The 2020 Mets are pretty dreadful so far, giving back both games to an equally awful-looking Boston club this week and demonstrating they’ve solved none of the problems Brodie’s signature trade presented them with, namely, an old and declining second baseman who jams up the middle of the order, and a closer with great stuff, no control and no consistency whose once again devouring the confidence fans and teammates. They also whiff too often, execute poorly, don’t field well and give leads back.
Joining this disappointing group this week were outfielder Ryan Cordell (in for another injured Brodie acquisition, Jake Marisnick) and infielder Brian Dozier, a one-time All-Star with a good chance of being this year’s Joe Panik. Cordell is wearing 18 as he did in spring and summer training. Dozier wears 15.
Congrats to Andres Gimenez, however, who blew past the all-time mark for hits (1) and RBI (0) by a guy wearing No. 60 this week.
If he can get to opening day before being traded to another club, it looks like Dominic Smith will do so with a new number.
Readers and attendees of yesterday’s Fan Fest at Citifield reported seeing baseball’s most popular reserve first baseman sporting No. 2. That’s evidently because newly arrived Rick Porcello took 22 from him, although as relayed by Matt in the comments in the below section:
I wonder why Porcello just didn’t take #21. He switched to it in Detroit and wore it in college. I remember Dom got #22 from former coach Tom Goodwin. Seemed like he would be reluctant to give up his number. Maybe Porcello bought him a nice Rolex.
There’s conflicting “reports” out there about how much tinkering the Mets may still do with this club; it seems that guys like Smith, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Nimmo, Jed Lowrie are being thrown about, though if you ask me there better be Nolan Arenado as the end result if they are going cough these guys up.
Smith would be the first No. 2 since Joe Panik departed for Toronto.
Also heard from longtime reader Jason, who patches the following holes in the upcoming roster: Steven Gonsalves 59; Andres Gimenez 60; Tomas Szapucki 63; Jordan Humpheys 64; and
Tim David Petersen 77. Also, bench coach Hensley Muelens was spotted wearing 58 (thanks Gene).
Marcus Stroman, who already made club history by becoming the team’s first pitcher to wear a single-digit uni number, will be making more news soon.
Stroman says will no longer wear the No. 7 he was issued upon his trade to the Mets from Toronto in July, saying that he didn’t feel right playing in the same uni as a childhood idol Jose Reyes.
Obviously we all want Stroman to wear what he’s most comfortable wearing but in the bigger picture I’m wondering whether this notion of respect has gone completely overboard. It has always seemed to me that you could argue just as persuasively that wearing the same number your idol did on the same field would be the ultimate way to pay respect, and that pointedly avoiding a number for that reason in particular, while admirable, is an awfully passive statement in practice.
I’m also left to wonder what this will mean to the newly respect-sensitive Mets and their plans to take an untold batch of jerseys out of circulation in coming years. This began only recently with the deserving but curious announcement they would hang up 36 next year. Who knows if the Mets stay on task with this, but you figure such an approach would have to include Ed Kranepool at some point, a different No. 7.
Until then though, you wonder if the club will now have the stones to issue anybody No. 7 as long as Stroman is on board. Did he inadvertently just mothball No. 7 teamwide? Let’s wait and see.
Let’s also wait and see what Stroman finally settles on. Will he continue to buck tradition and take a single digit? If so there’s but two choices and a similarly wobbly third: Zero is available now; 2 belongs to the free-agent-to-be-but-I’d-sure-love-to-be-back infielder Joe Panik; and then there’s 8, which has gone unissued now for 17 years (!!) as the Mets seemingly make up their minds on Gary Carter’s legacy (If you’re listening Mets, don’t do it. Name the St. Lucie minor league team the Kids instead. Give out a Gary Carter Award every year for the team’s best citizen. Don’t take out numbers for guys with 2 good years on the club and more concrete legacies elsewhere).
Stroman’s Toronto No. 6 belongs now to Jeff McNeil and Stroman said he wouldn’t ask for that. I’ll bet you a beer he’s the next 0.