Mets Morning News: It's Opening Day!

USA TODAY Sports

Your Monday morning dose of New York Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

Meet the Mets

What made Opening Day starter Dillon Gee so awesome in his last 22 starts of 2013? ESPN New York's Mark Simon did some digging and found that a more precisely located changeup against lefties was a key improvement made by Gee.

Marc Carig at Newsday has a story that tells of Gee's father Kevin and his impact on the Mets drafting his son.

Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger breaks down the Amazins' struggles at Citi Field in 2013 and how the front office is trying to reverse the trend.

It's season preview time! Andy Martino predicts that the big question marks at first base and shortstop will hold the Mets back from achieving Sandy Alderson's 90-win goal.

Taking a more optimistic angle, Adam Rubin says that brighter days are ahead, but also looks at what has to happen for the Mets to reach 90 wins and/or make a run at a Wild Card spot.

Mike Puma got the players' perspective on what the Mets will need to do to be successful in 2014.

The Mets are considering adding veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu for some minor league depth.

Around the Majors

In the first regular season MLB game played in the United States in 2014, the Padres defeated the Dodgers 3-1. Hyun-Jin Ryu dominated San Diego for seven innings, but Seth Smith homered in the eight to jump start a three-run rally for the Padres.

Is the Yasiel Puig situation already out of control? That's what we were led to believe last week when a team meeting was held by the Dodgers regarding the polarizing outfielder's frustrating play in Australia. Now it's being reported that it was Puig himself who called for the meeting and self-improvement was the motive.

The Braves' rotation is beset by injuries, but they got some good news on Saturday when Mike Minor briefly appeared during a "Future Stars" exhibition. Minor will still start the season in the disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis.

The Blue Jays have placed closer Casey Janseen on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Sergio Santos will reportedly take over as the team's ninth inning reliever.

Derek Jeter's season-long retirement party started early over the weekend when he was presented with the key to the city of Tampa during his final spring training appearance.

Paul Konerko says he wants the White Sox to start their 10 best players on Opening Day, even if the Chicago legend isn't one of them.

Yesterday at AA

Eric Simon posted an ice-breaker for AA community members to get to know each other better. Stop being a shy guy and head on over there!

Izzy Hechkoff shed some light on Eric Campbell's awesome spring performance.

Paul Goebel has five reasons why Mets fans should be excited about the 2014 season. Here's a sixth: Baseball!

On this date in 1998, the Mets and Phillies played a 1-0 Opening Day classic that finally ended when Mets backup catcher Alberto Castillo hit an RBI single off of Ricky Botallico in the bottom of the 14th.

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