WASHINGTON -- The Mets made their annual team visit Wednesday to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., meeting with veterans, signing autographs and listening to their stories.
"It's a reality check," manager Terry Collins said. "Last night, that loss [Tuesday's 7-6 defeat to the Nationals] wasn't quite as tough when you see some of the losses we saw today. It's one of those days that, it's almost enjoyable to go just to listen to those guys. They want to talk about what they're going through. They want to talk about things that they've experienced. They're huge fans, for the most part. I think they really respect the fact that the players took some time out of their schedules to come out and see these guys. You leave there with a different perspective.
"We have no concept of what these guys have to deal with -- none. We don't have any idea how you perform under those types of circumstances. And they have to, or they die."
Bay's return means decisions will be coming
WASHINGTON -- Barring more injuries, the battle for playing time is about to crest for the Mets, now that outfielder Jason Bay is back from the disabled list.
Because Bay, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andres Torres and Lucas Duda all have legitimate cases for playing time, the Mets will have some difficult decisions to make once they finish next week's stretch of six consecutive games in American League parks. That may include renewed talk of benching first baseman Ike Davis, who is 2-for-25 over his last eight games, and 8-for-66 with zero home runs dating back to May 12.
Asked Wednesday if he would reconsider replacing Davis at first base with Duda, a natural first baseman, manager Terry Collins said simply: "Not yet." The manager gave Davis a vote of confidence last month, saying at the time that he was in no danger of a Minor League demotion.
"I don't have an answer," Collins said of Davis' continued slump. "If I had an answer, I'd give it to you. He's making some adjustments. He's trying some things. There's a lot of things he's doing to try to get it going."
Murphy's brother drafted by Twins in 19th round
WASHINGTON -- Second baseman Daniel Murphy offered a simple scouting report on his brother, Jonathan, whom the Twins selected in the 19th round of this year's First-Year Player Draft.
"He's better than me," the elder Murphy said. "He's much more athletic than I ever dreamed about. I square the ball up just a little bit more than he does, but he's got more juice, more power, he's got a better arm, runs better. Pretty much anything out on the baseball field, he does it better than I do."
The 580th overall pick in the Draft, Jonathan Murphy ranked third in NCAA Division I with 40 stolen bases in 46 attempts this season, also hitting .248 in 56 games as a senior outfielder at Jacksonville University.
"He's excited -- really excited," Daniel Murphy said. "As an older brother, the culmination of all the work I've seen him put in ... not many are fortunate enough to do that. You've now entered kind of the one percent of the world's population. So he's excited."
As for a potential meeting in the big leagues one day?
"Hopefully my knees will hold up," Murphy said, "and I'll be waiting for him."
Shortstop Ruben Tejada traveled Wednesday to New York, where he will be reevaluated by team doctors. Tejada removed himself from Tuesday's rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo after feeling tightness in his strained right quad, which forced him to the disabled list on May 7.
The Mets announced that REO Speedwagon will kick off their Friday Night Post-Game Concert Series at Citi Field, performing after the Mets' June 15 game against the Reds. The series will continue with Daughtry on July 20 and MercyMe on Aug. 10.