They Cut Our Legs Out

7Let there be no doubt this is a low moment in the history of a franchise with plenty of them to choose from, but you could see it coming. Because the Mets owners are morons who for way too long invested poorly on behalf of themselves and their fans, they can no longer afford to keep one of the best players they’d ever developed. I always thought the best chance of saving Jose Reyes from signing with another franchise was if a new owner pulled a hero act but the Wilpons couldn’t even get that right and so that’s where we are. Reyes leaves town as the best shortstop the franchise ever had, its most exciting player, and among its most accomplished overall. One can certainly make an argument that he won’t be worth what the Marlins are giving him but that’s beside the point when a formal offer was never presented because it was so unaffordable. Congratulations, Mets.

All that said, I’m anxious as always to move on and Sandy Alderson yesterday began the process. He traded Angel Pagan to the Giants for an older counterpart, Andres Torres, and a nice looking reliever, Ramon Ramirez. Torres like Pagan had a good season in 2010 but struggled this year, and was well-liked by fans and teammates in San Francisco. He wore No. 56 most recently with the Giants, reminding me of another veteran center fielder acquired as a short term leadoff man,Brian McRae. Ramirez, well-traveled himself, wore 52 in Frisco last season.

He’ll be joining a Mets bullpen that will also include new relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, both signed as free agents. Rauch is a shaggy giant whom Keith Hernandez once called a ‘Wookie.’ He’s hung around for years now despite only average results. Francisco has worn No. 50 his entire career: Word was the Mets would “retire” that number for 2012’s 50th anniversary, so we’ll see what comes of that. Rauch wore 51 early in his career and 60 more recently with the Diamondbacks and Twins.

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One comment

  1. Jon Springer says:

    Submitted by Gordon Handler (not verified) on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 11:06am.
    My solution is to have MLB assign the bankrupt LA Dodgers over to the Wilpon family. Then they will own the team that they really love. I can see it now. A new stadium in LA decorated in blue and orange as an homage to Shea Stadium with the Tom Seaver rotunda. They get the Dodgers. We get a new owner. It’s a win-win.

    Submitted by gored82 on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 11:21am.
    Gordon, what’s the point of raising something that has no realistic chance of happening?

    Submitted by Gordon Handler (not verified) on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 12:09pm.
    I guess you didn’t get my sarcasm.

    Submitted by (not verified) on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 3:12pm.
    I think the Mets should not dole out 7 to the first scrub who takes it because 6 has already been given out. They were way too quick to give out 15, but how about a little class with 7. You don’t have to hold it forever unofficially like 24 and 8, but a little respect is due. They can give it out again in the future when the Mets acquire a fourth starter to blunt the loss of number 5.

    Submitted by gored82 on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 8:56pm.
    “They can give it out again in the future when the Mets acquire a fourth starter to blunt the loss of number 5.”

    Why would they give 7 to a pitcher?

    Submitted by jrgame (not verified) on Wed, 12/07/2011 – 10:32pm.
    Four guys with unis 50 and above added in one shot? We haven’t seen an import like that since the Aguayo-Oberkfell-Warthen coaching takeover!

    Submitted by EdgyDC on Wed, 12/14/2011 – 11:36am.
    I’m pretty big on the notion that the team shouldn’t re-assign any player’s number — be it Reyes’ 7 or Evans’ 6 or Igarashi’s 18 — while he’s still active in baseball. It’d be a challenge for the equipment guy, but he gets paid good money, and it wouldd certainly be a workable and thoughtful policy.

    Such a tradition would reinforce my notion (and I know I’m not alone) that players who have left the Mets are merely on loan to another team, or sadly in exile due to major or minor transgressions they committed (or injustices committed on them!).

    This could lead to some awkward ongoing vacancies, but it’d be really cool to think of number 29 going unassigned for a baker’s dozen years as a silent tribute to Octavio Dotel’s 19 appearances in 1999, and the remarkable career he’s had since.

    Added bonus: It’d help give a team a sense of perspective when it comes to number retirement decisions, allowing them to chew on the issue for the duration of a lost player’s remaining career. Should they retire Reyes’ 7 when he retires circa 2020? Should they not? It’ll be a clearer decision without having to reconcile their choice with some embarassing-in-retrospect assignment of the number to Allan Dykstra for six weeks in 2013.

    Submitted by gored82 on Thu, 12/15/2011 – 10:45pm.
    “players who have left the Mets are merely on loan to another team, or sadly in exile due to major or minor transgressions they committed (or injustices committed on them!).”

    No they’re not. Reyes, for example, is now under contract to and property of the Miami Marlins. The Mets have no more rights in relation to or claim over him than does any other MLB team.

    EdgyDC, you seem to be caught in a pre-1975 time warp, laboring under the misconception that a team has a claim over a player that extends beyond his contract. But the reserve clause was nullified by arbitrator Peter Seitz that year, when he issued his ruling that Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were free to bargain with other teams than LA and Montreal, respectively, because a given MLB team could not maintain a player’s services indefinitely.

    Submitted by Jon Springer on Fri, 12/16/2011 – 7:54am.
    That rebuke was sorta over the top, doncha think? The writer himself acknowledged the opinion was unpopular and impractical. And clearly he wasn’t writing about MLB-wide contractual issues but about an informal policy of issuing jersey numbers so as to perpetuate a sense of Met-ness.

    It’d be interesting (and admirable) to see if they could pull it off, but I’m sure the logistics would be overwhelming, especially when precisely determining what “active” means for the vast majority of guys who bob up and down throughout the game. You’d also encounter all kinds of conflicts with adding new guys, you’d probably zoom into triple figures within a few years.

    Gored82: Easy on your fellow commenters please!

    Submitted by Alan (not verified) on Mon, 12/19/2011 – 11:37am.
    The San Francisco Giants started a Wall of Fame in 2009 that honors players that played in parts of 9 separate seasons with the team or 5 seasons with an All Star appearance. They ‘induct’ these players after they retire from the game. If the Mets did the same, the list would of course include Beltran and Reyes but not that many players. 5 Seasons is a long time in Metville.

    Submitted by gored82 on Mon, 12/19/2011 – 9:00pm.
    The Giants have 43 players on their Wall of Fame. Off the top of my head, in addition to Reyes and Beltran, such a list for the Mets would include Felix Millan, Jerry Grote, Rusty Staub, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Tug McGraw, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Howard Johnson, David Wright, Ed Kranepool, Tommie Agee, Cleon Jones, Ron Swoboda, Hubie Brooks, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Bobby Jones, Armando Benitez, John Stearns, Ron Darling, Dwight Gooden, Sid Fernandez, Ron Hodges, Dave Kingman, Steve Henderson, John Franco, Mookie Wilson, David Cone, Lee Mazzilli, Bobby Bonilla, Lenny Dykstra, Jesse Orosco, Danny Frisella, Tom Glavine, Bud Harrelson, Ken Boswell, John Milner, Kevin McReynolds, and Roger McDowell.

    That’s 45. What’s your point, Alan?

    Submitted by Larry (not verified) on Mon, 12/19/2011 – 9:17pm.
    Hendu, wasn’t he here for 4 seasons? Frisella, McDowell, Boswell and Brooks were All Stars as Mets?

    9 seasons with the Mets or 5 seasons with an All Star appearance as a Met.

    Submitted by gored82 on Mon, 12/19/2011 – 9:55pm.
    I stand corrected, but eliminating those names still leaves 41, and I left out Todd Hundley and Joel Youngblood, which bring it back to 43.

    Submitted by Matt (not verified) on Tue, 12/20/2011 – 8:15am.
    To gored82- Most people on here love the Mets and are just having fun because we all share the same eccentricity of finding Met uniform numbers interesting. The tone is quite light. Your responses to people seem to be angry and very serious. Look at your above posts’ subjects–“dumb idea,” “wrong,” and “Huh?” as well as “What’s your point?” It is making some of us uncomfortable to post, because you may respond negativitely to something said in fun. Can we just keep it light? Nothing on here should be taken too seriously. Thanks.

    Submitted by Alan (not verified) on Tue, 12/20/2011 – 9:10am.
    I agree Matt, we are having fun here.

    Perhaps the Mets should honor these 40+ guys without retiring their uniform numbers.

    Was Dykstra a Met All Star? He shared CF with Mookie for most of his NY time.

    Submitted by Alan (not verified) on Tue, 12/20/2011 – 9:26am.
    Kevin Mac was a great player, had a great season in 88 but an All Star? Not sure.

    Submitted by gored82 on Wed, 12/21/2011 – 11:32pm.
    He finished 3rd in NL MVP voting in ’88. Sorry Alan, but I felt that you were unjustifiably putting the Mets down for not keeping players around long enough. There are reasons to put the organization down, but that’s not one of them. They operate about the same as many other organizations.

    Submitted by jrgame (not verified) on Thu, 12/22/2011 – 6:51pm.
    …when they coax Atlee Hammaker out of retirement.

    Submitted by EdgyDC on Fri, 12/30/2011 – 9:04am.
    Hey, gored, c’mon. Why not read a poem or a or an Upanishad or a love letter and then re-read my post? I’m talking about using the numerical assignments to maintain a sense of emotional connection to players I’ve cheered for. Surely you understand this. Isn’t that sort of what this site is about?

    I assure you, few folks this side of Marvin Miller are more hostile toward the vestiges of the reserve clause than I am.

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