Notes: Mets un-locked on Tuesday
Starting with Wright, club changes it up with short haircuts
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Mets conduct scouting meetings before the first games of all series, baseball versions of X's and O's. What they had Tuesday before they engaged the Giants in the second game of their series in San Francisco was something altogether different, though it still could be appropriately identified as a skull session.
Before batting practice and evidently after little forethought, the Mets got buzzed. One by one, players tread into a room by the shower room looking quite normal, and one by one, they emerged shorn like sheep. For no apparent reason other than "they could," they had their hair reduced to boot-camp length by Carlos "The Barber" Beltran, a man of unquestioned tonsorial skill.
It was palpable peer pressure at work. All but a few conceded to the shear magic of Beltran, even Shawn Green, who had vowed to be the last man, submitted to the supposedly unifying experience. He became Shorn Green.
Jose Reyes resisted without his signature smile. Aaron Sele avoided the cut, too, noting that he would be posing for photos with his family Thursday. And Tom Glavine, the starting pitcher Tuesday night, after watching in amusement, said he would concede after the game, and he did.
But not all went willingly. Wondering about the demonstration of unity, David Newhan asked, "Can't we just pull our pants [legs] up?" After all, Newhan, Green and Jorge Sosa had the most to lose.
Indeed, Newhan had taken a seat inside his locker with only legs visible, his upper body and full head hidden behind clothes on hangers.
Finally, just before he relented -- giving in to Paul Lo Duca's promise of a dinner -- he did a brief television interview.
"His last interview as a good looking guy," Green said of Newhan.
When Newhan emerged, he looked even more like his father, Ross, the Hall of Fame baseball writer, who had the shaved look, via natural means, for a long time.
Green, who had repeatedly lost his cap in the outfield because of "all the hair," had wondered aloud how he would keep his cap and/or his yarmulke in place. And once he had a look he clearly didn't like, he asked for a new cap "four sizes smaller."
Mike Pelfrey swore he'd never remove his cap again, but not until Lo Duca decided, "Pelfrey looks like Sinead O'Connor."
Lo Duca had his head shaven on two sides for a while, but then had it done evenly, making him what one of his teammates called "The last of the Mohicans."
Moises Alou described his wife's anger: "She'll be mad I never cut it off for her, but I did it for the guys."
The whole exercise began in the afternoon with David Wright, who had his buzz-cut done by his friend and bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello. The rest was left to Beltran, although it was unclear who scalped him.
"It has nothing to do with what's going on on the field," Wright said. "It's just to change things up a little."
Some -- Carlos Delgado, Endy Chavez and Ruben Gotay among them -- already had the uniform look. And Damion Easley just reverted to his Port St. Lucie look. manager Willie Randolph keeps his hair closely cropped anyway, so he just watched. And general manager Omar Minaya didn't go looking for Beltran. Batting coach Rick Down submitted, but first-base coach Howard Johnson remained strangely invisible.
The one person everyone wanted to see in Beltran's chair, though, was pitching coach Rick Peterson, who has more hair that he has analogies.
"There's a better chance I'll punch out 20 tonight" Glavine said, "than [Peterson will] get that cut off."
"He's hiding in the outfield," Heilman said.
Billy Wagner suggested, "Let's get him. What's he gonna do, soft-toss us to death?"
And when it was nearly time to take the field for batting practice, Glavine, his graying locks untouched, found a silver lining in all the ugliness he saw before him. "At least now we won't spend any time at the mirror," Glavine said, "and the bus can leave on time."
Trainer's room: Minaya says disabled pitcher Orlando Hernandez will throw off a mound for the first time Wednesday, not an unimportant test for his sore right shoulder (bursitis). A stint throwing batting practice and a simulated game will happen before he is activated.
"We're not going to rush him," Minaya said, which suggests that Sosa and Pelfrey will make their respective starts against the Brewers on Friday and Saturday. ... Minaya also said left-handed pitcher Dave Williams, who underwent surgery on his neck in February, probably won't be pitching until late June at the earliest, and that Pedro Martinez has continued to progress.
Alou played Monday night after missing three games because of swelling and stiffness in his left knee. He said the knee didn't feel unstable as he had feared it might.
Penalty: Jorge Reyes, a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher for the Mets' Savannah Sand Gnats affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, was suspended for 100 games by the office of the Commissioner of Baseball Tuesday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the second time.
Reyes had made on appearance with the Sand Gnats last month and was listed on the team's disabled list. He had a 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA in five innings.
This date in Mets history -- May 9: The Mets acquired Marv Throneberry on this date in 1962, sending Hobie Landrith to the Orioles and reinforcing their Amazin' image. ... Tim Foli produced a run-scoring triple and a three-run double in the first two innings against Steve Carlton, fueling the Mets' 9-5 victory against the Cardinals at Shea Stadium on this date in 1971. A career .251 hitter, Foli batted .295 against Carlton in his career. He had 122 at-bats against him and no more than 89 against any other pitcher. ... Brent Strom, drafted by the Mets in 1970 and traded away in 1972, pitched a two-hitter and beat Tom Seaver in the Padres' 2-0 victory at Shea on this date in 1976. Seaver allowed a home run to Dave Winfield in the sixth inning, and Winfield was hit by Seaver two innings later. "He knew who hit the home run," Winfield said.
Pete Falcone, Pat Zachry and Craig Swan -- starters all -- pitched, and the Mets' 6-5 victory against the Giants at Shea on this date in 1982. Rusty Staub's pinch-hit, final-pitch home run was the telling blow. ... The Mets had three hits, one for extra bases, against Mario Soto and John Franco in their 2-1 victory against the Reds at Shea on this date in 1986. Bobby Ojeda improved his record to 5-0 after a save from Roger McDowell. ... Shortstop Kevin Elster committed an error for the first time in 89 games on this date in 1989. The 88 errorless games were a big-league record. ... Three years later, Dave Magadan hit a three-run home run off McDowell on May 9 to finish the Mets' 5-2 victory against the Dodgers at Shea.
Coming up: Unbeaten John Maine makes his seventh start of the season and his first career start against the Giants on Wednesday at 3:35 p.m. ET. Matt Morris, who has lost his last three starts against the Mets, starts for the Giants.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.