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Mets' McNeil hopes HR convinces wife to OK puppy adoption

NEW YORK (AP) — Mets All-Star Jeff McNeil was working the phone Friday, hoping to acquire a promising, four-pawed prospect with the trade deadline looming. A ruff negotiation, indeed. McNeil video chatted with his wife, Tatiana, from Citi Field prior to a game against the Pirates, pleading to bring home a puppy brought to the ballpark by the North Shore Animal League. With his spouse uncertain, McNeil clubbed a three-run homer in New York's 6-3 win over Pittsburgh — just the leverage he thinks he needed.

"Hitting a home run after holding a puppy, I think that gives me a little bargaining chip," McNeil said. "My wife wants more homers, then we have to get a puppy." McNeil, who leads the majors with a .340 batting average, said the couple planned to visit the puppy together Saturday and then make a decision.

He and his teammates took turns greeting the rescued dogs, who were held in a pen outside the home dugout during batting practice. McNeil fell hard for a pup with a fuzzy blond coat and a dark face. The canine was the first thing on his mind after he hit his 10th homer of the season a few hours later.

"I got in the dugout and said I was getting a puppy," McNeil said.

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