Quick update before I head out to the park tonight (meet me at McFaddens! I’ll be wearing No. 70):
Gary Matthews Jr. has been designated for assignment, at long last — only to be replaced on the roster by … surprise! … Omir Santos, our old friend from last season who unfortunately is hitting Class AA pitching about as well as Sarge Jr. hit in the majors this year. This development was sparked by reports indicating Henry Blanco has been hurting. Omir you might recall wore No. 9 last time we saw him.
Also returning to the squad, and reportedly in tonight’s lineup, is infielder Ruben Tejada, who was recalled when Luis Castillo finally went onto the disabled list with achy breaky feet. Tejada wore No. 11 last time through.
What an unsatisfying week of Mets baseball this turned out to be. It’d be nice to get a few walkoff victories without first blowing leads, because the alternative is what we wound up with today. The continued ineffectiveness of both Gary Matthews Jr. and Frank Catalanotto has got to be pressuring the front office to do something by now, although Matthews looks like he’ll be hard to move if only because he plays center field and most potential replacements do not. Chris Carter ought to be in Catalanotto’s job by now but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Mets give Daniel Murphy the first shot, and allow his imminent return to light the fire.
Believe me, the bench is hardly the only thing wrong with this group. Jerry Manuel is still managing too passively and twisting himself in knots in pursuit of a “shutdown bullpen” that simply doesn’t exist, and the starting pitching still has issues, chief among them Oliver Perez. The Nationals visit this week and we’re not careful they could put us further behind them than we already are. Ack!
Amazin’ Tuesday Update: Although we’re saddened by the unfortunate closing of Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side, we’re pleased to be back next week at Two Boots Grand Central. Join me, Greg Prince of Faith & Fear in Flushing; Taryn Cooper of My Summer Family and Josh Wilker, author the outstanding CARDBOARD GODS website and book, as we talk Mets, eat good pizza and watch the Mets-Braves game from Atlanta. As always your first beer is free in exchange for a Mets baseball card. Two Boots is located in the lower dining concourse at Grand Central Station. Hope to see you there!
Help me help my sister fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Join me the in the Walk to Defeat ALS May 15 or sponsor my team. Thanks!
Quick note on the developing Gary Matthews Jr. trade: If you remember the magical start to the 2002 season, Sarge Jr was wearing No. 25 for all of one turn at bat and one pinch-running appearance before being traded to the Orioles. No. 25 subsequently went to Scott Strickland when he was acquired days later.
Today, 25 belongs to Pedro Feliciano, and so unless Pedro cares to make a mind-boggling fourth uni-switch in his Mets career, matthews can find something else to wear. He was 24 in his ill-fated adventure with the Angels.
I’m not ready to say this move (reportedly for reliever Brian Stokes with the Angels paying all but$4 million $2 million remaining on Matthews’s contract) completely spoils the “No Stupid Moves” theme for this offseason but it’s not terribly great either. I am thankful they dodged the Bengie Molina bullet, and still think they’ll look for a pitcher via the trade market especially after letting Joel Piniero go. F all once and future Cardinals.
As for Stokes, he did a pretty nice job amid meager expectations, but I think it’s good practice in general to shuffle these middle-reliever and bench types in and out with some degree of frequency.