Baseball

Mets are ‘lousy,’ owner proclaims

Jose Reyes isn’t worth all the money he wants. Carlos Beltran is no longer a top-tier player. David Wright isn’t a superstar.

Those aren’t merely the opinions of some disgruntled New York Mets fan. Those thoughts come straight from the owner of the team.

Fred Wilpon had sharp words for the All-Stars and his teetering team in a newly released profile in “The New Yorker.” He made the comments during the Mets’ 4-3 loss to Houston on April 20.

“Lousy clubs, that’s what happens,” Wilpon remarked after the Mets missed an early chance to score, then gave up some runs. “We’re snake-bitten, baby.”

Reyes can become a free agent at the end of the season. There’s speculation the shortstop wants a contract similar to the $142 million, seven-year deal that Carl Crawford signed in the offseason.

“He’s a racehorse,” Wilpon said of the often-injured speedster. “He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.”

Beltran is finishing up a $119 million, seven-year contract the outfielder signed with the Mets after his monster 2004 postseason for Houston, when he hit eight homers and scored 21 runs in 12 playoff games.

“We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series,” Wilpon said, referring to himself. “He’s 65 to 70 percent of what he was.”

As for Wright, Wilpon said the third baseman is “a really good kid. A very good player.”

“Not a superstar,” Wilpon said.

The Mets are 22-24 and were off Monday. They start a series tonight against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

UTLEY BACK SWINGIN’ FOR PHILLIES

Chase Utley stepped into the carpeted batter’s box to take a few swings and the lights shone brightly for television cameras.

This was no ordinary round of batting practice. Utley was back in the lineup and hitting second for the Philadelphia Phillies after the five-time All-Star second baseman missed the first 46 games this season with a knee injury.

“You guys obviously know I enjoy playing and it’s both disappointing and frustrating being on the sidelines and not being able to help,” Utley said Monday, before Philadelphia’s 10-3 win over Cincinnati. Utley went 0 for 5 with a strikeout at the plate.

NATS’ STRASBURG THROWS OFF MOUND

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has thrown off a bullpen mound as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Washington manager Jim Riggleman says Strasburg was expected to throw at about 50 percent Monday in Viera, Fla. Strasburg had been throwing off flat ground.

The overall No. 1 pick from the 2009 draft seemed excited about his return. He posted on Twitter: “First bullpen in the books. Felt great! Hopefully time will speed up now!”

The 22-year-old pitching phenom had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow Sept. 3.

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