, Black says, was a monkey skull covered with leather.
• Ike Davis was fascinated to learn that the surname of third-base coach Tim Teufel means devil in German and that the name of former Pirates reliever Jim Gott means God in German. Davis laughed when he learned Teufel once had beaten Gott with a home run.