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College freshman hits two grand slams in same inning in first ABs

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College freshman hits two grand slams in same inning in first ABs

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Florida Atlantic’s Caleb Pendleton hit grand slams in his first two collegiate plate appearances Saturday night, both in the same inning.

Playing in his first game, the freshman connected with the bases loaded twice during a 12-run second inning against Central Florida during a 20-15 victory.

“The second one, it didn’t really feel real running around first base,” he said.

“Nothing I could ever dream of,” he added. “That’s definitely more than I ever thought would happen preparing for today. I never thought I’d be going up for my third at-bat with two grand slams already. That was pretty cool.”

The right-handed hitter crushed the second slam to left-center, clearing a row of palm trees behind the outfield fence.

Pendleton hit two flyouts and struck out in his final three at-bats. He said he was visibly nervous before first pitch, and teammates razzed him after the first slam about his jitters.

His feat was headline news by the end of the game, and he said he anticipated his phone going “crazy” in the clubhouse. He didn’t get to check before speaking with reporters.

“I’ll have to lay in bed tonight and look at all the notifications and stuff,” he said.

As a high school senior, Pendleton was rated as the No. 3 catcher in the state of Florida by Perfect Game and was twice named a PG Preseason All-American.

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Mets star Pete Alonso opens up on why he quit social media

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Mets star Pete Alonso opens up on why he quit social media

PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso wasn’t the only big voice in the Mets organization to deactivate his social media accounts over the offseason.

But the first baseman going dark on Twitter and Instagram had nothing to do with the aftermath of a stock market saga, which was the reason owner Steve Cohen ditched Twitter, and everything to do with a new outlook on life away from a screen.

“I think that real life is just absolutely fantastic and for me, I think life is a blessing, it’s something that I feel like a lot of people, sometimes including myself, take for granted,” Alonso said Friday after a workout. “And I want to spend every second soaking in every single day because every single new day is a blessing, and I feel like especially in wake of what happened last year, there’s a lot of things that I feel like were taken for granted.

“In 2019, if you see everybody wearing this mask, you kind of scratch your head and just be like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ But there’s a lot of new social norms that are in place now that we took for granted. I think for me, I just want to be appreciative of every single day. I want to live in real life.”

Alonso had been one of the more active Mets interacting with fans through social media, especially during his Rookie of the Year season in 2019, when he adopted “#LFGM” as the team’s new rallying cry.

Though he will no longer be in touch with fans online, Alonso is very much looking forward to welcoming them back in person at Citi Field this season. After playing at an empty stadium in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Mets are expected to have at least a portion of Citi Field open to fans when the 2021 season begins.

“Playing on TV is absolutely fantastic, but being there in person where one swing of the bat or making a diving play or striking somebody out, you can make that many people in person smile, stand, clap, cheer, yell even just by doing something,” Alonso said, with a big smile breaking out. “Once I heard 40,000 people at Citi Field go absolutely bonkers, that’s an adrenaline rush that I’m addicted to.

“I can’t wait until it’s packed out again like that. If it’s 25 percent, 30 percent, I can’t wait to hear people cheer again in person. For me, it’s addicting, and I love it.”

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Yankees’ first spring training game will be seven innings

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Yankees' first spring training game will be seven innings

TAMPA — Aaron Boone said the Yankees’ first spring training game will be seven innings, as part of Major League Baseball’s spring training protocols.

Beginning Sunday — when the Yankees host the Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field — games through March 13 may be shortened to five or seven innings if both teams agree.

With fewer players in camp and available to play, teams might have a hard time getting nine innings out of their pitching staffs early on.

Boone said he expects the Yankees’ first three or four Grapefruit League games to be seven innings and is not concerned about getting players enough work throughout the spring.

“We should be able to, [since] we have the luxury of live BPs,’’ said Boone, adding they could add B games if they need to later in the spring.

From March 14 until the regular season, games can be shortened only to seven innings.

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Swing tweaks have Luis Guillorme’s Mets value growing

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Swing tweaks have Luis Guillorme's Mets value growing

PORT ST. LUCIE — Luis Guillorme’s value to the Mets in parts of his first two major league seasons was as an infield glove. Last year, he added another dimension.

In a limited sample size (68 plate appearances), Guillorme had a slash line of .333/.426/.439 with nine RBIs and became a left-handed hitting option at third base, starting three games there.

“I made my swing more repeatable — working with Slate and Chili,” Guillorme said Friday, referring to hitting coach Chili Davis and his assistant, Tom Slater. “It made it more simple. I think having a better approach now, being a guy that was used to playing every day when I was in the minors, coming up and having a different role, I think you need a different mindset going up to the plate.

“Your approach might not be the same when you’re playing every day than when you are coming off the bench. I made those adjustments last year and it helped me a lot.”

Guillorme gives the Mets an option at second base, shortstop and third base. Jonathan Villar, who signed as a free agent, fits a similar profile for the Mets. Jeff McNeil figures to shuffle between second and third.

“There’s plenty of guys that can play different positions and we’re all good at it,” Guillorme said. “It makes it fun for you. You are around guys like that who have a lot of talent, just being around them, it’s really good for us.”


Carlos Carrasco was in camp for the first time after missing the first week for an undisclosed reason. Brandon Drury and Wilfredo Tovar are the remaining invitees to major league camp who haven’t participated in workouts.

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