Congratulations, Michael Conforto! You’re not only the savior of the franchise, you’re also in line to be the club’s 1,000th overall player when you make your debut tonight at Citifield.
To anguished fans beating themselves up over the state of the offense, this promotion will never have come soon enough but if you ask me more changes are likely on the way in the next week or so. Given his remarkable deliberateness in the face of so much (real and manufactured) fan and media outrage, not my admiration for Sandy Alderson is actually growing. Everyone forgets how easy it used to be to either push the Mets into stupid decisions or simply witness the club with its priorities all wrong when they did make a move. This is kind of exciting.
Conforto as been well-reported has been issued No. 30, which is actually one of the rarest numbers under 50 in team history. He’ll be just the 19th player to wear 30, thanks largely to Mel Stottlemyre‘s nine-year occupation in the 80s and 90s.
It’s a number that most recently belonged to Andrew Brown, and most famously represented by Cliff Floyd, but at the risk of dating myself I tend to associate it with Mike Torrez, a bit of a poor man’s Bartolo Colon in the 1980s. It’s also appeared on the backs of a handful of reserve catchers like Brown (he was an emergency catcher, anyway), Alberto Castillo, Raul Casanova and Josh Thole, who eventually became a disappointing starting catcher.
Thirty of course was also retired, by the Angels, in honor of ex-Met and former 30, Nolan Ryan.
With Cliff Floyd’s departure to Chicago, it may be interesting to see whether Willie Randolph alights in the now-vacant No. 30 or stays with the 12 he’s worn as a Met player and manager (in his playing days, 30 belonged to Mel Stottlemeyer; Willie was 30 with the MF Yankees most of his career).
Alert MBTN reader Richard informs us that Mets.com is offering the Jose Valentin jersey in No. 22 — the switch from 18 we expected following the Moises Alou signing earlier this off-season.
Hello to new arrivals and/or spring auditionees Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Sele, Jorge Sosa and David Newhan.
While Schoeneweis falls one letter short of the all-time Met record for characters on a name plate (ISRINGHAUSEN, with 12 still leads the pack), if his form holds true the veteran loogy would become the first player in Met history to wear No. 60. We’re kind of shocked to see him get a three-year contract.
The well traveled Sele, who signed a minor-league deal, has worn 30, 34, and last year with Los Angeles, 41. Sosa, who was pretty good for the Braves in ’05 and horrendous with them last year, is yet another former No. 34. We last saw the 34 jersey on Mike Pelfrey, who just might make the starting rotation.
Newhan, often described as a Joe McEwing type, wore No. 11 with the Orioles, as McEwing had in his last years as a Met. Eleven currently belongs to reserve catcher Ramon Castro, who was re-signed recently along with Endy Chavez 10; Duaner Sanchez 50; and, to another minor-league deal, the immortal Mike DiFelice.
The Mets yesterday made the Anderson Hernandez promotion official, temporarily sending down lefty Dave Williams 32 to make room for him. Williams is expected to return in time for his next start. The recall comes in time to make Hernandez, who was dressed in No. 1, eligible for the postseason roster, along with the 12 other current position players and disablees Cliff Floyd 30 and Ramon Castro 11.
Having not called up recent signee Kelly Stinnett suggests the team is confident in Castro’s return, though reports this morning say Stinnett’s likely to be recalled now that rosters are exandable and Norfolk’s season is winding to a close.
New outfielder Ricky Ledee arrived at Shea this evening and suited up in No. 9, last worn by chunky infielder Craig Brazell, best remembered for ruining the Cubs’ 2004 season, currently playing AA ball for the Dodgers organization. Also tonight, the Mets announced that Cliff Floyd 30 was headed to the disabled list for the second time this year and that his spot on the roster would be filled by journeyman Michael Tucker, who’s hitting 265/381/411 while wearing No. 34 down in Norfolk. Let’s hope Floyd stays disabled until fully able. Update Aug. 10 — Tucker appeared today in 22.
Thanks to Louis for the correction on Uni Controversies — the player John Franco swiped 31 from was Julio Machado and not Julio Valera. And thanks to Adam, Michael and Gordon for the Ledee news.
Editorial: If you’re a Met fan out at Shea desperately seeking attention by booing, do yourself a favor and put a sock in it. Thanks.
Ledee In; Marerro Out: The Mets on Tuesday picked up veteran reserve outfielder Ricky Ledee on waivers from the Dodgers and brought an end to the short and undistinguished Met career of Eli Marerro to make room for him. The well-traveled Ledee has frequently worn 33 but was wearing 21most recently with the Dodgers — neither number is available here. We’re guessing he appears tonight in Marerro’s old 32.
Nice to see the great ovation given to returning hero Mike Piazza, and odd to see him wearing No. 33 — his familiar 31 has been retired by his new employers for Dave Winfield. Odder still to see Jae Seo in Tampa Bay wearing the outrageous No. 98.
Shout out to Uni Watch Blog, deliverer of some recent traffic. If you don’t read it, um, you should.
Many thanks to Bob F for the scorecard scan (pictured at right) confirming Dan Frisella wearing No. 29 during his brief stay with the 1969 Mets. A few minor errors have in the meantime been corrected on the roster page: Sherman “Roadblock” Jones’ one appearance inNo. 28; Kevin Michell’s few weeks as No. 35, to name a few — thanks as always, Jason.
Xavier Nady 22 returned from the disabled list on June 18, and Cliff Floyd 30 went onto it, retroactive until June 7 with an ankle sprain. Floyd returned on June 30 as Lastings Milledge 44 returned to Norfolk. These moves came in the midst of a calamitous roadtrip that proved to chew up and ultimately spit out chubby Met hurlers Alay Soler 59 and Heath Bell 19. Soler was replaced July 3 by John Maine 33 — the next day, Bell was cashiered to Norfolk in exchange for designated clown Jose Lima 17. Seeing asPedro Martinez 45 is most likely vacationing through the All-Star Break it’s likely this week’s stretch of games leading to the break could feature Lima… or perhaps, studly young draftee Mike Pelfrey.
Omar Minaya’s first move with Full Autonomy (Full autonomy?! Full autonomy!) was to name X-Yankee/X-Met and New Yorker Willie Randolph as the team’s 18th manager. Willie posed for blasphemous photos at Shea yesterday wearing Mookie Wilson’s No. 1, but it’s likely he’ll be wearing another number the next time he suits up. Willie was No. 30 for most of his Yankee career, but wore 12 while with the Mets in 1992. Taking his customary number would require Cliff Floyd to change jerseys but there’s speculation that Minaya will do what he can to change what it says on the front of Cliff’s shirt this winter anyhow. Danny Garcia is the current No. 12.
Though we think Bobby Valentine might have been a better choice, we’re willing to give Willie a shot. Thankfully, he didn’t arrive with the ridiculous contract his predecessor did.
Well, the most anticipated trip to the disabled list of the year finally begins tonight when gimpy-but-brave outfielder Cliff Floyd 30 gets some much-needed work on his troublesome right achilles tendon. Jeff Duncan, still wearing No. 61, takes his place on the roster. The achilles tendon injury holds special meaning for MBTN and we wish Cliff lots of luck during the hours of tedious physical therapy to come.
The Mets today introduced Cliff Floyd to the press and presented him with the seldomly issued No. 30 jersey. Floyd becomes just the 12th man in team history to be issued No. 30; the number owes its unpopularity not to any longtime wearers but a to 10-year gap between Mike Torrez in 1984 and Doug Linton in 1994. Jorge Luis Toca was the most recent occupant.
On Friday 12/20, came word that third baseman Norihiro Nakamura isn’t coming after all. No word on how many NAKAMURA 5 jerseys went into the incinerator.