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The Mets' forgotten first half

A look back at moments from the Mets' first half that may have slipped your mind.

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The first half of the Mets' season went reasonably well, and our heroes are just two games out of first place in the NL East. Among the big storylines of the first half were the continued emergence of the talented young rotation, a strong performance by the Jeurys Familia-led bullpen, and devastating injuries to David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud. Mixed in with these major storylines were some minor happenings. This post recalls moments from the first half, including spring training, which may have slipped your mind.

David Wright vs Noah Syndergaard

A minor brouhaha broke out at spring training, when David Wright and Bobby Parnell scolded Noah Syndergaard for eating lunch in the clubhouse during an intrasquad scrimmage. Wright recommended that Syndergaard return to the bench during the game, and Parnell apparently threw the big guy's lunch in the trash for emphasis. However, there are no lingering hard feelings among the players and Syndergaard recently said that the incident was a learning experience.

Matt Harvey/Bartolo Colon Opening Day starter "controversy"

There was some hand-wringing over the decision to start Bartolo Colon instead of Matt Harvey on Opening Day in Washington. In fact, Harvey didn't even pitch until the third game of the season, as Jacob deGrom started the second game. It's possible that the decision was influenced by ticket sales. Pushing Harvey's start back meant he would pitch the Mets' second home game of the season, which typically sells far fewer tickets than the home opener. Why waste your top draw at the box office on a game with a guaranteed sellout? None of this really mattered, of course, and Colon pitched a gem on Opening Day as the Mets won 3-1.

Buddy Carlyle, Opening Day closer

This one will be a very hard trivia question someday. With Jenrry Mejia suffering through a stiff right elbow, Terry Collins handed the Opening Day closer role to Buddy Carlyle, who had pitched well for the Mets in 2014. After future closer Jeurys Familia worked a one-two-three eighth inning and Jerry Blevins recorded the first out of the ninth inning, Carlyle entered with the Mets leading the Nationals 3-1. He was up to the task, and induced groundouts from Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos to earn the save. It was the first, and perhaps last, save of Carlyle's career. The 37-year-old was placed on the disabled list in May and recently had hip surgery which likely ended his season.

Internet troll vs Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard replied to some trollish tweets by a Mets fan, which called Syndergaard soft. The tweets have since been deleted, but here are screenshots of them, courtesy of Marc Carig:

Syndergaard has been fantastic since being called up and looks primed for a stellar career. If I could offer him one bit of advice, though, it would be to avoid name-searching on social media.

C-List celebrities abound

The Mets boast several A-list celebrity fans, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock among them, but also have some, uhh, lesser celebrity fans. The organization spent some of the first half of the season welcoming these superfans into the fold. Here is former professional wrestler Goldberg taking some BP:

Jim Breuer of Saturday Night Live and "goat boy" fame maintained a presence around the team in the first half. He joined the SNY booth during a game:

Here he is clowning around with the team before a game:

Eddie Kaye Thomas, best known as "Shitbreak" from the American Pie movies, talked Mets on the team's Facebook account:

And here's Goldberg again!

Eamon McAnaney spoke with actor Seth Gilliam, best known as Detective Carver on The Wire, during a Mets game in Atlanta:

Seth Gilliam The Wire

And here's Goldberg again!

The Baseball Maverick

Sandy Alderson has an impressive list of accomplishments, both inside and outside of baseball. Having said that, it's a little silly that there is a published book with the title Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets. Yes, Alderson was the original Moneyballer and had a hand in bringing sabermetrics to front offices, but "Revived the Mets"? C'mon now. Perhaps author Steve Kettmann will see a revival in sales should the Mets win 95 games this season, but for now let's cool it.

Big Noah goes deep

The most majestic dong of the first half:

Matt Harvey takes a private jet, oh no!

This gets my vote for dumbest "controversy" of the first half. It got in just in time, right before the All-Star break. Matt Harvey posted a picture on Instagram of himself in a private jet, taken sometime during the Mets' West Coast trip in the first week of July:

Thanks @wheelsup8760 for the lift to #bigsur #postranchinn while we made our west coast trip.

A photo posted by Matt Harvey (@mattharvey33) on

This is the Internet, so people wrote some negative comments underneath the picture, which basically chided him for being a prima donna who puts himself before the team. Not one to bow out quietly, Harvey responded with another picture on Instagram, this time of him on the Mets' team flight. "Just landed back in NYC on ‘THE TEAM FLIGHT’ ‘WITH THE TEAM,'" he sniped:

Just landed back in NYC on "THE TEAM FLIGHT" "WITH THE TEAM"

A photo posted by Matt Harvey (@mattharvey33) on

The important thing to remember is that Harvey honors and supports Qualcomm. This story will be forgotten ten seconds after you read this.