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?
So long, Duaner Sanchez. May you forever remind Met fans to fasten their seat belts and not fall in love with relief pitchers. We’ll always have the first half of 2006.
I’ve got issues with the World Baseball Classic but they’re pretty much limited to the non-baseball aspects of it, particularly the addition of ugly sponsor logos to the uniforms, which we ought to know is a trial balloon for this sort of thing on a regular basis, considering Bud Selig is running the thing. However the competition has been great, once again, and fans who pooh-pooh it, no matter how well argued their cases, are missing out.
If it makes Spring Training seem boring by comparison, I’ve got news for you: Spring Training is already boring.For the Mets they’ve so far brought us little more than Sanchez’s release (which could have come last September); some mildly interesting competition for a few bench and bullpen roles which experience tells us don’t tend to matter a whole lot anyway; and health-related terror alerts around three of our projected starting pitchers.
This is not for me.
I was at Shea last night for the first time this year thanks to my co-writer, and now co-star in a potential future episode of Mets Weekly. We were joined by two other swell guys, and we had a great time, the Mets looked resplendent, especially with the blue hats, matching 42 jerseys (anyone other than me remember Chuck Taylor?) and no names on the back. Sweet.
Worth noting was that the scoreboard identified the players by their assigned numbers but the Shea PA announcer introduced them all as No. 42. I’ll address how to integrate this event into the database when I’ve had some time to think about it.
I missed the announcement pre-game so I was delighted to see Duaner Sanchez trot in from the bullpen for the the 9th inning. The quietly effective Carlos Muniz was shipped back to the minors to make room. Just an all-around terrific night.
6 p.m. Tonight, we’re opening for Gary Carter at Bookends in Ridewood, N.J. Thursday at 7:30, I’ll discuss the Mets and baseball with Metsgrrl and Spike Vrusho (author of Benchclearing) atWord Books in Greenpoint (beer and snacks to be served)!
I was about to pontificate upon the chances of Steven Register retaining No. 61 or switching to something more dignified when word came he’d been waived by the Mets. Hopefully, the opportunity exists to work out a deal with Colorado that would allow the Mets to keep Register in the organization free of the onerous (for the Mets, at least) provisions of Rule 5.
This is good news, I believe, if you’re a fan of Joe Smith, who like Register, seems groomed for a role I’ll call GUPPY (GroUndball Pitcher, Perplexing deliverY — alright, needs work). Smith however can be safely stashed at AAA so it’s no lock he surfaces, at least not right away.
Similarly, looks as if suspicion over Duaner Sanchez‘ durability gives a shot to his hard-throwing nonroster counterpart, Brian Stokes, at least, to start the year. As for the No. 5 starter, I’m as disappointed as the next guy in Mike Pelfrey, maybe more, but I’d give him all the rope he needs. It’s not like an injured Orlando Hernandez has a whole lot of upside any longer.
* In case you didn’t see it, MLB.com’s Marty Noble today ran his annual Port St. Lucie christening story, a sure sign Spring Training is coming to an end.
* Don’t forget you’re invited to the MBTN Launch Party at Stout NYC, April 6, 1pm.
For the second winter in a row, the Mets traded a soft-tossing starter who wore No. 40 for a hard-throwing young reliever who wears No. 50. While last year it was Jae Seo to Los Angeles for Duaner Sanchez, this time it’s Brian Bannister to Kansas City in exchange for Ambiorix Burgos.(Yes, we know Seo’s turn in No. 40 was a few changes ago, but we couldn’t resist all the spooky parallels). We’ll wish good luck to Bannister, who showed a lot of heart in an unexpected rookie campaign with the Mets, and hope that Burgos can cut down on those home runs allowed and wild pitches.
The Winter Meetings also brought word that ex-Met Howard Johnson would serve as the first-base coach next season, with Sandy Alomar crossing the diamond to third base to take the place of the departed Manny Acta. We’ll be watching to see which jersey Hojo turns up in, noting that his former No. 20 belongs today to outfielder Shawn Green.
More Numbers Confirmed: Thanks again to Gordon, who mailed along a scan of a scorecard from the opening series of the 1977 season including the listing of Ray Sadecki wearing No. 33. While this number wasn’t especially difficult to remember (that Sadecki wore 33 is in fact about the only thing we can recall of the guy) finding independent confirmation was a bit ornery and so we’re thankful to have it.
As opposed to say, 2004, the Mets at least didn’t mean to get worse at the deadline this year, though it was certainly bad news on the doorstep to learn that rubbery reliever Duaner Sanchez 50 would miss the rest of the year as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Miami; increasing any exisiting pressure they felt to do something about the bullpen, while dialing back any temptation to make Aaron Heilman a part of a bigger deal for a pitcher, left-handed pinch-hitter or anything else that might help come October. So instead the Mets swapped fungible outfielder Xavier Nady 22 to the Pirates for Proven Veteran Setup Guy Roberto Hernandez, along with Oliver Perez, who not too long ago, ranked among the most promising young left arms in the game.
In Hernandez, the Mets acquired a familiar name, but unless there’s some serious swapping afoot, he’ll have a different look now that the Mets have given his No. 39 jersey to Pedro Feliciano, himself a returning Met bullpenner in a new jersey. We suppose it’s possible Feliciano gives 39 back to Hernandez (whose nameplate by the way ought to read R. HERNANDEZ in order to distinguish him from teammates A. HERNANDEZ and O. HERNANDEZ) while Feliciano gives his former No. 55another try, but that would require bullpen coach Tom Nieto to take a new jersey too. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Perez, who used to routinely strike out 10 guys a night, is likely ticketed for the minors but wore No. 59 with the Pirates.
However it works out, we’re sorry to see Nady go — his swing was ferocious and we’ll always be indebted to his sizzling hot start — and very very sorry to learn of Sanchez’ misfortune. On the positive side, it appears Lastings Milledge will get another opportunity — with our team — as the farm system survived the gutting so many columnists and pretend Internet journalists like to say is only a matter of time now that Omar’s in charge.
Oh, and we’re 14 games up. We don’t need Barry Zito to protect that.
Providing speedy responses to the inquiry posted here yesterday, Duaner Sanchez is indeed wearing No. 50 (thanks Matt andKieran). Keiran in the meantime spied coach Manny Acta wearing No. 3, settling the issue of what number he wound up with after Sanchez swiped his former digits. The mystery ofJose Santiago’s jersey remains. As pointed out by MBTN reader Brian, his No. 33 was re-issued this spring to prospect John Maine, and published rosters have either not been accurately updated or, in a likely foreshadowing the opening-day roster, leave him off completely.
Let us know what you find.
The Mets made a curious trade Jan. 21, sending Kris Benson 34 and his mouthy wife to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for relieverJorge Julio and pitching prospect John (Lobster) Maine. Whether this move portends a trade forBarry Zito or simply shifts the overpopulation problem from the starting rotation to the bullpen remains to be seen. Julio wore No. 50 last year with the Orioles while Maine in his brief appearances wore 61.
On Jan. 18, the Mets signed former Ham Fighter and Tokyo Giant Yusaku Iriki (You’re So Fine), who looks to compete for the longman job. Iriki wore No. 49 with the Ham Fighters and No. 20 with the Giants, research shows.
We overlooked the late December addition of lefty sidearmer Mike Venafro. He has a minor league contract and spring training invite.
Photos from the Mets Caravan revealed players in new unis including Julio Franco in 23, Paul LoDuca in 16 and Jose Valentin in 18. Newly arrived reliever Jorge Julio was wearing a jersey withno number on it. MBTN reader Rich reports: Chad Bradford appeared in No. 35, Duaner Sanchez in 40, and Mets.com is selling Bret Boone jerseys bearing No. 9.
Additional photos show Xavier Nady wearing No. 10 and Steve Schmoll in the dreaded No. 46.
Met fans were wondering again today whether Omar Minaya can be trusted at a swap meet, giving up underappreciated starter Jae Seo 26, along with lefty relieverTim Hamulack 46, in a trade for goggle-wearing Duaner Sanchez and his sidearm-throwing teammate, Steve Schmoll, both righthanded relievers for the Dodgers. We wish the best of luck to Seo, whose frequent bobs between New York and Norfolk resulted in three uniform numbers (he also wore 38 and 40). In case you’re also wondering, Sanchez wore No. 50 and Schmoll No. 40 in Chavez Latrine last season.
The Mets also invited veteran second baseman Bret Boone to camp with a minor league deal. Boone was released twice last year but according to Omar “knows how to win,” and will challenge incumbent Kaz Matsui for a job. Boone most often has worn No. 29.
Catching up with more winter moves, the Mets on Dec. 28 agreed to a one-year deal for freaky underhanded relief pitcher Chad Bradford, a hero of Moneyball and most recently, a patient with the Red Sox team doctors. He wore No. 53 for both teams.
On Dec. 23, former Met outfield prospect Endy Chavez was signed to a one-year deal. Chavez woreNo. 19 with Expo-Nationals and 47 when he was traded to Philadelphia late last year.
The Mets also released maddening lefthander Kaz Ishii 23, and invited journeymen Darren Oliver, Jose Parra and Pedro Feliciano to camp. We last saw Parra and Feliciano in Met uniforms 46 and 55, respectively, in 2004 (unless we vacationed in Japan in 2005).