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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

46

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Good Golly, it's Ollie

Now that it looks as if injuries and an underperforming second defense will be the things that kill this Mets team dead, here comes Oliver Perez.

The enigmatic lefty rejoins the rotation tonight against the Dodgers -- I'll be watching up in Section 521 if you want to say hi or commiserate. To make room the Mets returned Argenis Reyes back to where he belongs in Buffalo. His legacy as a No. 11 may be a pointless turn as a leadoff hitter that hastened the Mets' demise and eroded even more of my confidence in Jerry Manuel, who I liked a lot only a few months ago.

Seems that Manuel has become trapped in a device of his own making. While his team was at full strength he opted to play passively so as to build for a second half, only to find that second half just may arrive without the horses. If this team is teaching us anything perhaps it's to consider the possibily of disaster down the road before one pinch-hits one catcher for another with the winning run on base, or employs character-building but ultimately foolish strategies like sacrifice bunts as often as Jerry did early this year.

That, and, you know, the value of catching the ball when it's hit to you.

* * *

With that out of the way, who wants to get together and watch more of this team?

Last month's Metstock gathering at Two Boots Tavern was a great success with a roomful of Met fans meeting, greeting and eating while hearing readings from three Mets-related books including mine. Owner Phil Hartman was so jazzed about its success he's asked Greg Prince and myself to organize similar monthly gatherings featuring literary readings, game-watching, consciousness raising, pizza eating, Rheingold drinking, cocktail shaking, Yankee baiting, memorabilia gawking and seven steps support as needed.

The first such "Amazin Tuesday" is scheduled for July 21 at 7 p.m. and will feature guests including Paul Lukas, ESPN columnist, Met fan and creator of the incomparable "Uni Watch" and author Mathew Silverman, who co-authored MBTN and more recently, Shea Goodbye with Keith Hernandez.

Two Boots is located at 384 Grand Street on the Lower East Side. Any more questions, just ask -- hope to see you there!

Where is That Bloody Oasis

New year and still no sign of what digits our newly arriving Mets will alight in.

A few years back you could at least count on the annual Mets Caravan providing revealing if ultimately inaccurate glimpses of the team wearing their unis for the first time. Perhaps the crumbling economy will again make this a necessary rite of winter but we could be looking at Spring Training before we know what we'll be getting. The "official" Mets roster at mlb.com doesn't even list an assignment for JJ Putz.

Of course, it's also January already and a lack of clearly identifying players goes well beyond the jersey stage for the Mets. As I've said before, I'd sure prefer they'd make a deal with Oliver Perez over Derek Lowe. Not that the latter is so bad and the former so great, but that devil-you-know thing. I also wonder what it says about Lowe that neither Los Angeles nor Boston are in on this bidding. At any rate the Mets do seem to be reassuringly cognizant of their penchant to give away too many years per contract, so I guess we gotta be patient.

Also allegedly coming in February: MBTN.net's 10th Anniversary Spectacular. In the meantime, do your duty as an American and vote for my friend and neighbor, MetsGrrrl, in this contest.

Perez, Sosa Return

Met pitchers Oliver Perez 46 and Jorge Sosa 29, return from respective stints on the disabled list Sunday and Monday.

Perez, who looked serviceable in Sunday’s win over the Reds, took the place of Dave Williams 32, whose lone start in Perez’ place didn’t. Williams was designated for assignment and could wind up someone else’s property. Mike Pelfrey 34 was sent back to AAA New Orleans as Sosa is activated for Monday’s game in San Diego. Pelfrey had a short tryout in the bullpen last week but stands to get more regular work in the minors. Nice if he’d get a win.

Let's Take a Break

The Mets as expected activated Dave Williams 32 prior to Sunday’s getaway in Houston and the Astros summarily beat him silly. The question as to who would be demoted to make room was answered when Ricky Ledee 9 was optioned to AAA.

The 8-3 loss sent the Mets limping into the break still in first place, but hardly looking like a championship team. While injuries have been a part of the struggle, it’s the performance of the guys out there everyday — particularly the right side of the infield — that’s really been a drag. That and the fact that some Mets just seem … unhappy. There’s Reyes sulking after bouncing out and and failing to run out grounders. There’s Heilman and his hangdog expression. LoDuca blowing up at umpires and/or the press. Wagner flattening a teammate with a comment in the papers.

Doing 90

Thanks to reader effort we’re relatively sure catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. is wearing No. 90 which we also think may be the highest number in camp this spring. Nice job by the Mets to dress longshot catching invitee Jose Reyes in No. 77, which not only recalls his famous namesake but indicates he’s roughly twice his size. In a new number this spring is Steve Schmoll, submarining in the No. 38 jersey belonging most recently to Victor Zambrano. Schmoll last year attended camp wearing 46.


Zambrano, by the way, is non-rostering it with the Blue Jays wearing No. 31. Steve Trachsel of the Orioles is wearing No. 18. And in an arrangement we won’t believe till we see, Cliff Floyd wears No. 15 for the Cubs (And Ted Lilly gets 30. Really, now).

Never Before Has a Boy Wanted More

As expected, the Mets swapped Norfolk pitchers Brian Bannister and Oliver Perez as part of the makeshift weekend rotation against the Phillies. Perez is on the mound tonight in No. 46, which places him in the company of such luminaries as  Williie Blair, Terry Bross and Jeremy Griffiths.  We've got hopes however he once again becomes the kind of guy you'd trade Scott Kazmir for.

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).

Tags:

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.

July 2004

Mets Acquire Fregosi for Ryan (July 30): OK, maybe it's not that bad. Maybe it is! The Mets tonight pulled a series of staggering moves, gutting the farm system in exchange for two pitchers who probably won't provide the pennant the Wilpons are so hungry for but at best add stability to an aging rotation. Dealing pesos on the dollar, the Mets sent AAA catcher Justin Huber to Kansas City for third base prospect Jose Bautista, then packaged Bautista, jobless infielder Ty Wigginton, and promising righty Matt Peterson to Pittsburgh for Kris Benson, the free-agent to be, and minor-league infielder Jeff Keppinger.

Moments later we learned they'd also paid through the nose for erratic, possibly injured Devil Ray righty Victor Zambrano. All they coughed up in this deal was studly prospect Scott Kazmir and, just for the hell of it, intriguing longshot pitching prospect Joselo Diaz. Along with Zambrano came a cup-of-coffee reliever called Bartolome Fortunato, who was assigned to Norfolk.

June 2004

Comings and Goings (June 26): Onto the disabled list: Karim Garcia 20. Off it: Orber Moreno 49. Designated for assignment: Ice Williams 21. Rescued from oblivion: Tom Wilson 6.

Welcome Home (June 20): Jose Reyes finally returned to the Mets. To make room for him the team designated catcher Tom Wilson for assignment, leaving the team temporarily with two catchers and six outfielders and importantly, freeing up uniform No. 6 for another issue. Reyes looked great in 7, hustling in one run and tripling to set up the gamewinner.

In another move the Mets once again sent Pedro Feliciano 55 back to Norfolk before seeing any action in New York. That Feliciano's replacement, Jose Parra, saw action in his first opportunity probably didn't make the return trip any sweeter for Pedro. Parra, a veteran righthanded reliever who was closing in Norfolk, suited up in the dreaded No. 46.

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