NEW YORK -- Though Miguel Batista has pitched serviceably for the Mets in his first three starts filling in for the injured Jon Niese, manager Terry Collins said Monday the team might give one of his starts to rookie right-hander Chris Schwinden.
In his only Major League appearance Sept. 8, the 24-year-old Schwinden allowed five runs on five hits in five innings pitched, striking out four and allowing a walk. He hasn't pitched since, a result of already throwing 150 2/3 innings this season, more than he has before in his professional career.
Batista has been effective in three starts for the Mets, going 1-0 with a 3.71 ERA, but at 40 years old, it is unlikely he will figure into the Mets' long-term plans.
"We might make an adjustment there. I just want to probably let Chris Schwinden have some time to catch his breath a little bit," Collins said. "He's had a long season, but we ultimately have to take another look at him."
Mets spread anti-bullying message via PSA
NEW YORK -- With children across New York City heading back to school this fall, the New York Mets have teamed up with local government officials to make schoolchildren safe from bullying.
The team made a public service announcement for the website StopBullying.gov, which offers anti-bullying resources to students, parents and educators. The PSA features Mets players R.A. Dickey, David Wright, Jason Bay and Chris Capuano and has been running on CitiVision for the past two weeks, as well as on SNY and other area television stations.
"Bullying is such a serious issue and always has been. I'm glad we're starting to pay more attention to it," Capuano said. "It's important to get the message out there that bullying is wrong and it has serious repercussions. I think the more that we as players can do to get that message out there, the better."
Capuano added that with the advent of new media, children have more to deal with because there are more avenues in which bullying can occur. He also stressed that if kids are being bullied, they should feel comfortable talking to friends, parents or teachers about it.
The PSA continues the Mets' attempts to end bullying, once and for all. The organization has already been coordinating a student-athlete leadership team, a program that trains high school student athletes to mentor fifth graders in their district. The public service announcement came about when District 21 NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras approached the Mets about trying to do more to help prevent bullying, a request the Mets were more than happy to oblige.
"It was really about being a true partner, and they stood up to the challenge and went beyond," Ferreras said. "They not only said yes, but they looked out and identified those people who were going to send out a clear and strong message."
For Council Speaker Christine Quinn, it's extremely important for athletes to speak out against bullying since they carry so much weight with young people. She specifically cited lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual adolescents as being in need of anti-bullying support, as well as students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Neither issue is specifically mentioned in the PSA and all four of the players featured are white.
"Who is cooler to young people than professional athletes? Nobody," Quinn said. "What really is critical in fighting and ending bullying is letting the bullies know that they are the ones who are the outcasts, that they are the ones who have the minority opinion. They are not the cool kids."
Mets' Thole asks for future clearance for hats
NEW YORK -- Mets player representative Josh Thole made phone calls to Major League Baseball on Monday in order to get clearance for the Mets to wear FDNY and NYPD hats to honor New York's first responders next Sept. 11.
Thole said that while he would have liked to have worn the hats Sunday night against the Cubs, league representatives suggested that both the team and players could face fines if the Mets wore the hats, citing a desire to maintain uniformity in the hats teams wore on the field. Thole said he didn't know the amount of what the fines might have been.
"We wanted to," Thole said. "It was the right thing to do and unfortunately, we were pretty much reprimanded not to do it. We had to follow the rules."
"Certainly it's not a lack of respect," said Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, about the decision Sunday. "We just felt all the Major Leagues are honoring the same way with the American flag on the uniform and the cap. This is a unanimity thing.
"I certainly understood what they wanted to do in regards to wearing the hats. I used my history with the fact that we were in the World Series 10 years ago."
The issue has been raised in the past, when the 2001 Mets wore the hats in the weeks following the terrorist strike. Though the league told them no at the time, then-player representative Todd Zeile and his teammates wore the hats, anyway, and were ultimately not fined.
Though Mets manager Terry Collins would have liked to have worn the hats, he said he felt the pregame ceremonies showed the Mets' solidarity with the city of New York and its public servants.
"I talked to a number of players and the one thing that comes about is it was not about wearing the hats, it was about celebrating the people that lost their lives in 9/11, the first responders that were heroes amongst us, that's what we were honoring," Collins said. "Whether we wore the hat of that was not the issue. It was not what we had on our heads, it was what was in our hearts, and I think that ceremony pretty much portrayed what was in our hearts."
Mets vice president for media relations Jay Horwitz had successful surgery on his broken right ankle Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Horwitz suffered multiple fractures in the ankle while walking to work Friday, forcing him to miss his first Mets games since 1990. It is unknown when he will return to work.
Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.