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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

35

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The Mets are hitting the leftovers like the day after Thanksgiving. Only hours after posting the numerical roster below, one number, 35, came available again when the Mets claimed outfielder Jason Pridie from Minnesota with a waiver claim and designated pitcher Jack Egbert for assignment. Egbert joined the Mets roster late last season when they claimed him off waivers from the White Sox, fulfilling the destiny of all baseball players on the downside of their careers from the tri-state area.

Anyway, Pridie, a potential challenger for innings in center field, is in and not yet assigned a number.

The Mets were hardly done, it turned out, signing former Met Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal and a chance to pressure incumbent Daniel Murphy at first base. There's been some speculation that Jacobs would take his old No. 27 and leave Nelson Figueroa to search for a new uni, but I doubt that comes to pass. Jacobs hasn't really earned any equity in 27 and I think he's a longshot to be anything more than a Buffalo Soldier this year, as attractive as ability to punish mistakes by righthanded pitchers is. He could really help his cause by taking up catching again, though. My guess is he takes Egbert's 35.

Also new to the NRIs is Tokyo Giants lefty Hisanori Takahashi (no relation to Ken as far as I know). This Takahashi could land in the vacant No. 21, that was his jersey back East. Ex-Rays catcher Shawn Riggans, like Jacobs a shaky defensive player with power, accepted an invite and looks to me destined for 73 or 76.

The Garment District

Or, 35 and Broadway: That's the uni Lance Broadway turned up in yesterday, in his first appearance with the Mets since being acquired from the White Sox earlier this year for Ramon Castro. Broadway arrived when the Mets noticed something was wrong with Oliver Perez. Broadway is the first Met to suit up in 35 since Bazooka Joe Smith last season.

 

Renumeration

Thanks to reader Glenn who below pointed out Ben Shpigel’s entertaining blog post detailing the news that Bazooka Joe Smith will dress in uni No. 35 and Aaron Sele is also changing — to No. 30 36. ) 30 (I was right all along). The comments illustrate some of the politics of number selections: Rookie Smith is resigned to wear what is offered him; Sele can not only choose his jersey, but (jokingly) request re-numeration for that which he leaves behind.

A poor spring sparked not by iffy pitching but by a continuation of the paltry offense the Mets showed last September and October frankly has me more worried than usual about the new year but opening night isn’t a time to fret. Let’s Go Mets!

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Updates (Frisella in 29)

Many thanks to Bob F for the scorecard scan (pictured at right) confirming Dan Frisella wearing No. 29 during his brief stay with the 1969 Mets. A few minor errors have in the meantime been corrected on the roster page: Sherman "Roadblock" Jones' one appearance in No. 28; Kevin Michell's few weeks as No. 35, to name a few -- thanks as always, Jason.

Xavier Nady 22 returned from the disabled list on June 18, and Cliff Floyd 30 went onto it, retroactive until June 7 with an ankle sprain. Floyd returned on June 30 as Lastings Milledge 44 returned to Norfolk. These moves came in the midst of a calamitous roadtrip that proved to chew up and ultimately spit out chubby Met hurlers Alay Soler 59 and Heath Bell 19. Soler was replaced July 3 by John Maine 33 -- the next day, Bell was cashiered to Norfolk in exchange for designated clown Jose Lima 17. Seeing as Pedro Martinez 45 is most likely vacationing through the All-Star Break it's likely this week's stretch of games leading to the break could feature Lima... or perhaps, studly young draftee Mike Pelfrey.

March 2006

Up the Bannister (March 29): So the Mets yesterday interestingly if somewhat cruelly relegated Aaron Heilman to the bullpen and hope to make a 5th starter out of rookie Brian Bannister. The debate this raises, of course, is whether Bannister ought to also be afforded a dignified uniform number signifying his ascension. Bannister is wearing No. 61 currently. There are historical precedents for any outcome: When Dwight Gooden earned a roster spot in 1984, he went from 64 to 16; but when Eric Valent unexpectedly made the 2004 Mets, he kept his St. Lucified 57.

Should Bannister wish to pay tribute to his dad Floyd, a cursory check through the baseball cards reveals he wore Nos. 19 and 38 in his career: Neither is available except in the case Heath Bell fails to make the roster or is traded -- both possibilities we've read in the last week. Perhaps too, numbers don't matter particularly to Bannister: It appears he wore 25 in Binghamton and 43 at Norfolk; 17 with Team USA and oddly, 3 at USC.

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 Mets.com 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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Mientkiewicz to DL; Jose Offerman Arrives

When Doug Mientkiewicz' attempt to revive his season was interrupted Saturday by a hamstring tear, the Mets fished the Norfolk waters and reeled in fossilized utilityman Jose Offerman. Offernman, just .167 in 36 turns at bat for the Tides, suited up Sunday night in No. 35, recently cashiered by Mike DeJean. Truth be told, the elderly switch-hitting Offerman wasn't that bad as a pinch-hitter for the Twins last year.

De Iceman Cometh; DeJean Goeth

Still smarting form an embarrassing whupping out West, the puzzling Mets announced a series of roster moves Monday. As brittle second baseman Kaz Matsui 25 hit the disabled list for the 15th time, the Mets promoted Gerald Williams, the elderly outfielder from Norfolk. And while oddball lefty Dae Sung Koo 17 was recalled from the disabled list, Mike DeJean 35 was DeSignated For Assignment, ultimately failing to make a Met career any more distinguished than that of the man he was acquired for, Karim Garcia. Williams, by the way, toiled for the Mets last season wearing Nos. 6 and 21. So much for The New Mets...

February 2005

Willie and the Boz (Feb. 26): Willie Randolph, as quoted by Bill Madden in the Daily News: "I'm gonna wear No. 12. Why? You remember Ken Boswell? Second baseman on the '69 team? He was my favorite player growing up. No. 12. It's a nice number."

We remember Ken Boswell too, and even if his sideburns might not fly in Willie's clubhouse, it speaks well of the new Met manager that he has a sense of his place in history. This is probably a natural result of the era we grew up, but 12 has always seemed more Boswellian to us than Kent-like or Alomarish. And as glorified ticket salesman Darryl Strawberry makes a grand reappearance at Shea this weekend, may it serve as a reminder of this team's horribly miscast former manager, who wore No. 18 but was no George Theodore either.

We found Madden's piece, by the way, from a link at the extraordinary new blog co-authored by veteran MBTN reader Greg -- highly recommended for fans of good writing and historical Metdom.

December 2004

You're Invited (Dec. 24): The Mets yesterday announced that nine players had been signed to minor league contracts and been invited to Spring Training. They include ancient slugger Andres Galarraga, who will turn 44 this summer -- younger than The Francos at least (thanks Paul). It's possible that the Big Cat makes the team, perhaps as the righthanded swinging half of a first base platoon, but he won't be wearing his familiar No. 14 here. That's retired.

Rehabbing Met bullpen veterans Grant Roberts 36 (photo at right by David Whitham); Scott Strickland 28 and Orber Moreno 49 were also retained with minor league contracts, as was outfielder Gerald Williams 21. Bringing back Williams would seem more pointless than usual, but for the news that Mike Cameron 44 is having surgery and will likely miss the first month of the year.

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