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Poll

What Number Should They Issue to 'Fartinez'?
6
12%
8
18%
12
6%
16
6%
18
6%
22
12%
24
6%
26
0%
27
0%
28
0%
29
0%
30
0%
38
0%
39
0%
43
0%
44
12%
47
0%
49
0%
58
12%
Other?
12%
Total votes: 17

 

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Mets by the Numbers

The Mets Website That Counts

19

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Story... Allegory... Montessori...

Words that rhyme with "Cory."

Outfielder Cory Sullivan has been recalled from AAA Buffalo in place of Fernando Nieve, the latest Met to suffer a debilitating injury.

Sullivan wore No. 12 in spring training but that number went to the newly acquired Jeff Francoeur ; so instead the Mets offered Sullivan the No. 19 jersey most recently belonging to Ryan Church.

P.S. -- Thanks for the tip, Metsgrrl

 

 

Francoeur Dujour

The debate over what number Jeff Francoeur ought to wear started in the post below long before I even knew we'd traded Ryan Church for him in a deal begging to be debated long after the Mets and Braves realize it hadn't helped them. Francoeur of course wore No. 7 with the Braves and won't with the Mets as long as Jose Reyes (remember him?) is employed. Let's look at the candidates:

No. 4: I like this one: Single-digit, tossed around amongst a bunch of bums ever since Robin Ventura left town eight years ago.

No. 6: Nick Evans was just demoted -- Angel Pagan returned from the DL -- and the addition of Francoeur does Evans' future no favors. But I like 6 as a scrubeenie signifier and would hate to see it wasted on a guy we'll come to remember -- good or bad -- as much as Francoeur. Didya know he's under team control for one more than Chuch? Oh yes. He's our right fielder through 2011 if we want him, and maybe if we don't Gulp.

No. 8: Still sitting there.

No. 12: Still unissued since Willie Randolph's departure but more of an infielder's number.

No. 19: If there's something to admire about this deal off-the-bat is how brazen a challenge trade it really is: Both right fielders, both considered disappointments, both teams in the same division, both more or less fighting for the same goal. Why not make it a true Del Unser Deal and change up the jerseys as well?

No. 27: Available even though we'll probably need Nelson Figueroa again. This, 47, and 77 are the easiest to imagine emerging from the 7 family if Francoeur prefer to stay with it.

Nos. 30, 32, 35 and 40 are open as well.

As for the trade, I fear it: It seems that if Church only played a little better he'd not have been traded to begin with but it takes more ignorance of on-base percentage than I'll ever have to think we haven't just made a bad offense even worse. That said, Francoeur is right-handed and young and may still become something; while Church, for whatever reason, has fallen out of favor with two clubs already.

Let the challenge begin.

In other troubling news they brought back Argenis Reyes when overmatched youngster Fernando Martinez went on the disabled list. And before I ever had a chance to enjoy his demotion.

Who Do You Love

Back in the New York Groove... hopefullyWelcome back, Ryan Church. The brain-damaged Mets right fielder returned Friday after a lengthy absense while superfluous catcher Robinson Cancel was sent back down to AAA. A more difficult, Obama-picks-a-running-mate type question faces the Mets on Saturday, when unpopular second baseman Luis Castillo is expected to return from an extended break during which he was barely missed.

To be honest the solution ought to be clear if painful -- Argenis Reyes for all his good press isn't the kind of hitter you couldn't do without for a few days and to my knowledge only plays second base, so Castillo is probably an upgrade. Castillo in fact makes fewer outs than either Reyes or Damion Easley, and if actually and finally healthy, then he's the player they probably ought to have out there. A strong offensive showing out of the gate is essential though.

If Reyes won't go down you wonder how seriously they're ready to consider Duaner Sanchez who clearly isn't the same as he once was, while Luis Ayala is (what he was once but wasn't recently).

Met-Lovin' Big Shot George Thorogood is a guest on this week's episode of Mets Weekly on SNY, airing at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The SNY people pursued Lonesome George as a profile subject after seeing the interview published here.

New Roster Posted

So the Mets along with introducing Johan Santana to the press today updated their 40-man roster so as to provide uni numbers for several players for the first time. From the bottom, it's

9 Marlon Anderson (switching from 23 for Brian Schneider)

16 Angel Pagan

19 Ryan Church

38 Matt Wise (Carlos Muniz is now listed in 32)

39 Jason Vargas (Vargas was 43 last season, we may see a flip with Stokes, below)

43 Brian Stokes

49 Ruddy Lugo (Phillip Humber, we barely miss ye)

61 Steven Register(likely to be the lowest of the high-numbered invitees)

Also worth noting is pitcher Adam Bostick in 72, giving him the highest number among the 40 men invited to camp. Among non-roster invitees, the deck is clear for Jose Valentin to take 22 and Ricardo Rincon to assume his usual 73.

Our post below guessed a few of these correctly at least. Keep in mind as always these numbers don't "count" until the games do, so nothing is official yet.

The Mystery Six

OK, so now that Johan Santana is in the fold and will presumably slip on a No. 57 jersey at a press event sometime next week, there's still the matter of the other new guys and what they'll turn up in when spring training begins later this month.

What new guys? Well, those indicated by the "--" symbol alongside their names on the mets.com 40-man roster: Pitchers Ruddy Lugo; Steven Register, Brian Stokes and Matt Wise; and outfielders Ryan Church and Angel Pagan. Catcher Brian Schneider is also indicated with a double-en-space, but we're reasonably sure he's headed for the No. 23 jersey photographed below and Marlon Anderson will change into something new.

 

44 Caliber Killers

(November 30, 2007 )

Ladies and gentlemen, Flushing is burning.

Reluctant to rest upon a history of historically stupid dealmaking, the Mets have reportedly coughed up Lastings Milledge 44 in a trade for Washington Nationals players Ryan Church and Brian Schnieder. Wow. Schneider, who wears No. 23 with Washington, at one time was a pretty heads-up defensive player but has never been a good hitter and in fact is quite a bad one, appears to spell an early end to the Metly career of erstwhile backstop Johnny Estrada. Church, a lefthanded hitting insect type who’s actually better than I would have guessed though only about as good as Milledge is right now, was seen most recently wearing No. 19. Both guys could conceiveably retain their digits in 2008 but it would mean a third career uni number for Marlon Anderson.

Now, I’m not one of those guys vulnerable to misplacing my faith in every young kid who tears up the Florida State League; nor do I believe that Milledge’s various acts of youthful idiocy ought not to be a cause for concern. What I worry about are the Mets seemingly never learning not to let their guys go so easily.

More harrowing news to follow at the Winter Meetings.

Yes, I Think It Can Be Very Easley Done

After that horrific ankle injury — ever do something like that? It makes a noise — Mets never really adequately replaced Damian Easley.

There was irony, or something, in the Mets failing to make the playoffs given all the attention to Easley’s dubious ascension in the Guy With the Most games Never to Appear in the Postseason rankings. But you know, Jeff Conine didn’t turn out to be a very good replacement for Easley.

Far be it from me to take away attention from the horrendous performances of the bullpen, Jose Reyes, Tom Glavine, etc etc down the stretch … but when it all comes down to a single game, perhaps a guy who could whack the lefthanders a little more reliably may also have made a difference. All of which is a convoluted route to getting to the point you already knew: Easley will get another chance to end (um… or extend) his streak for playoff futility with the Mets in 2008. A one-year deal for Easley, along with a option renewal for Moises Alou 18, were announced by the Mets on Wednesday. Easley and Alou happened to be the first two new guys added to the roster last off-season too.

The Mets also purchased a catcher, Luis Alen, from the cool-hat-wearing Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent Northern League. Alen isn’t likely to be a starting candidate on the Mets next year but it’s always fun to note the first appearance in the transaction agate of the hot stove season.

The Mets would be fools not to pretend to be interested in Alex Rodriguez, and for all we know, they are (just move Wright to first and flip Delgado at a loss for pitching. It’s not that unfathomable). With 13 tied up in Billy Wagner, we’d bet on Easley losing No. 3 so that A-Rod could have it here. Meantime, the idea that Jorge Posada turns up on our team was raised in the papers today. Just saying: Shawn Green is out. No. 20 is available.

Hey, Nineteen

Well, it finally happened.

Jeff Conine started tonight’s game against the Phillies wearing No. 19, having tossed aside the No. 28 issued to him upon joining the Mets last month. The Mets.com roster indicates he swapped jerseys with reserve catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. Not for nothing but we’d anticipated this move for awhile.

The change couldn’t hurt either guy. Conine, who’d frequently worn 19 during his lengthy career, was batting just .174 (4-for-23) in 28. Alomar had just 3 hits in 21 at-bats for a .143 batting average and an OPS+ of -13.

MLB.com’s Anthno DiComo has all the non-drama.

Stories abound in professional sports of athletes trading numbers for cars, cash, jewelry — you name it. But Sandy Alomar Jr. didn’t need any of those things. As soon as he realized the significance that No. 19 had for Jeff Conine, he offered up a swap for free. So beginning Friday, Conine will again wear his familiar 19, while Alomar will assume No. 28.

Conine has had some form of the No. 9 in his uniform throughout his 17-year career. Mostly, it’s been 19, though in Baltimore, he had to settle for No. 18 (one plus eight equals nine).

So when he saw Alomar sporting a No. 19 wrist band — an old band that clubhouse attendants mistakenly put in Alomar’s locker — Conine asked where he got it. That sparked the conversation and the swap.

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Whoops!

Props to sharp-eyed Met fan Chris who not only pointed out Friday night that Met reliever Willie Collazo made his Shea Stadium debut in a jersey that spelled his name incorrectly, but thought to take the accompanying photo of it. The goof — one too many Z’s and one too few L’s — appeared on the snow-white jersey Friday.

No sooner had we inquired as to whether Collazo appeared in a misspelled road jersey in his debut Wednesday in Cincinnati than Lundy came through with the other photo illustrating he hadn’t. How did Collazo turn from Puerto Rican to Italian? We”ll try to investigate. So thanksagain to Chris and Lundy, to whom we all owe a cold frosty Rheingold. You will often find those guys at the Crane Pool.

Other than featuring Collazo’s misspelled jersey — and his second consecutive scoreless relief outing — tonight’s convincing victory over Houston featured the return of rookie outfielder Carlos Gomez 27. The Mets have also reactivated Sandy Alomar Jr., who has continued to dress in No. 19.

Alo-Marred

Just asking, but is Sandy Alomar Sr. the world’s worst third-base coach?

Looks like tonight’s big series in Philly will begin with Paul LoDuca 16 back in action and the Son of the World’s Worst Third-Base Coach designated for assignment. That would free up 19 for Jeff Conine should he want to wear it. Also look for Endy Chavez 10 to return during this series perhaps taking the place of tonight’s pitcher, Brian Lawrence 54. (pure speculation on my part here). Or wishing. Or whatever.

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