NEW YORK -- Jose Reyes on Tuesday received the first of what is sure to be many awards for his 2011 season.
In a ceremony prior to Tuesday's game against the Marlins, Mets first-base coach Mookie Wilson presented Reyes with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award, given annually to one player on each team who "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game."
From the pool of 30 club winners, one player will ultimately be chosen as the league's Heart and Hustle Award recipient.
Enjoying perhaps his best overall season as a professional, Reyes entered Tuesday's play batting .340 with 72 runs scored and 32 stolen bases, leading the Majors with 49 multi-hit games and 16 triples. In addition to pacing the National League in hits, batting average and runs scored, Reyes also ranks second in steals.
But the Heart and Hustle Award, according to a Mets release, "is a departure from the standard recognition of pure on-field performance and instead recognizes the intangible values of a true team player and leader."
Hall of Famer Carter's tumors 80 percent better
NEW YORK -- An MRI exam taken Tuesday morning revealed that Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter's tumors have improved by 80 percent, according to a post on the Carter family's website.
"He is very encouraged and very very pleased with these results [as we ALL are!!]," Carter's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote on her online journal. "There is much less swelling and the tumors are less dense and 'less angry.' The size is a little smaller, but the most important fact is that these tumors are starting to GO AWAY!"
Carter, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma in May, recently completed a 6 1/2-week radiation treatment in an attempt to eradicate four malignant tumors on his brain. The plan is for him next to begin chemotherapy in conjunction with a twice-monthly drug treatment.
Carter, who spent five of his 19 big league seasons with the Mets, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Murphy off, Hairston bats cleanup vs. Fish lefty
NEW YORK -- Tuesday's Mets lineup took on a curious look, with Scott Hairston batting cleanup and playing right field, Daniel Murphy on the bench, and Lucas Duda manning first base for the first time since the trade of Carlos Beltran.
The alignment, manager Terry Collins said, was designed to give extra at-bats to Hairston against Marlins left-handed starting pitcher Brad Hand, as well as provide a scheduled off-day for Murphy while keeping Duda's bat in the lineup.
"I'm searching right now for some days off for some people," Collins said. "We're going to try to come up with some other rotations to get some other guys days off this week."
That plan, Collins said, will eventually include shortstop Jose Reyes and third baseman David Wright, as well. Searching for a chance to give his shortstop a day of rest since Reyes returned from the disabled list last month, Collins has been hesitant to do so given Reyes' reluctance to the idea.
But Collins changed his tune following what he called a "draining" 10-day road trip, amidst near-constant 90-degree temperatures in Miami, Cincinnati and Washington.
The Mets have announced that their annual Fiesta Latina Night will take place Friday at Citi Field. Festivities include a pregame program of Latin American music and dance, as well as in-game programming designed to celebrate Latino culture. The first 25,000 fans 21 and over will receive a Jose Reyes banner, while the team will debut blue "Los Mets" jerseys.
One day after taking his first loss at the head of New York's closer-by-committee situation, Jason Isringhausen was available to pitch the ninth inning Tuesday, if needed. Isringhausen allowed a grand slam to Mike Stanton in the 10th inning of the Mets' 7-3 loss. "We're not trying to search for a closer," manager Terry Collins said. "We're just trying to make sure we use our bullpen to get us through situations throughout the game."
Collins did not talk to Daniel Murphy following the first baseman's 10th-inning fielding gaffe on Monday, in which Murphy held onto a cutoff throw too long and was thus unable to advantage of Dewayne Wise's baserunning mistake. "You can only beat a horse so many times," Collins said of his decision not to discuss the play with Murphy.