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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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For the Record

If recent dispatches from Port St. Ledger are any indication, David Waldstein of the Times seems determined to wrest the title of Uni Number Beatwriter Champion from Marty Noble.

Today he gets Hisanori Takahashi on the record discussing what we'd already reported here -- he's got eyes for the vacant No. 21 jersey, and not the 47 they've outfitted him in already. The other day Waldstein explored whether Jerry Manuel would consider changing his jersey number to 3 so as to mimic the Yankees' Joe Girardi and his pretentious switch from 27 to 28 this spring. As if Joe shouldn't really get to the point and change his jersey number to 208 million.

That piece sparked an even dumber post on the Bats blog where Jim Luttrell tries to zing the Mets by demonstrating he hasn't realized the 21-day disabled list is long since dead and once again raises the issue of retiring Mets jerseys (Harrelson?)



Switzer? I Barely Even Know Her

So the Mets are rattling into MFYankee Stadium with the burden of a few disappointing losses and maybe a bigger loss in the starting rotation. Initally scheduled to pitch the opener tonight, John Maine was pushed back, then removed altogether, going onto the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and the promise that some rest will do him good.

The plan now is to have Livan Hernandez pitch Friday, promising but unproven Fernando Nieve to throw on Saturday, and recalling lefty Jon Switzer to take the place of Maine on the roster. We don't know quite yet what number Switzer turns up in but we'd suggest 47 -- which we gave away earlier this year to a lefty from Buffalo, Casey Fossum (remember him? I think he's actually pitching in the MFYs' system now). Anyway, Switzer's a southpaw with a reputation for being hard on lefties, he may see some action this weekend.

I won't need to remind anyone the Mets are not looking particularly threatening right now but that's just going to make this whupping of the Yankees a little sweeter. Let's Go Mets! Check in when you see what Swtizer's wearing!



The 40-Year-Old Virgin

After Oliver Perez stunk up the joint again and his teammates responded with play every bit as lazy and uninspired, the Mets made reliever Casey Fossum pay. The lefty, whose work week included three mop-up jobs -- two for Perez -- was designated for assigment Sunday with Buffalo lefty Ken Takahashi recalled to take his place.

Takahashi makes an interesting choice. He's a high-kicking, curve-throwing 40-year-old lefthander from Japan's Hiroshima club who reportedly drew free agent interest from several teams this winter (including the Mets) but signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, only to be released as spring training broke and scooped up by the Mets.Though trained as a starter, he's been doing effective short and long relief for the Bisons, and so might come in handy if he's not too worn out by the time Perez' turn in the rotation comes around again. But I dunno. He looks awful slow in the the video here.

No word yet on Takahashi's uniform with the Mets. He's been wearing 33 with Buffalo which belongs here to John Maine and wore 22 with Hiroshima (currently JJ Putz' number). If like me you sense a pattern here, 11 is out (Ramon Castro); 44 is theoretically waiting for Tim Redding, and 55 is on the back of coach Randy Niemann (thanks for the updates below). 66? Doubtful. Maybe he'll turn up in 30 or 36.

Buffalo by the way eventually re-signed Nelson Figueroa, no doubt humbled by the waters he tested.

Takahashi, should he appear, would be the 859th Met of all-time (thanks to MBTN reader Gordon for the below update):


We left off 2008 with 848 - Bobby Parnell
849 would have been Al Reyes but he did not play
2009: 849 - Sean Green 4/6
850 - JJ Putz 4/6
851 - Jeremy Reed 4/6
852 - Francisco Rodriguez 4/6
853 - Alex Cora 4/9
854 - Darren O'Day 4/9
855 - Garry Sheffield 4/9
856 - Livan Hernandez 4/11
857 - Omir Santos 4/17
858 - Casey Fossum 4/21


The Mighty Casey

So, nice effort by Nelson Figueroa today but it didn't amount to much as bad luck and bad timing doomed the Mets offense. And don't let any nimrod tell you a failure to bunt Fernando Tatis had much of anything to do with it (I can't believe those complaining watched even a minute of Met ball this year). I want Tatis smashing balls off the fence, that's what he's there for.

Anyhow, Figueroa is headed back to the minors and in his place will be Casey Fossum, a lefthander off to a good start in Buffalo, who will provide bullpen depth until Mike Pelfrey's next turn or we learn the fate of Darren O'Day.

Fossom, should he maintain his digits from spring trianing will be the first Met to wear No. 47 since Tom Glavine walked off the mound having kicked the final grains dirt onto the 2007 Mets' grave. How not devastating.


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).


Meet More Mets

Omar Minaya returned from the Winter Meetings with a new catcher, Paul LoDuca, acquired from the Marlins at full retail -- pitching prospect Gaby Hernandez, and minor-league outfielder Dante Brinkley. LoDuca is likely to dress in his familiar No. 16, vacated by 2004's disappointing first-base experiment, Doug Mientkiewicz.

In other moves, the Mets made official minor-league contracts and spring training invites for lefty Matt Perisho, formerly of the Marlins and Jose Valentin, the former Brewer and White Sock infielder most recently with the Dodgers. Valentin has worn No. 22 most often in his career, but was 10 last year. Both are theoretically available as both Royce Ring 22 and Shingo Takatsu 10 have been booted from the 40-man roster.

Finally, the Mets bolstered the bench by handing an astonishing two-year contract to elderly pinch-hitter Julio Franco, who is so old they need two baseball cards just list his stats. Should Franco survive until opening day, at 47 he'd become the oldest Met ever (Warren Spahn in 1965 held the old record, followed closely by John Franco, who were both 44). Julio-down-by-the-boneyard has played for 7 MLB teams (one twice) and in Mexico and Japan in a variety of uniforms. Over the last five years with the hated Braves, he wore No. 14, not available here. We'd suggest 47, but that belongs to Tom Glavine. (We're joking with all the old-guy cracks, by the way, and know we'll be sick of them before long. As long as he can still hit, we're happy to have him aboard!)


So Long Super Joe

Joe McEwing was the kinda guy who wore a number to honor a teammate then gave it up to accomodate another. Super, whose run at becoming the 25th man on the roster for the sixth straight year ended today at thirtysomething, wore 47 as a tribute to former St. Louis teammate John Mabry than selflessly cast it aside for No. 11 when Tom Glavine arrived.

Joe did it all: He played adequately everywhere he was asked to, got a big hit now and again, drove the fork lift to deliver supplies to 9-11 victims and earned a spot alongside Rod Kanehl, Bob Bailor, Matt Franco and Jeff McKnight on the Mets All-Time Versatile Scrub team. His departure also breaks the oldest Trade Chain in Met history, dating back to All-Versatile predecessor Kevin Mitchell in 1984. Thanks Joe!

We at MBTN also want to wish Steve Trachsel 29 a speedy recovery. Honestly, we've come to admire his boring effectiveness and unspectacular reliability.

February-March 2004

Battles Continue (March 30): With exactly one week left before the starting gun fires, the Met pitching staff is still under construction. Another subpar outing this afternoon by Jae Seo 38 could give additional hope to one or more of Grant Roberts 36; Aaron Heilman 48; Scott Erickson 89 and Tyler Yates 33. In the bullpen, Orber Moreno 49 and Dan Wheeler 39 are looking to secure jobs.The lineup looks complete unless (or until) the starting infielders cease getting hurt.

More from St. Lucie (Feb. 29): New pitching coach Rick Peterson has been spied wearing No. 51 and Shane Spencer in 43. Among those wearing a different number than their previous appearances in a Met uniform: Pat Strange in 34 and Jeff Duncan in 10.

April 2003

Ouch (April 30): The Mets ended a dreadful April with a roster move: The role of late-inning beatdown victim goes to Jason Middlebrook 27 rather than Jaime Cerda 43.

Pain and Suffering (April 24): Two of the few things that went right for the Mets early this season joined all the others on Tuesday when ancient starter David Cone 16 and revived right fielder Jeromy Burnitz 20 fininished a depressing 6-2 loss to Houston on the disabled list. Cone should ... uh, could be gone forever; Burnitz will miss up to 6 weeks with a hand broken by a wild Billy Wagner fastball. In their place, the Mets recalled outfielder Raul Gonzalez 21, utilityman Joe McEwing 11 and pitcher Pat Strange 38. Strange was sent back to Norfolk after Wednesday's win so the Mets could re-able Pedro Astacio 34, who is scheduled to start today.

January 2003

Relief from Down Under: (Jan. 25) The Mets offseason quest for Yankee rejects continued Friday when they signed giraffish Australian lefthanded reliever Graeme Lloyd to a minor league contract with a spring training invite. Lloyd wore No. 27 with the Yankees and 47 more recently with the Expos and Marlins. The latter figure has already been issued to new enemy arrival Tom Glavine; the former to another might-be Met, Jason Middlebrook.

Shinjo's Back: (Jan. 12) The Mets on Saturday reached a one-year contract with charismatic former outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Here's hoping that Shinjo, who wore gigantic orange wristbands and the No. 5 jersey with the Mets in 2001, can provide the solid outfield glove, bench depth and general likeability the Mets have lacked ever since they shipped him off to San Francisco last offseason.

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