MIAMI -- Throughout R.A. Dickey's run toward 20 wins and a potential National League Cy Young Award, the Mets have looked to help him in whatever ways possible. But their strategy has changed along the way.
Rather than bolster the defense behind Dickey by using Jason Bay in left field, as he has done previously, manager Terry Collins proceeded with a more offensive-minded lineup Tuesday against the Marlins. Lucas Duda played left field and Scott Hairston manned right, with Andres Torres -- by far the best defender of that trio, capable of making up ground on either side of him -- in center.
The idea was that a little extra thump in the lineup could only help Dickey, even if his Cy Young resume is more dependent upon ERA than anything at this point.
"We just weren't scoring," Collins said. "It wasn't Jason's fault, but we weren't scoring so we tried to do a combination of being able to put some offense out there, and yet put a team out there that can catch."
Auction items unveiled for Forde fundraiser
MIAMI -- Hope Shines For Shannon, the organization supporting Mets staffer Shannon Forde's battle against breast cancer, has released a list of items available during an auction and dinner event next month.
Among the items available at silent auction are: a signed R.A. Dickey jersey, a youth autographed Tim Tebow jersey, an Eli Manning signed football, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter signed bats, a signed Tyson Chandler jersey, a signed Willis Reed jersey, Deron Williams signed sneakers and a signed Henrik Lundqvist hockey stick and jersey.
Forde, the Mets' senior director of media relations who has worked in the organization for 18 years, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in early August. Her family and friends will hold a fundraising dinner Nov. 1 at the West Mount Country Club in Woodland Park, N.J., with SNY color commentator Ron Darling serving as emcee.
Additional auction items available at the dinner include a Stephen Strasburg signed jersey, a LeBron James autographed jersey, a Hank Aaron signed baseball, a Nolan Ryan signed ball, a Cal Ripken signed jersey and a Serena Williams signed tennis ball, along with many others.
Dinner tickets cost $100. Admission to a meet-and-greet autograph session with former Mets Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco, Bob Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Ed Charles and Ed Kranepool is available for an additional $250. Tickets to both events are available at hopeshinesforshannon.com, or by contacting Debbie Durante at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cindy Santos at email@example.com.
At the request of Gigantes, his winter ball team, right-hander Jeurys Familia will start games this winter in the Dominican Republic rather than work out of the bullpen. Utilityman Jordany Valdespin will play at second base instead of the outfield for his Dominican team.
The Mets are kicking around the idea of playing two exhibition games in Las Vegas next March before the start of the regular season. Collins hatched the idea, which would have the Mets play at their new Triple-A park in Vegas before opening their regular-season schedule at home on April 1.