Archive for Opening Day

Anything Can Happen

50The Mets begin their 50th anniversary season Thursday amid modest expectations befitting a squad with thin starting pitching, shaky defense and Jason Bay in the middle of the lineup, but if everything goes right, they might also be fun to watch too. I’m optimistic of a good start at any rate. It’s the Mets’ 50th season and MBTN’s 13th.

As I’m sure you all know by now, the banged up foursome of Andres Torres, David Wright, Scott Hairston and Tim Byrdak all healed in time to answer the bell and comprise a squad of 25 we probably could have predicted back in December. It’s further encouraging to see Ike Davis and Johan Santana are among them.

And so today we welcome the returnees back, and the new ones the best of luck. Officially joining the All-Time Numerical Roster for the first time are players Andres Torres 56, Ronny Cedeno 13, Frank Francisco 48, Ramon Ramirez 52 and Jon Rauch 60; and coaches Bob Geren 7, Ricky Bones 25, Tom Goodwin 26 and batting practice pitcher Eric Langill 78. Returning in new numbers are Mike Nickeas, now wearing 4; Tim Teufel, now coaching and wearing No. 18 and bullpen catcher Dave Racianello, in 79. I’ll be updating the rosters shortly please let me know if you come across any errors.

Let’s Go Mets! Anything can happen!

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Chapter ’11

I think the Mets are in for a better season than the Wilpons, though I wish them both the best.

11The change in the front office and the manager’s chair I think are all strongly for the good: Though he’ll surely wear out his welcome at some point, Terry Collins appears to have given the group the jolt of energy it needed after a sonambulent tenure under Jerry Manuel, and Collins remarks at least suggest we won’t be in for another season of 8th-inning fetishes, unexplained doghousing and first-inning bunts. In the meantime, Sandy Alderson and his crew appear to have made some pretty good personnel decisions against a limited budget: The bullpen (churn!) looks very promising, and I like the new bench players, particularly Scott Hairston. They may have stretched out the Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez storylines longer than I had a stomach for but I think the decisions on them were correct. I don’t think we can predict what Chris Young or Chris Capuano will do, but both are looking like good selections for a team on a budget.

I worry, as always, about the offense. I’d almost forgiven Jason Bay for being such a kitten last season when his sudden injury this week reminded me he still owes us. I’m surprised to see Carlos Beltran make it to opening day and worry that continued health struggles will suck the energy out of the team again. On the other hand, I quite like Angel Pagan, David Wright, Josh Thole and Ike Davis, who I think can do some real damage in 162 games. And if Jose Reyes shows he’s the kind of player worth agonizong over a long-term contract for, then we’ll probably be having a good year. Brad Emaus could be could be a rookie of the year. He might not either, but it’s not like he’s taking an MVP from Castillo. All upside there.

The Wilpons I think , are facing some real trouble. Not necessarily as a result of the clawback lawsuit, but that they, like a lot of troubled companies today, borrowed heavily upon assumptions that the economy would continue to sizzle at its mid-90s pace (and also, that certain investments would continue delivering 12% returns). The Mets are certainly exhibiting behaviors of businesses headed toward a crisis: They’re deep in debt, revenues are falling, and they are haunted by high legacy costs. They’ve exhausted their credit with an untraditional lender (MLB) which appears to have insisted the club appoint a turnaround management firm. That’s how it happens.

I don’t think a bankruptcy would necessarily be a bad thing for the Mets. It would likely cost the Wilpons control of the team but provide the opportunity for the next owner (there’s evidently no shortage of interest) to restructure the balance sheet to better compete in an economy without magic returns and $500 seats. We never asked for that.

In number news: Rule 5 reliever Pedro Beato has requested he be outfitted in No. 27. He’s been wearing No. 70 this spring. Here’s the cool thing: Adam Rubin of ESPN reports Beato requested it because he wants to honor Juan Marichal.

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Mach Schau

Ready or not, here they are. It’s been a weird offseason (Omar general managed like someone whose job wasn’t on the line) and an odd spring (thyroid issues, knee surgeries, controversially aggressive promotions, and not nearly enough solid performances, especially from the pitchers) but at 1 p.m. today, they go to war.

I wish I felt a little better about just what this group is going to bring us, but I sort of admire that it was assembled with a minimum of stunts, a good deal from within, and that expectations are back where they probably ought to be for a team with questionable starting pitching, an unproven bullpen and a few too many outmakers in the lineup. But let’s be optimistic on opening day. There a chance we shove it up all their asses. There’s a good crop of prospects on the horizon; and let’s face it, there’s little holding them back. They finally seemed to do something about CitiField’s relentless blandness. Bring it on.

We welcome Ryota Igarashi, Hisanori Takahashi, Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada, Jason Bay, Henry Blanco, Rod Barajas and Frank Catalanotto to the All-Time Roster (likely players 875 to 881). Thanks to the fans who wrote in to inform me that Tejada will wear No. 11 and Mejia No. 32.Chip Hale and Dave Jauss join the coaching ranks for the first time, while Alex Cora, Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews Jr. return to the Mets in new numbers.

Let’s Go Mets!

PS — Thanks to MBTN reader Glenn below who indicated that this year’s bat boys would wear No. 00.

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Gulp

16 Pagan
1 Castillo
5 Wright
35 Jacobs
44 Bay
12 Francoeur
13 Cora
21 Barajas
57 Santana

Did I just type the opening-day lineup for the 2010 New York Mets?

Yeow.

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Opening Day!

Another long offseason comes to an end, weather permitting, today. I’m trying to keep positive despite knowing I could make a perfectly valid argument that all five starting pitchers — four currently on ther roster — could be in for a long year.

Welcoming the following seven men to the All-Time Mets Roster, and thanks again to readers for the updates:

3 Alex Cora

10 Gary Sheffield

18 Jeremy Reed

22 JJ Putz

36 Darren O’Day


50 Sean Green*

75 Frankie Rodriguez

We also welcome new coaches Luis Alicea, wearing No. 51 and Razor Shines, wearing No. 52.Randy Niemann is back as a coach, wearing a new issue, 55.

 

*–A commenter below provides the update from press notes!

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Opening Day ’08

The Mets submitted their opening day roster Sunday and where some people (like me) expected to see Tatis, Stokes and Hernandez they instead saw Clark, Smith and Pelfrey.

That’s OK with me, particularly after fans digested a triple order of unpleasant news Friday in the snatching of effective-but-subuseful Ruben Gotay, another seeming cutworthy effort from infuriating suspect Mike Pelfrey and a news item detailing Fernando Tatis’ being issued team luggage while Brady Clark twisted in the wind. Clark by the way not only got luggage but a new shirt to pack in it: He’ll be wearing No. 44 when the season begins Monday in Miami. Although Clark had worn 15 in his first go-round with the Mets years back, he’d been wearing 93 this spring: The highest in camp among those with a prayer of making it.

Smith, whose ineffective spring and option situation made him an interesting choice over the similarly ineffective but less controllable fireballer Brian Stokes, is a surprise roster qualifier for the second straight year. Stokes was designated for assignment: No word where he alights next.

Those moves complete an all-time Met roster that today grows by six fiirst-time arrivals (Angel Pagan 16, Ryan Church 19, Brian Schneider 23, Raul Casanova 30, Matt Wise 38 and Johan Santana 57), as well as the debut of Clark (44) and Marlon Anderson (9) in new numbers.Howard Johnson returns to No. 20 for the coaching staff, along with new arrivals Dave RacanielloJuan Lopez and Sandy Alomar Jr.

Glad you’re back too!

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Your 2007 Mets

On opening night:

  • 47 Tom Glavine
  • 26 Orlando Hernandez
  • 33 John Maine
  • 46 Oliver Perez
  • 13 Billy Wagner
  • 48 Aaron Heilman
  • 60 Scott Schoeneweis
  • 40 Ambiorix Burgos
  • 25 Pedro Feliciano
  • 35* Aaron Sele
  • 70* Joe Smith
  • 16 Paul LoDuca
  • 11 Ramon Castro
  • 21 Carlos Delgado
  • 22 Jose Valentin
  • 7 Jose Reyes
  • 5 David Wright
  • 23 Julio Franco
  • 3 Damian Easley
  • 17 David Newhan
  • 18 Moises Alou
  • 15 Carlos Beltran
  • 20 Shawn Green
  • 44 Lastings Milledge
  • 10 Endy Chavez

Staff

  • 12 Willie Randolph
  • 2 Sandy Alomar
  • 51 Rick Peterson
  • 52 Howard Johnson
  • 53 Jerry Manuel
  • 54 Rick Down
  • 55 Tom Nieto
  • 56 Guy Conti

If things hold, Moises Alou would be the 800th Met and join Schoeneweis, Burgos, Sele, Smith, Easley, and Newhan for the first time on the All-Time Numeric Roster. Howard Johnson joins the ranks of Met coaches for the first time. Jose Valentin will appear for the first time wearing No. 22, while coach Manuel is in a new number, 53.

Sele as of Friday had not given 35 to Smith, who was out there again in No. 70.

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Opening Day 2006

MBTN.net officially welcomes the following 12 players to the All-Time Met roster:

10 Endy Chavez
13 Billy Wagner
16 Paul LoDuca
18 Jose Valentin
21 Carlos Delgado
22 Xavier Nady
23 Julio Franco
27 Darren Oliver
34 Jorge Julio
40 Brian Bannister
50 Duaner Sanchez
53 Chad Bradford

And appearing in new numbers: Coach Manny Acta, in No. 3.

Thanks to the many fans who reported Brian Bannister indeed upgraded his uniform to Major League status: He’ll make his MLB debut this week in No. 40, leaving aside No. 61. The final composition of the roster came together when veteran Darren Oliver 27 got the nod overPedro Feliciano 39 to be the bullpen lefty. The decision appears to speak as much to the Mets’ state of mind concerning the starting rotation than it does Oliver or Feliciano. On balance though, we were happy to see the Mets limit themselves to 6 bullpenners and provide a job for sluggy outfielder Victor Diaz 20, and though our expectations probably aren’t as sky-high as the new TV channel would have you believe, we’re looking forward to a better year, like we do every year at this time.

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Play Ball!

The Mets begin the regular season Monday afternoon in Cincinnati. MBTN welcomes the following baker’s dozen to the All-Time Numerical Roster:

3 Miguel Cairo
4 Chris Woodward
11 Ramon Castro
15 Carlos Beltran
16 Doug Mientkiewicz
17 Dae Sung Koo
18 Marlon Anderson
23 Kazuhisa Ishii
27 Mike Matthews
39 Roberto Hernandez
45 Pedro Martinez
46 49 Felix Heredia
68 36 Manny Aybar

The final roster came together this weekend when the Mets coughed up out-of-options pitcher Matt Ginter 13 in a trade to the Tigers for a stashable lefty reliever, Steve Colyer, and revealed that veteran relievers Matthews, Heredia, Aybar and Hernandez had edged out worthy youngster Heath Bell; while Bartolome Fortunato went down with an injury. The 12-man pitching staff probably cost powerhitting rookie Luis Garcia a spot on the bench. We suspect there will be plenty of churn in the bullpen, where there’s too much age and many lefties, and that the need for a right-handed power bat on the bench will be apparent shortly, but today’s not the day to be pessimistic, so, um, Let’s Go Mets!

Joining the Coaches and Managers List: 2 Sandy Alomar; 12 Willie Randolph; 50 Manny Acta; 52 Guy Conti; 53 Jerry Manuel; 54 Rick Down; 55 Tom Nieto.

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Ready for Opening Day

The Mets packed their bags and headed to Atlanta and Tuesday’s night’s opener, leaving behind a weird spring training. In the final hours it was revealed that Jose Reyes would begin the season on the disabled list, that seeming longshots Eric Valent, Scott Erickson and Orber Moreno would make the team, and thatJae Seo, Roger Cedeno and Timo Perez would be elsewhere. Valent, a minor league phase Rule 5 pick from the Phillies dressed in No. 57 for spring training; we’re waiting to see whether he gets more dignified number. It’s our guess that Scott Erickson ditches the 89given him and takes his customary 19 instead.

We welcome them, along with Ricky Gutierrez 6, Karim Garcia 20, Kazuo Matsui 25, Tyler Yates 33, Braden Looper 40, Shane Spencer 43 and Mike Cameron 44 to the All-Time Mets Numerical Roster, with Todd Zeile 27 making a second appearance in a new number, and Rick Peterson 51 cracking the Coaches and Managers list.

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