Faux-No? Johan Santana Makes History With Mets First No-Hitter Despite Questionable Call, Jorted Mets Fan Joins Party on Field

Faux-No? Johan Santana Makes History With Mets First No-Hitter Despite Questionable Call, Jorted Mets Fan Joins Party on Field

Johan Santana pitched an amazing game for the New York Mets last night. One hundred thirty-seven pitches, zero credited hits. For the first time in more than 8,000 games over 51 years as a franchise, the Mets achieved what Roy Halladay did twice in 2010—left the field with a no-hitter.
Only… there may have been a hit—just not one that will appear on any scorecards. In the sixth inning, former Met Carlos Beltran laced a liner over third base, a ball that appeared to fall on the outer edge of the left field foul line.Your browser does not support iframes.
Replays and the ball's apparent mark in the chalk made it appear to be the the wrong call. But please don't misunderstand this as complaining. First, that's a tough call for third base ump Adrian Johnson, with the ball coming right at him and kicking hard into foul territory after narrowly hitting the white line (arrow in figure at above right, and 0:26 of the video). It may have been simultaneously the best and worst vantage from which to make the call, and Johnson appeared to botch it before arguing with the Cardinals manager and third base coach. Phillies fans may remember a similar scene between Charlie Manuel and Johnson, remembered by Sam Borden of the NYTimes here
But also, the whole thing is an amusing twist to the Mets' first no-no. Instead of merely losing the whole "Mets don't have a no-hitter" line, we now have "Their only no-hitter wasn't really a no-hitter." The entire celebration comes with an asterisk—though it should still be celebrated.  
The human element giveth, and it taketh away. Armando Galarraga has to be feeling the pain all over again this morning. Galarraga is of course the Detroit Tigers pitcher who lost a perfect game bid to the other side of the human element blade. Umpire Jim Joyce's terrible call at first base with two outs in the ninth saw the pitcher's name disappear from the record books like Marty McFly's brother from his Kodak print, though certainly not from recorded history.  
The faux-no also came with one of our favorite Mets fan stereotypes here on The700Level—a misbehaving Mets fan wearing jorts. Picture of the fan with video of the last pitch and celebration below. 

Your browser does not support iframes.Aside from wearing jeans that end nearly two feet higher than they should, this guy's night had to be kind of awesome (prior to the holding cell stage).
Dude ran onto the field as soon as the final out was recorded and got in the middle of the Mets' leaping pile before being peeled off by security and rag-dolled to the ground. 
A bit selfish to steal from the occasion for your own personal glory? Absolutely. But some dumb beer commercial maker's probably gonna owe this guy royalties. 
Perhaps the most outstanding moment, even considering the chalk-kicking Beltran hit, was when Mets outfielder Mike Baxter made a self-sacrificing catch, crashing hard into the wall and ground to preserve Johan's bid in the seventh inning. Credit the kid from Queens for leaving it all on the field to preserve the historic night for his club. 
Yep, it still counts as historic. An outstanding effort by a tremendous pitcher, well supported by the team behind him and yes, probably a botched call. All part of the game, at least for now... 

Joel Embiid unhappy with how Sixers handled injury updates

Joel Embiid unhappy with how Sixers handled injury updates

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Joel Embiid will miss the next four games and is slated to return March 3 against the Knicks in Philadelphia, so long as he is symptom-free. While Embiid wants to play as soon as possible, he’s just glad there is now a definitive timetable announced.

Prior to Thursday, the team had not announced a specific timeframe.

“I wasn’t too happy with the way it was kind of handled before,” Embiid said. “I saw the day-to-day part. I was told that I was going to miss at least two or three weeks. So I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled.

“I thought keeping my name out there was going to just like literally have people think about me all the time instead of just saying when I was going to be back. So I’m happy that they did that today and they said that I’m out for the next four games.”

Embiid suffered a left knee contusion on Jan. 22 against the Trail Blazers. He sat out three games and returned on Jan. 27 to play the Rockets. He has not played since then, sitting out the last eight games.

An MRI also revealed Embiid has a slight tear in his meniscus, which is not thought to be related to the contusion.

Embiid went through a full practice on Thursday for the first time, he estimated, in four or five weeks. (Wednesday’s practice was not intense.) According to the Sixers, they are encouraged by the progress Embiid showed but do not feel he is game-ready. Team doctors are holding him out the next four games to minimize the risk of aggravating his knee. In order for him to be cleared, Embiid has to be symptom-free.

Embiid had eyed a return on Friday against the Wizards because he was feeling well, he said, but he had some swelling on Thursday.

“No swelling, no pain, nothing,” Embiid said of his criteria to play.

Now the team -- and fans -- can move forward without daily questions of Embiid’s status.

“I think it’s good for everybody,” Brett Brown said. “For you all to understand, the people that buying a ticket to understand, for me as a coach to prepare my team that he’s not going to be here for four more games. I like that clarity. I’m fine with it. Obviously, you want him playing, but the mystery that surrounds that speculation I think is frustrating for people and we understand that.”

Embiid reiterated the patience aspect of the injury, noting he waited two years to rehab his foot and there is no need to rush his knee. Now everyone can be in the loop with his status.

“The end point is basically making sure I’m ready to play instead of just putting me out there,” Embiid said.

In Justin Anderson, Sixers get solid defensive wing who was buried in Dallas

In Justin Anderson, Sixers get solid defensive wing who was buried in Dallas

On the surface, the Nerlens Noel trade doesn't look good.

The Sixers on Thursday traded the third-year big man to the Dallas Mavericks for forward Justin Anderson, center Andrew Bogut and a top-18 protected first-round pick. That first-rounder turns into two second-round picks if it doesn't convey in 2017. Yuck. And double yuck.

The only hope in this trade comes in Anderson. The former first-round pick has the look of a prototypical NBA wing. At 6-foot-6 with a nearly 7-foot wingspan, he has the frame to disrupt passing lanes and the bulk at 228 pounds to muscle up stronger swingmen.

At Virginia, Anderson was a key cog for a team that was ranked as high as No. 2 and earned a 2-seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. After that season, Anderson opted to forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft. He was selected 21st overall by the Mavericks in 2015.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett preaches defense and Anderson was one of his finest disciples in that regard. Offensive limitations and being a part of a balanced attack with the Cavaliers caused Anderson's stock to drop. Despite shooting 45 percent from three in his final season, Anderson was considered a streaky shooter and, frankly, that's come to fruition in the NBA.

His rookie season was one to forget. The Mavericks were competitive in the Western Conference, finishing as the 6-seed and losing to the Thunder in the first round. Anderson couldn't find his way into Rick Carlisle's rotation. Dallas' never-ending supply of point guards coupled with the sharpshooting duo of Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons relegated Anderson to just 11.8 minutes a game his rookie season. In his limited time, he shot 41 percent from the field and 27 percent from three.

Unfortunately, it's been a similar story this season, but with some glimmers of hope. Anderson is still losing minutes to Matthews and also big free-agent acquisition Harrison Barnes, who's having a strong first season with the Mavs. But over a three-game stretch in late January, Anderson averaged 15.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. He also shot 6 of 16 (38 percent) from three during that span.

“I don’t want to sell myself short,” Anderson said to the Star-Telegram during that run. “I still think that I can be a really great player in this league, but I think it’s going to take a lot of hard work.

“I think [the early-season struggles] may be the best thing that’s happened to me in my career. All we can do is wait and just keep working hard, push through it and hopefully one day it’ll all pay off."

The most promising numbers in Anderson's young career are that he's averaging 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes as a pro. At the very least, Anderson should develop into a solid defensive wing. If he develops offensively, who knows?

Per ESPN's Kevin Pelton, "Noel and Anderson (who just sneaks over the bar) are both among the 21 players in the league who have averaged 2.0 steals per 100 team plays and blocked 2.0 percent of opponent 2-point attempts or better in at least 500 minutes."

It's tough to argue that this trade was a good one for Bryan Colangelo. With that said, Anderson could still turn out to be a decent NBA player. He needs minutes and patience, two things the Sixers can offer in spades.