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Mets to control business operations for Kingsport

The Mets announced Friday that they will assume direct control of the business and facilities operations for the Kingsport Mets, their rookie-level affiliate in the Appalachian League.

New York announced that two executives -- Paul Taglieri and Karl Smolarz -- will oversee partnerships, ticket sales and marketing for the Kingsport affiliate. Taglieri, the team's director of Florida operations, will also continue his work at the Mets' Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie.

"Our decision to directly assume business and facilities operations of the K-Mets reinforces our commitment to Kingsport and our continued belief in the vitality of the franchise," said Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer of the Mets. "We've had a great relationship with Rick Spivey and Steve Harville of S & H Baseball over the past 17 years and thank them for their hard work and efforts in operating the club on our behalf and ensuring baseball stayed in Kingsport. We look forward to them continuing to be involved with us in advisory capacities going forward."

Kingsport, a short-season affiliate, will begin its 2013 campaign at home against Johnson City on June 20. The K-Mets play their home games at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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