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What Number Should They Issue to 'Fartinez'?
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Mets by the Numbers

The Mets Website That Counts


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I am certain that on some level, my tardiness in reporting that Anderson Hernandez is once again a member of the Mets is a realization that acknowleding it publically will prevent me from walking around pretending it never happened, which is what I really want to do.

Once upon a time, I held a reasonable hope that the Mets might once and for all cure themselves of their penchant for carrying worthless middle infield reserves who play too often, only to see Wilson Valdez, Angel Berroa, Argenis Reyes and now Hernandez come back from the dead, almost all of them polluting the No. 4 and/or 11 jerseys.

Hernandez was actually reacquired by trade late last week from the Washington Nationals, for whom he flamed out this season already -- and to whom I was only too happy to see him go a year ago (and that was for Luis Ayala). I know, with the way things have gone this year this is about what we're going to get but it doesn't remind me any less of Wilson Delgado and Ricky Gutierrez stinking up the joint out there in 2004.

Hernandez' addition to the roster resulted in a DFA for Berroa and for Anderson's third different number with the Mets -- he'd worn 1 and 4 in previous visits. The Mets also replaced the injured Jon Neise on the roster by recalling Elmer Dessens from AAA. Dessens was back in No. 64.


Night in the Ruts

Way to stick it to the Cardinals, fellas.

Tonight's beatdown included the return of reserve middle infielder Argenis Reyes to the team, who stepped in for lefty Jon Switzer (and hopefully won't stay for too long). And despite his former No. 4 being made available by this week's designation of Wilson Valdez, Reyes suited up instead in No. 11.

But the news on Reyes is what he wasn't wearing a few weeks back with AAA Buffalo. Yes, he went to the disabled list with injuries related to taking a shot in the onions while not wearing a cup.




Memories...The controversy of the Mets' catching situation seemed almost too easily resolved as Ramon Castro was traded to the White Sox on the same night that Omir Stantos drove in both Mets runs, including the walkoff gamewinner, and Brian Schneider returned to the dugout for the first time in weeks.

Castro, the meaty backup who'd been a reserve for Mike Piazza, Paul LoDuca and Schneider, and who provided a buttload of big moments for the Mets, was swapped for Lance Broadway, a tall 25-year-old one-time prospect.Castro leaves as the longest-serving No. 11 since Tim Teufel (1986-91). Despite ranking sixth in games played among Met 11s, Castro has more home runs and RBI than every Met 11 except Teufel and all-time leader Wayne Garrett.

Broadway -- who just has to appear in New York at some point --  is assigned for now to the starting rotation at AAA Buffalo. He was wearing No. 41 in the White Sox bullpen before the trade.

Good luck to Castro, who despite frustrating the Mets with injuries and a seeming unwilliness to take over starting duties when the team needed him, at his best was probably a better hitter than Santos will ever be. But, Santos certainly has been the man for this season, and the next few months will probably be pretty close anyway.


Home runs by guys who wore 11 *
1. Wayne Garrett 55
2. Tim Teufel 36
3. Ramon Castro 33
4 (tie). Duke Snider, Lenny Randle 7
6. Gene Woodling 5
7. Dick Schofeild 4
8 (tie). Ed Bouchee, Roy McMillan, Kelvin Chapman 3
*-Only HRs hit while wearing No. 11 count

Manuel Laboring

Castro: CastoffBeing a positive guy who desperately wants to like the team he roots for I'm hoping there's some hidden benefit at work amid the recent managerial misadventures of Jerry Manuel. But they cannot be worth the the price in bad baseball we've witnessed this week.

For the second time in as many series against the Marlins, Jerry overmanuevered the Mets into losing two of three winnable games. He pulled his starters too early, inserted relievers unnecessarily and/or curiously, and this afternoon, publically flipped off Ramon Castro and called it a pinch-hitting decision.

None of it worked, and the team, once again, seems to be taking on the passive and frightened style of its manager.

I admire Jerry and came into the year convinced he possessed a good understanding of what troubled this team and how to fix it but it seems he's determined to demonstrate that the hard way. I can't imagine Castro sees much more time with the Mets, and wonder what it might take to get Ken Takahashi to show that No. 36 he got the other day. Yeah, David Wright could make it all go away with a few well-timed hits but he's struggled before too. Onto Philly.

Castro Returns

Ramon Castro returned to the active roster on Saturday while Raul Casanova was designated for assignment as the Mets swapped lumpy reserve catchers. Casanova took a few games too many to get going while Brian Schneider sat out with injuries or he might have made this a more difficult decision. The sample is obviously not fair to anyone but that's life for a backup.

Castro was in "action" as the Mets, predictably, followed a more-or-less solid Game 1 win with a listless, sloppy loss to the Reds in Game 2. We're seemingly up against it this afternoon when Reds phenom Johnny Cueto opposes Oliver Perez in the rubber game. Cueto has said he channels Pedro Martinez while on the mound: His stature and, sometimes, his numbers, suggest a resemblance.

Yup, that was me forgetting to button my top button on Mets Weekly. They stuck a mic in there.



They Are What They Is

With the New Orleans Zephyrs swept out of the AAA playoffs over the weekend, representatives of the losers arrived in time to see — and participate — in the worst display of Met baseball since the Art Howe Era.

Soft-tossing righty Brian Lawrence 54 stepped in and registered what we can only hope would be the last outing of his Mets career, coughing up a 4-run lead to Washington. Joe Smith 35 is back, but the velocity he sidearmed with earlier this year apparently didn’t come along with him. Ramon Castro 11 didn’t have the health to stick through short-season games with Brooklyn but is back here anyway. Weak-hitting utilityman David Newhan? Yes, he’s back too, still torturing Keith Hernandez in No. 17.

Perhaps the only interesting returnee from a unicentric standpoint is infielder Anderson Hernandez, who we last saw wearing No. 1 in July. Hernandez was recalled only to discover the Mets had issued No. 1 to Luis Castillo during Hernandez’ stay in New Orleans. No. 4 was hanging in his locker this time around. When he gets into a game, he’ll become the Mets’ 14th 15th player to wear No. 4, and the first since Chris Woodward a year ago Ben Johnson earlier this year. (Props to Gene, below for the correction).

Only time will tell whether this latest stumble is just another stumble or the beginnings of an historic collapse, but you can bet we’ll be here hating ourselves for watching every minute of it!


Bad Break for Easley

Well the all-odd infield as described below went out together for a second straight night Saturday but it’ll be their last for awhile. Damian Easley stepped awkwardly while running and gruesomely rolled his left ankle in an event likely to sideline him for the rest of the regular season. Ever roll an ankle like that? It makes a noise.

Anderson Hernandez was recalled from AAA Sunday to take his place on the roster, arriving to find out the No. 1 jersey he wore in previous visits to New York had been assigned to Luis Castillo in his absence. The Mets roster has Hernandez dressed in No. 4 (bad news for Ben Johnson should he deign to return).

A more pressing concern could be finding an acceptable right-handed pinch-hitter, preferably one who can play first base (among other positions), so as not to further compromise our oftentimes meager attack. Easley was one of the few guys on the team who’d done almost no harm and/or disappointing this season too. But I thought it was weird when Omar didn’t come back after the trade deadline with a right-handed bench hitter, so I’m pretty sure this merits a trade too.

Meantime on Sunday Sandy Alomar Jr. 19 was back for Ramon Castro 11, whose bad back necessitated a DL stay. All as we swept a team for the first time since June and — can you believe this? — reached a new highwater mark at 17 over .500.


By now everyone knows the Mets will be Pedro-less for the playoffs but let's be honest: That doesn't surprise us. He hasn't been healthy for a long while, and though it would be nice if the Real Pedro was with us, we've been more concerned about the lineup than the pitching all year long, even while they made it look easy and now, especially, as they make it look difficult.

Stuff we neglected to mention recently: Ramon Castro 11 returned from the disabled list Sept. 12; Kelly Stinnett 36 was designated for assigment Sept. 27 and Phillip Humber 49 made his big-league debut Sept. 24. Along with the return of Mike Pelfrey 34 to the (nominally) active roster, the '06 Mets have 36 active players on their roster at once, which ties them with three other Met clubs for the second-most ever, according to Met roster historian Jason:

The only time they've had more was in 1967 (38 active). Too bad they didn't recall Henry Owens & Alay Soler, they could have tied their franchise record! The only other players left on the 40-man are Matt Lindstrom & Ruben Gotay.

Active Players on September Rosters:

36..............1974, 1985, 2002, 2006
35..............1965, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1998, 1999
34..............1966, 1969, 1971, 1982, 1983, 2001
33..............1970, 1972, 1981, 1989, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003
32..............1963, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2004, 2005
31..............1962, 1991
30..............1968, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1995
25..............1994 (strike)

Postseason Positioning

The Mets yesterday made the Anderson Hernandez promotion official, temporarily sending down lefty Dave Williams 32 to make room for him. Williams is expected to return in time for his next start. The recall comes in time to make Hernandez, who was dressed in No. 1, eligible for the postseason roster, along with the 12 other current position players and disablees Cliff Floyd 30 and Ramon Castro 11.


Having not called up recent signee Kelly Stinnett suggests the team is confident in Castro's return, though reports this morning say Stinnett's likely to be recalled now that rosters are exandable and Norfolk's season is winding to a close.


Castroted (Aug. 24): Shawn Green arrived tonight and is in the lineup wearing No. 20, most recently belonging to Victor Diaz, who was sprung to make room for Green on the 40. Disappointing would-be spare part Ricky Ledee 9 was released to make room for him.

The Mets in the meantime had more injury news to share: Ramon Castro 11, who suffered a setback in his rehab assignment earlier this week, was tranferred to the 60-day disabled list making any chance he'll rejoin the Mets this year a longshot. Telegraphing doubts both in Castro's return and Mike DiFelice's usefulness, the Norfolk Tides signed veteran backstop Kelly Stinnett, who played for the Mets 11 years ago wearing No. 33. Prediction, DiFelice bequeaths the No. 6 jersey to Stinnett in no time, or the Mets go fish for another backup and soon.

Also, they said Orlando Hernandez 26 would skip his next turn, giving Brian Bannister a start for the first time since pulling a hammy in San Francisco in April. You should remember him as No. 40. That means lefty project Oliver Perez will likely get Tom Glavine's scheduled start on Saturday: Perez is currently wearing No. 47 in Norfolk, and was 48 and 59 in Pittsburgh. The Mets following Thursday's win sent Lastings Milledge 44 down to Norfolk to make room for Bannister. Wow.

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