When the 2003 Mets crashed and burned for good, fired Steve Phillips, and hired doomed interim general manager Jim Duquette, one of Duke’s first orders of business (along with the promotion of Jose Reyes) was to clear the team of its disappointing deadwood: Roberto Alomar, Armando Benitez and Jeromy Burnitz among them. And not only did the Mets bounce these guys, but they moved rather quickly to erase their memories by re-issuing all of their numbers, on guys who played the same positions, before the year was out. Before you knew it, Alomar’s 12was on the back of second baseman Danny Garcia. It was reliever Orber Moreno (remember him?) in Benitez’s old No. 49. And in the outfield, Prentice Redman, and not Burnitz, wore No. 20. How cruel. How brilliant.
With that in mind, do you think Johan Santana might mind downshifting by 10 from his customary 57? Because, provided he winds up with the good guys, that would be an appropriate tribute to Tom Glavine, the last of 2003’s disappointing veterans and the newest member of the Atlanta Braves. Can you believe Reyes is now the senior Met?
Hello again to Luis Castillo, whose four-year contract represents about four times the commitment he probably deserves. Expect to see Castillo back in the No. 1 jersey next year, hopefully without the spare tire providing emphasis.