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Mets Morning News: Alderson introduces a shortstop, Manfred defends Wilpon as finance chair

Your Sunday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, note, and links.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Sandy Alderson joked about the Mets' shortstop situation at the BBWAA's annual dinner last night, saying that Mets fans had waited all winter for him to introduce a shortstop before introducing Cal Ripken Jr.

Commissioner Rob Manfred defended his choice of Fred Wilpon as chair of the finance committee, explaining that Wilpon is fully qualified for the role based on that committee's responsibilities.

Wilmer Flores might not be a shortstop, but he's going to get a long look at the position this year and has been working hard this winter.'s positional prospect rankings rank Dominic Smith fourth at first base heading into 2015. Their write-up mentions that Smith struggled as the season went on last year and that there are some things he could improve upon in the season ahead. That would be nice.

The Daily Stache has a list of things that live in relief pitcher Bobby Parnell's magnificent—and perhaps unsightly—beard. Here's hoping there are some strikeouts living in his right arm this year! Heyo.

Around Major League Baseball

There were rightfully plenty of "let's play two" references when the news broke that Ernie Banks passed away, but Greg Prince dives deeper for some other good quotations from the Hall of Fame legend. Speaking of Banks, Beyond the Box Score remembers his life.

Now that Bud Selig's tenure as commissioner is over, Sports Illustrated looks back at how things went over the course of his tenure.

Mike Napoli talks about dealing with sleep apnea—for which he had surgery this offseason—and some other things at Brownie Points, an MLB blog.

Brandon Hicks—who was part of Sandy Alderson's Mets for a minute and started the 2014 season by hitting a bunch of home runs, pleasing some beat writers and annoying some Mets fans, before turning back into Brandon Hicks—has re-signed with the San Francisco Giants on a minor league deal. If he starts hot again this year, let the handwringing ensue!