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What Number Should They Issue to 'Fartinez'?
Total votes: 17



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Mets by the Numbers

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As You Were

The photo above of the Bobbsey Twins (Bob "Righty" Miller and Bob "Lefty" Miller) comes from our friend Paul, who noted it was a wire photo dated May 8, 1962.The Mets were at Wrigley Field that day, as the scoreboard in the background should give away, and we won -- a momentus occasion indeed.

One interesting fact that photo unfortunately doesn't show is that on that day, the uniform Lefty Miller is wearing was No. 23 -- and not the No.36 he'd be dressed in once he appeared in a Mets game. That's because although Lefty Miller was obviously with the club -- he'd only just been traded for two days before, from the Reds for Don Zimmer -- by the time the Mets returned from this roadtrip Miller was assigned to the minors and Joe Christopher called up: He'd be wearing No. 23 when Miller returned.

The other gentleman in the photo -- like the newest Met, Gary Matthews Jr. -- is notable for having been one of 35 men who've played for the Mets, then someone else, then the Mets again. Few have made their second go-round significantly better than their first, but Bob Miller did, and we may as well hope Matthews can. Behold the list:

Player                                    1st Tour                2nd Tour                Number(s)
Frank Lary                             1964                      1965                      17
Al Jackson                             1962-65                 1968-69                 15/38
Jim Gosger                             1969                      1973-74                 18/19, 5
Bob L. Miller                         1962                      1973-74                 24/30
Ray Sadecki                          1970-74                 1977                      33
Tim Foli                                  1970-71                 1978-79                 19
Mike Jorgensen                      1970-71                 1980-83                 16/22
Dave Kingman                       1975-77                 1981-83                 26
Rusty Staub                           1972-75                 1981-85                 4, 10/10
Tom Seaver                           1967-77                 1983                      41
Bill Almon                              1980                      1987                      25/2
Lee Mazzilli                            1976-81                 1986-89                 12, 16/13
Clint Hurdle                           1983, 1985             1987                      33/13/7
Alex Trevino                          1978-81                 1990                      29/6
Hubie Brooks                        1980-84                 1991                      62, 39, 7/7
Jeff McKnight                        1989                      1992-94                 15/5, 7, 17, 18
Kevin McReynolds                  1987-91                 1994                      22
Greg McMichael                    1997-98                 1998-99                 36
Bobby Bonilla                        1992-95                 1999                      25
Josias Manzanillo                   1993-95                 1999                      39
Jeff Tam                                 1998                      1999                      38, 36/36
Bill Pulsipher                          1995, 1998             2000                      21/25
Lenny Harris                          1998                      2000-01                 19
Pete Walker                           1995                      2001-02                 49/43
Roger Cedeno                       1999                      2002-03                 19
Jeromy Burnitz                       1993-94                 2002-03                 5/20
Tsuyoshi Shinjo                      2001                      2003                      5
David Cone                           1987-92                 2003                      44, 17/16
Todd Zeile                             2000-01                 2004                      9/27
Roberto Hernandez                2005                      2006                      39/49, 39
Kelly Stinnett                         1994-95                 2006                      33/36
Marlon Anderson                   2005                      2007                      18/23
Brady Clark                           2002                      2008                      15/44
Anderson Hernandez              2005-07                2009                      1, 4/11 


Coste-Benefit Analysis

Ouch. The Mets officially got their off-season work underway this week by re-signing veteran Alex Cora and giving free agent catcher Chris Coste a split contract and a shot at the 2010 Mets. In the meantime they saw their own catcher, Brian Schneider, sign with the Phillies, accepting the backup job he probably should have had here all this time.

Cora, it is to be assumed, will step right back into the same No. 3 jersey he wore last season, when unexpected and especially slow-healing injuries to starting shortstop Jose Reyes thrust Cora into a full-time role he was never physically up to. Playing with one and then two sprained thumbs was admirable and gritty, but it didn't do much to help the Mets win, which raises the question why the Mets would expect a different outcome should Reyes get hurt again. Is he even healed yet? Who knows.

The Schneid and Cute Wifey Jordan in better times.Looks doubtful from here that Coste comes out of his Mets experience with fodder for another inspiring true-life bestseller, but with a decent right-handed bat and some experience playing first base, it's not out of the realm of possiblity he helps some in 2010. At worst he could be the 2010 Robinson Cancel; much may depend on who winds up with the starting assignment behind the dish: Henry Blanco? Bengie Molina? I'd prefer a trade.

Coste wore 27 with the Phillies (and 41 more recently in Houston) but with Schneider shedding 23, he might slide in there. I've always felt Schneider never got enough credit for playing as poorly as he did for the Mets -- his defense was less than advertised and his bat was nonexistent but for stretches of both his years here -- but news accompanying his signing with the Phillies that he grew up a Phillies fan I'm sure will bring the boo-birds out upon his next visit to CitiField.

150 Days, But Who's Counting

Baseball is a very humbling game. Just saying, Joe. And you don't ask Shelly Duncan for his number, you take it while he's drunk.

With the offseason officially underway and the countdown to April 5 already begun, two future ex-Mets already filed for free agency and as far as I'm concerned can beat it. See you later, Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider.

Delgado is obviously a terrific talent and really made the difference in 2006 but like way too many Omarian acquisitions his best days were behind him and he spent entirely too much time nursing injuries and maybe a few grudges as a Met. He made pretty clear in 2005 he didn't care to be here anyway. Schneider in the meantime might be one of the most overlooked busts the Mets have ever had. In any other year, his 2009 stinking-up-of-the-joint would make him the target of vicious fan abuse and a major concern in the offense. But amid all the other bad news and bad players, he just about got away with it. Schneider's 2008 was pretty rotten as well.

We'll see what the Mets have in mind regarding the potential replacements for these guys, but I wouldn't kill them for looking into what it might take to pry catcher Chris Iannetta from the Rockies. I tend to think the Mets might be best off holding their noses and getting Daniel Murphy a right-handed hitting platoonmate at first base while waiting to mix in promising prospect Ike Davis at first base. Garrett Atkins? Xavier Nady? Let's think on it.



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 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.


23 Skidoo

I was just about to write a message expressing the desire to see a jersey reveal photo-op when I came across this here photo of new Mets catcher Brian Schneider, his cuteypie wife Jordan, and the No. 23 jersey he may wear next season.

As related by Larry in the comments secition of the Matt Wise post below, issuing 23 to Schneider leaves Marlon Anderson in temporary digital limbo: The 18 he wore in his first Met go-round blongs to Moises Alou, and the 8 he wore most frequently (though never exclusively) in his career is itself in mothballs for Gary Carter. (The New York Post, you may recall, reported the Mets had designs to retire the number back in 2006 but never got around to it).

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.

Anderson, Beltran, Newhan & McKnight

Forgive me but it was hard to notice until last night that Carlos Beltran 15 was back. He was of course; he returned from the disabled list on Friday, while Marlon Anderson 23 hit the bereavement list. Last night, Anderson was back and David Newhan 17 was again sent to the minors top make room.

Mike DiFelice by now is getting all the playing time you’d think he wouldn’t and so firmly established as the 22nd official member of the Sons of Jeff McKnight, or the three-number club:

Jeff McKnight 5, 7, 15, 17, 18

Kevin Collins 1, 10, 16, 19

Ed Lynch 34, 35, 36, 59

Darrel Sutherland 43, 45, 47

Cleon Jones 34, 12, 21

John Stephenson 12, 19, 49

Jim Hickman 6, 9, 27

Mike Jorgensen 10, 16, 22 (thanks, Chris)

Hank Webb 22, 29, 30

Hubie Brooks 62, 39, 7

Clint Hurdle 7, 13, 33

Chuck Carr 1, 7, 21

Kevin Elster 2, 15, 21

Charlie O’Brien 5, 22, 33

Ron Darling 12, 15, 44

Jason Phillips 7, 23, 26

David Cone 16, 17, 44

Jae Seo 40, 38, 26

Roger Craig 13, 36, 38

Lee Mazzilli 12, 16, 13

Pedro Feliciano 55, 39, 25

Mike DiFelice 33, 6, 9

Someone Must Pay

Back in the 80s, when comedy was funny, the National Lampoon ran a recurring comic called Mr. Vengeance, written and illustrated by Buddy Hickerson, who today illustrates The Quigmans. This comic typically illustrated the title character suffering some minor misfortune in the opening panel, and devoted the rest of the comic to his hilarously violent overreactions to it, i.e.: “Sure enough, there is a blemish on his wax job. He decides to get EVEN!!” This comic was genius in that it made the same joke over and over again — varying only over the question of how mundane the slight, and how creatively violent the reaction, would be each episode. Mr. Vengeance would torture not only those “responsible” for his pain but, feeling rightous, anyone who’d done anything wrong. “Someone MUST pay,” was his credo.

I’m reminded of Mr. Vengeance today — and incredibly frustrated that I cannot locate a comic online* (”someone WILL pay!”) — as Marlon Anderson returns to the Mets tonight to debut against the club that recently released him, the Dodgers. May Marlon find rightousness in his revenge. May David Newhan take it out on AAA pitching: He’s the one DFAed to make room for Anderson. And may his remaining Met teammates take out their frustrations from the recently completed Padres series on the Dodgers.

That was NOT a nice way to lose a series and whatever momentum Tuesday’s win might have provided. And, really, shouldn’t be enough that Heath Bell has a good season in an important role with his new team? Is it necessary that he chase down anyone with a rolling tape recorder to detail all manner of abuses and excuses stemming from his time at Shea? To kick us when we’re down? Who does he think he is, Mr. Vengenance? To paraphrase another National Lampoon product of my childhood. “He can’t say that about us. Only WE can say those things about us!”

Well, as far I’m concerned the time has come to get mad. To take some revenge, even if it’s not on Heath Bell. To get EVEN!

It’s not clear what number Anderson will appear in tonight. Despite the ruminations below, one commenter thinks 23 is likely because 8 is still in mothballs, and it may very well be. Anderson wore 21 with the Dodgers earlier this year (not available here). Twenty-three happens to be available due to the relase of Julio Franco. Yesterday, he since signed with the Braves where he’s doubt planning some revenge.

*-Ironically the best I could do is find a site where a former collaborator of Hickerson’s takes his own revenge. If you can point out Mr. Vengeance online, or send a copy of a scanned comic here, I promise to leave you out of my next rampage.


Franco Released

The expected recall of Lastings Milledge for tonight’s second half opener accompanied the unexpected release of Julio Franco 23, the Mets’ elderly pinch hitter. It’s not like Franco had earned his slot this season, it’s just that, as with the pending Henderson story, the Mets tend to have more tolerance for struggles with track-record holding veterans and figureheads as they’ve shown recently. I guess this is life in the Omar Era. Milledge by the way returned wearing No. 44 and in possession of the same nice swing he first impressed with a year ago during Spring Training. This phrase has been uttered an aweful lot this season but perhaps that’s just the spark we need.

Speaking of sparks, Jose Valentin 22 was wearing a cast on his pinky and couldn’t play tonight, allowing Ruben Gotay 6 to further his case as the best option at the keystone. Mets officials say the injury came as the result of intervening in “an altercation” while The Internet appears to believe he broke it in a punching a wall. Let’s call it a Wall-tercation and perhaps, a karmic comeuppance for Valentin who a year ago was the guy the stealing the starting second base job from an underperforming and injured incumbent.

January 2006

Benson Burners and Other Updates (Jan. 24, 2006): The Mets made a curious trade Jan. 21, sending Kris Benson 34 and his mouthy wife to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for reliever Jorge Julio and pitching prospect John (Lobster) Maine. Whether this move portends a trade for Barry Zito or simply shifts the overpopulation problem from the starting rotation to the bullpen remains to be seen. Julio wore No. 50 last year with the Orioles while Maine in his brief appearances wore 61.

On Jan. 18, the Mets signed former Ham Fighter and Tokyo Giant Yusaku Iriki (You're So Fine), who looks to compete for the longman job. Iriki wore No. 49 with the Ham Fighters and No. 20 with the Giants, research shows.

We overlooked the late December addition of lefty sidearmer Mike Venafro. He has a minor league contract and spring training invite.

Photos from the Mets Caravan revealed players in new unis including Julio Franco in 23, Paul LoDuca in 16 and Jose Valentin in 18. Newly arrived reliever Jorge Julio was wearing a jersey with no number on it. MBTN reader Rich reports: Chad Bradford appeared in No. 35, Duaner Sanchez in 40, and is selling Bret Boone jerseys bearing No. 9.

Additional photos show Xavier Nady wearing No. 10 and Steve Schmoll in the dreaded No. 46.

New Year Updates (Jan. 4, 2006): Met fans were wondering again today whether Omar Minaya can be trusted at a swap meet, giving up underappreciated starter Jae Seo 26, along with lefty reliever Tim Hamulack 46, in a trade for goggle-wearing Duaner Sanchez and his sidearm-throwing teammate, Steve Schmoll, both righthanded relievers for the Dodgers. We wish the best of luck to Seo, whose frequent bobs between New York and Norfolk resulted in three uniform numbers (he also wore 38 and 40). In case you're also wondering, Sanchez wore No. 50 and Schmoll No. 40 in Chavez Latrine last season.

The Mets also invited veteran second baseman Bret Boone to camp with a minor league deal. Boone was released twice last year but according to Omar "knows how to win," and will challenge incumbent Kaz Matsui for a job. Boone most often has worn No. 29.

Catching up with more winter moves, the Mets on Dec. 28 agreed to a one-year deal for freaky underhanded relief pitcher Chad Bradford, a hero of Moneyball and most recently, a patient with the Red Sox team doctors. He wore No. 53 for both teams.

On Dec. 23, former Met outfield prospect Endy Chavez was signed to a one-year deal. Chavez wore No. 19 with Expo-Nationals and 47 when he was traded to Philadelphia late last year.

The Mets also released maddening lefthander Kaz Ishii 23, and invited journeymen Darren Oliver, Jose Parra and Pedro Feliciano to camp. We last saw Parra and Feliciano in Met uniforms 46 and 55, respectively, in 2004 (unless we vacationed in Japan in 2005).

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