By Nick MulvenneySYDNEY,(Reuters)-Uncapped middle-order batsman Chris Lynn was rewarded for his Big Bash League (BBL) pyrotechnics with a place in the Australia squad for the five match one-day international series against Pakistan yesterday.The 26-year-old has been in impressive form in the domestic Twenty20 competition and hit a stunning 11 sixes in an unbeaten 49-ball 98 for the Brisbane Heat against the Perth Scorchers earlier this week.Pace bowler Billy Stanlake, who stands 2.04 metres tall and has been in fine form in the BBL for the Adelaide Strikers, also earned a call-up to the one-day squad for the first time.Opener Aaron Finch and former skipper George Bailey have been dropped from the squad that beat New Zealand 3-0 at the back end of last year, along with all-rounder Hilton Cartwright, who made his test debut against Pakistan this week.Test top-order batsman Usman Khawaja is the third addition to the 14-man squad and could open with David Warner when the series opens in Brisbane on Friday.“Chris Lynn is in superb form for the Brisbane Heat and although that is a different form of the game, we believe it is right that we give him the chance to show whether he can convert his wonderful ball-striking ability to ODIs,” head selector Trevor Hohns said.“Usman Khawaja has been in excellent touch throughout this Test summer, is able to bat anywhere in the top order and deserves another chance to demonstrate his ODI credentials.“Billy Stanlake is an exciting prospect who bowls with genuine pace and is a player who has made a terrific return to action for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League after a lengthy time out through injury.”Stanlake looks to have a good chance of winning a first cap with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, who played all six tests in the home summer, set to be rested for some of the matches as they start preparations for four tests in India.“I guess we’ll probably pick our times to have a rest here or there, whether it’s one game or two in the series,” Hazlewood said on Friday.“Depending on how we’re feeling and how much we’ve bowled.”After Brisbane, the series continues with matches in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide.Squad: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Mitch Marsh, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, James Faulkner, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake.
Published on April 4, 2019 at 10:29 pm Contact Josh: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Schafer_44 Terry Collins wasn’t cold. The former New York Mets manager strolled the outskirts of batting practice teasing each player. Collins, who’s been involved in professional baseball for almost four decades and is currently the special assistant to the general manager of the Mets, has a lot of stories. His anecdote of choice on Thursday morning, was his three years managing in Buffalo that prepared him for the 30-degree wind chill three hours before first pitch. “You’re not used to this sh*t big boy, I’ll tell ya right now,” he jawed at Tim Tebow. “I’ve played football in this,” Tebow said.“Oh yeah,” Collins said. “This is a little different.”Collins was right. This, the 41-degree temperature at first pitch, wasn’t the warmth the Mets affiliate once had in Las Vegas. This, the Syracuse Mets inaugural game, was the first time Syracuse Triple-A baseball played under major league ownership in nearly six decades. And this, the very interaction between Tebow, a Heisman trophy winner, and Collins, the manager many Syracuse locals watched with the Mets from 2011-17, has catapulted Syracuse’s 2019 season to the spotlight. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Today’s opening day was because of the New York Mets,” Syracuse Mets general manager Jason Smorol said. “As awesome as we all think that we are, the New York Mets made this Opening Day happen.”Josh Schafer | Senior Staff WriterIn the parking lot just after 10 a.m., Mike Grabowski dug a hole in his Busch Light with his thumb. He chugged the beer out of the hole and slammed it down. Grabowski and his fellow Syracuse firefighters from station 10 had been there since 7 a.m., because “it’s Opening Day.” Grabowski’s a Yankees fan. But in central New York, where the cold winters seem to never end and people live for any sporting event combined with a cold beer, he clarifies. “I’m a Syracuse fan.” A group of Cicero-North Syracuse alumni a few cars over from Grabowski claim the same allegiance. Sure, they were Chiefs fans, but they didn’t have any love for the Nationals. After 20 years of tailgating opening day, the locals weren’t sure if they’d even go through the gates. Both sets of regulars joked that Scott Vinciguerra, sporting a full Mets replica uniform, had to be a Mets fan. He “might even be a Tebow guy.” His jersey didn’t have Tebow’s No. 15, though. Instead, it had his own last name, which he covered with an orange and blue Mets jacket. He brought both back this winter from Mets’ fantasy camp, a seven-day promotion in which fans are coached in fundamentals by famous past members of the organization. “Other than marrying my wife and having a kid, it was the best week of my life,” Vinciguerra said.Josh Schafer | Senior Staff WriterIn the clubhouse, Orange and Blue shirts, sweatshirts and hats clatter each locker. Blue New Balance cleats lay at the foot of lockers beneath the season-opening white pinstripes, identical to the ones worn in the majors. The players have a big league feel, too. Rene Rivera, who played 33 games in the bigs last year, watches live streams of video games on his smartphone. Rajai Davis, who once smacked a game-tying home run in game seven of the World Series, and Carlos Gomez, a two-time all-star, likely won’t spend all in the minors. On Thursday, they’re all Syracuse Mets. “I’ve seen half of these guys,” said Collins, who’s evaluating Syracuse players to cross-reference with talent already on the New York roster. “This team’s got more major league time than the stinkin’ Baltimore Orioles and the Miami Marlins.”Multiple workers and longtime fans throughout the day said it’s the most people they’ve seen at NBT Bank Park in a long time. They weren’t sure if it was the Mets, Tebow or the “dollar Thursday” special, which flaunts $1 hot dogs and $2 beers, drew the crowd the most.But the line of cars appeared endless, spanning back toward Destiny USA down the road. Smorol joked he doesn’t know where fans will park if they reach more than the 8,832 people that attended Opening Day. It’s one of several ways Syracuse isn’t yet equipped for the expected crowds. Smorol said he has the smallest front office in Triple-A with 15 employees, part of the effects of the former community ownership. Don Waful, 102, attended the first Syracuse Chiefs game in 1934 and the final game this past August threw out the first pitch. Despite frustration when the team left in 1955, he invested in the community ball club in 1961. Waful paid $10 for share back then. Now, it was worth $250 this past fall, he said. He thinks the teams in better hands now. “We’re not really big enough in industry or people to support what it costs to run a Triple-A ball club,” Waful said. “But we don’t have to worry now because the major clubs, they’ve got lots of money. They’re not looking to make money. They’re just looking to train ball players.”Josh Schafer | Senior Staff WriterAfter years of instability, the Mets can’t fix it all at once, not even the malfunctioning coffee machine at the concession Dunkin Donuts or the broken Coca-Cola machine in the press room. The team, one of the most experienced in the minors, lost 6-3 in extra innings. That’s all OK, though. The crowds made its imperfections matter, something Smorol calls the “Met Effect.” Because for Syracuse, it’s all encompassing. Tebow and Collins will both be in town for weekends at a time this summer and fans of the major league Mets can watch their future favorite players. And central New York finally has the pillars to be a pipeline for a New York City baseball team. It’ll just take some adjusting.“The New York Mets are here to stay,” Smorol said. “So they have the resources, the capability and the knowledge and the will and to make it happen so this is a good thing for baseball in Syracuse.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+