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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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Great. Who'd We Get?

That's my question upon learning the Mets sucessufully vomited Billy Wagner onto the Red Sox like he was a lead in a 2006 NLCS game. Bye bye Billy.

Wagner's spot on the roster will be filled by Pat Misch, up for the second time in the last few days. Misch was initially brought up when the Mets designated Andy Green for assignment, then demoted the next day when Ken Takahashi returned.

Meantime, you may have heard that Johan Santana joined the DL and will return in the spring. Presumably. He's been replaced by Nick Evans. Just as earlier this year, in case you forgot: Misch is wearing 48; Takahashi is in 36 and Evans in the immortal No. 6.

 I'd say more but I'm taking the week off!

Swing and a Misch

Just like me to predict the Mets are poised to make a run as they approach new lows. Following a rain-soaked, dreary series with the Rays at home, the Mets on Monday placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day DL with knee trouble and moved to patch a beleaguered with a series of moves.

Fernando Martinez was recalled to take Beltran's spot and was reacquainted with the No. 26 jersey he wore when he was sent down to Buffalo last week. In the meantime pitcher Ken Takahashi was outrighted to Buffalo and and infielder Wilson Valdez was designated for assignment as Elmer Dessens and Pat Misch werecalled to the big club for the first time.

Dessens, a veteran starter, had been closing games for Buffalo with some success. Misch is a lefty who struggled in a few tryouts with the Giants when the Mets swiped him on a waiver claim earlier this month (he's struggled in Buffalo too).

We spied Misch tonight in No. 48 but are still looking for Dessens to appear (he's worn 45 and 71 before and rocked 64 in spring training with the Mets.) Let us know when you know...


Fernandomania (updated)

Today the Mets recalled Fernando Nieve from AAA Buffalo to take the place of JJ Putz who finally stopped pretending there wasn't something wrong with his arm. Nieve has reportedly been assigned No. 38. Nieve wore No. 50 in spring training, but that number went to Sean Green once Green decided he was unworthy of comparisons to Aaron Heilman (how right he was) and swapped in No. 48.

Not to say I told you so but we smelled trouble long before this Putz-Green-Heilman deal ever got done inasmuch as "addition by subtraction" is a concept that works great in opinion columns and talk radio but rarely on the baseball field. I'm not saying that time hadn't come to swap away Heilman (not to mention Endy Chavez, Joe Smith, Jason Vargas, Makiel Cleto,and Mike Carp) but seeing as we're looking at a $9 million fat guy having elbow surgery, a righty specialist who's already lost his job, and a reserve outfielder, this whole deal is looking pretty much like "subtraction by subtraction" so far.

Nieve by the way will be the third Fernando in uniform for the Mets, which has to be some kind of record.

Nightmares of John Thomson

Let me start by saying Sean Green is welcome to request any number he desires and for any reason he wants.So if he prefers 50 to 48, then fine. But, couldn't he do it in a way that wasn't unkind to a guy whose career to this point he ought to be aspiring to and not passively disrespecting? I mean, come on, Sean. Make up a story about your Mom's birthday or something. No need to pile on poor Aaron Heilman. He's suffered enough. (He's pitching for the Cubs as a I write this -- wearing No. 47 in the 8th inning of a tie game at Houston).




And if you really wanted to disassociate yourself from a recent disappointing Mets reliever, could you do any worse than selecting the number worn last by Duaner Sanchez? The guy whose brilliant half-season ended in a mysterious car accident, and who then showed up out-of-shape for camp, and who was nowhere to be found in the hour of the Mets' greatest need last season?

But I'm not here to bury Sanchez either. I wish him well in San Diego, -- he made the team -- and is still wearing No. 50. I'll admit I chucked when I saw Scott Schoeneweis in his first appearance for the D-Backs yesterday surrendered a home run, but I'm not going to boo the next guy who wears No. 60 for the Mets. What's the use?


Green Blues

This morning's Daily News reports that Sean Green -- the reliever acquired in the Heilman/Chavez-Putz deal and assigned the same No. 48 previously issued to Aaron Heilman -- has requested a new uniform before opening day .

Green, according to the article requested the change fearing fans will associate the number with Heilman and presumably, exhibit the same appalling lack of support and sportsmanship they showed Heilman last year when he struggled. Beside the fact that the Met fan behavior has devolved to a point where that scenario is entirely possible, it sure is ironic that the same fans will likely applaud this act of cowardice from their newest reliever. They are also no doubt the same fans demanding the Mets take numbers out of circulation for accomplished players as well.

To be fair to Green, his number in Seattle, 54, was already occupied by coach Dave Racianello when he arrived, though it's not as if he possessed the brand equity to dictate that stuff to his new club either.

Anyhow, with the roster now set barring injury, etc., the following numbers appear to be available should Green want one of them: 10, 12, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 35, 38, 45, 47, 49 and 50. Many of those numbers would be reserved for those assigned to the minor leagues, so the likely candidates, in my estimation, would be 30 (vacated by Rocky Cherry) or 38 (formerly Tom Martin). Those numbers have cooties too, Green.

We'll stay on top of this developing story, you can be sure.

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.

Rough Start

Well, the Willie Randolph Era is off to a rotten start with enough caught stealings, caught lookings, walk-offings, bad-callings, grand-slammings, double-plays and double-switch debacles to last a while already. To that we add an emergency start Saturday by Aaron Heilman 48, back from Norfolk much sooner than expected given Mike Cameron's rush to return from an injury and subsequent retroactive DLing.

September 2004

Front-office Shenanigans (Sept. 30) With the idea in mind that front-office bigwigs ultimately affect the unimportant stuff that eventually gets reported and published here, MBTN would like to take the opportunity to go blog on you and comment regarding this afternoon's bizzarre transfer of power in Metland.

We predict it will become clear that what emerged today was the Wilpons' lack of trust in castrated former head honcho Jim Duquette, who like Art Howe (below) is absorbing some punishment for circumstances beyond his control. While we think it's great that local Queens guy Omar Minaya is getting an opportunity to truly lead the Mets, at the same time it's a shame that Duke was never really afforded the same, even though, at least until July 30, his moves, and his team, ought to have demonstrated to his bosses he deserved it.

What we learned today in an unfortunately candid moment was that the Wilpons never took the training wheels off Duke's contract and may never have intended to, seeing as Minaya was the man they wanted all along. And that's because his assignment in Montreal -- which everyone knew was temporary when it began -- provided Minaya with the one thing Duquette could never have: A fair shake at some experience.

Taken broadly, that's a thread that runs through a myriad of Wilponian messes including the Kazmir-Zambrano trade: The idea that unproven rookies are risks for other organizations to take. Ironically, the fact that that move -- widely rumored to have come at the behest of Duquette's senior scouting advisors -- hasn't paid immediate dividends only goes to prove how right the Mets philosophy can be made to appear: Duquette, the unproven rookie, is taking the fall for it.

Anyhow, we wish Minaya the best of luck but hope in light of his previously stated allergies to progressive thinking that he honors his pledge to utilize Duke as his "right-hand man" and that the Wilpons resist getting in the way unless he doesn't. You gotta believe.

We're Back (Sept. 24) Just like Richard Hidalgo, we took most of September off, but we're back in time to wrap up the September moves. Thanks for hanging in there as we moved to new World Headquarters in Brooklyn.

Let's plow through the September moves we missed (all updated now):
Sept. 1: Recalled Matt Ginter 13; Tyler Yates 33 and Craig Brazell 9 from Triple-A Norfolk.
Sept. 4: Called up veteran lefty Vic Darensbourg from AAA, and assigned him No. 39.
Sept. 8: Recalled Aaron Heilman 48.
Sept. 10: Sent Matt Ginter 13 to the 60-day DL and recalled AAA hitting machine Victor Diaz, who debuted the next day wearing No. 50.
Sept. 14: Sent Vance Wilson 3 to the disabled list and recalled catcher Joe Hietpas from AA Binghamton. An emergency catcher, Heitpas has somehow avoided emergencies since his recall and is still waiting to become the third No. 10 this season.
Sept. 24: The Mets finally get their table setters returned to them, Jose Reyes 7, who sat out with a broken bone, and Kazuo Matsui 25, resting a sore back.

Finally, let's bid farewell and better times to manager Art Howe, who'll be turning over his keys and the No. 18 jersey after the season, along with most of his coaching staff. Though we grant Art was little more than a caretaker and nobody's idea of a brilliant strategist, we're sure he did his earnest best and applaud his class and dignity as he takes the axe and unnecessarily absorbs three weeks of lame duckness for two teams that performed below expectations for reasons in, and often out, of his control. We were scratching our heads when he walked in the door, too. Good luck, Art!

As noted below, this was a weird year, even by Met standards, and we're saddened that it ends with less promise than it began. The search for Art Howe's replacement will kick off what ought to be a fascinating offseason and for the sixth straight year, join us for the soap opera here.


August 2004

Piazza Back, DeJean DeSabled (Aug. 30): The Mets got some of their missing offense back today when Mike Piazza returned from the disabled list. To make room for him the Mets designated recent pickup Brian Buchanan 10 for assignment. In the meantime the Mets placed reliever Mike DeJean 35 on the disabled list and recalled Heath Bell 19.

Wheeler Dealers (Aug. 28): The Mets on Friday traded reliever Dan Wheeler to Houston for minor league outfielder Adam Suess (all the Howes in Howeville approved). Wheeler should have worn 18 but wore 39 instead. His spot on the roster will be taken over by Jae Seo 26 who returns from Norfolk with blonde hair.

Mets Sign Brian Buchanan (Aug. 25): The Mets today addressed their absurdly weak hitting attack by acquiring recently released righthanded-hitting Padre corner outfielder Brian Buchanan (think: Shane Spencer without the drinking problem). Buchanan was given No. 10, most recently belonging to Jeff Duncan. To make room the Mets demoted Heath Bell 19, just a day after a successful Major League debut.

Bell Tolls for Heilman (Aug. 24): Within 24 hours on Monday, Aaron Heilman 48 was recalled, rocked and summarily banished to Norfolk. In his place the Mets recalled Tides closer Heath Bell, who throws hard and fashioned attractive numbers in AAA (67 K's in 53.2 IP). He wears No. 19. Here's hoping this Bell tolls clearer than his Met predecessors Gus 3, Derek 16 and Jay 44.

To make room for Bell on the 40-man roster, the Mets moved Orber Moreno 49 to the 60-day disabled list. Heilman's recall sent Matt Ginter 13 back to Norfolk, where he remains.

Ginter Back; Brazell Down; Heilman en Route (Aug. 22): Matt Ginter just won't go away. He's back in uniform 13 again, taking the start in San Francisco while Craig Brazell 9 flies back to Norfolk. Word is forgotten prospect Aaron Heilman will meet the Mets when they return to Shea to make Monday's start. Heilman wore No. 48 when we last saw him; it is uncertain at this point whether Ginter will go down again or a certain well-rested lefthander announces his retirement.

4 Years and 10 Minutes in MBTN History (Aug. 21): The Mets controversial trades last month are paying off in unpredictable ways. When Victor Zambrano 38 left his start Tuesday with elbow trouble, the Mets recalled the player received with him, reliever Bartolome Fortunato, who made his Met debut Friday wearing No. 43. Meantime, Joe McEwing 11 went down Thursday with a dirty-slide-induced broken leg and so the Mets recalled Jeff Keppinger, the throw-in infielder received in the Kris Benson deal.

Keppinger was issued No. 6 -- for the fourth time this year and the 31st time in Met history. Both are records that may never be broken! (The Mets quietly last week traded catcher Tom Wilson, the third wearer of the 6 jersey this year. Ricky Gutierrez and Gerald Williams were the other two victims so far).

Expect plenty of wound-licking and hand-wringing this week if/when Scott Kazmir makes his debut with the Devil Rays and Jim Duquette submits his resume on This has been a very weird month, even for the Mets.

...And Down Goes Matsui (Aug. 15) The Mets finally got around to disable-listing shortstop Kaz Matsui 25, leaving the Mets without any of their imagined starting infielders this year. In his place the Mets called up AAA slugger Craig Brazell, who will make his Met/Major League debut while wearing No. 9.

More Infielders (Updated Aug. 14) With the middle infield again hurting, the Mets dipped into Norfolk and recalled veteran scrubeenie Wilson Delgado, issued him No. 17, and hoped Reyes and Matsui felt better soon. To make room the Mets sent Matt Ginter 13 back to Norfolk presumably for for a short stay while Tom Glavine sees his dentist. They also sent Pedro Feliciano 55 down again and recalled Dan Wheeler 39.

The news got worse Friday when the Mets said Jose Reyes 7 would spend the next four-to-six weeks on the disabled list. Feliciano was recalled in his place.

Piazza DLed, Garcia Up (Aug. 12): Struggling one-time superstar Mike Piazza 31 hit the disabled list last night to rest a bad knee. In his place the Mets recalled Danny Garcia 12, who'd been refining his game at Norfolk as multi-position player.


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.

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