I’m just as shocked and saddened by the twin tragedies of Game 2 as anyone, and even hearing that Chase Utley is to be suspended for being such an asshole isn’t real justice and calls to mind the way another embarrassment to sportsmanship, Roger Clemens, was disciplined way too long after the crime was committed and in part to obscure how irresponsible and incompetent game and league officials were to let them get away with it in the first place.
That’s the part that really bothers me, and of course it’s imparted a dark edge to this series that needn’t have been there. I’m a little leery of getting into a jock-revenge scenario — you may recall such shenanigans basically cost the Mets home field advantage in this series — but if I’m Corey Seager I wouldn’t get too comfortable in there.
The upshot is the Mets will be without Ruben Tejada for the rest of the postseason and apparently are taking the unusual step of promoting Matt Reynolds to the big leagues for the first time, and making the just-as-weird decision to issue him uniform No. 60, according to reports. Reynolds would only the 3rd Met to wear 60 and the first position player to do so: Flop relief imports Scott Schoeneweis and Jon Rauch were the first two.
Reynolds would provide the Mets with a legit shortstop glove, but a potentially explosive double-play combo with No. 55, Kelly Johnson. That’s a far cry from previous playoff keystone combos of say, Santana (3) and Backman (6), Harrelson (3) and Millan (16), or Reyes (7) and Valentin (18).
Garrett Olson was assigned No. 38 during Spring Training and with those digits still unassigned, its a good bet that’s the number the Mets call on when they need to retire a lefthanded hitter this week. Olson is expected to join the Mets Tuesday after the club revealed the shoulder injury to Tim Byrdak was more serious than they expected. Like, Johan Santana serious.
This is not official but it is expected the corresponding move will be to demote Elvin Ramirez again. Byrdak went onto the disabled list over the weekend whgen closer Frank Francisco returned from the DL. Also back now from injury is Mike Baxter, with Kirk Niuewenhuis mercifully returned to Buffalo.
That’s not quite the flurry of moves many expected this year at the trading deadline but after stewing for a bit over the seeming pointlessness of retaining Byrdak, Scott Hairston and Jon Rauch, I came around the Sandy Alderson’s so-many-words point that there might be some value in finishing third rather than last for a change. We Mets way too often go hell-bent for one or the other.
Just as we suspected, the Mets this morning posted new uni numbers:
73 Robert Carson
75 Juerys Familia
48 Frank Francisco
53 Jeremy Heffner
52 Ramon Ramirez
60 Jon Rauch
Mike Nickeas switches from 13 to 4 and Ronny Cedeno takes 13
71 Wilmer Flores
74 Reese Havens
61 Jordanny Valdespin
76 Juan Lagares
67 Cesar Puello
56 Andres Torres
72 Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Non-roster Invitees with new assignments:
58 Fernando Cabrera
70 Matt Harvey
36 Chuck James
38 Garrett Olson
16 Rob Johnson
62 Lucas May
6 Omar Quintanilla
68 Matt den Decker
20 Adam Loewen
33 Vinny Rottino
Worth noting: Still no 17. 6 back in circulation again, and belonging to a scrub who’s likely to see at least a few innings on the big league roster this year. Top prospects occupying the 70s.
Coaches Tom Goodwin, Tim Teufel, Bob Geren and Ricky Bones still have not received assignments, although its kind of interesting to see Ramirez and Heffner occupying traditional coaching numbers. More on this soon!
Let there be no doubt this is a low moment in the history of a franchise with plenty of them to choose from, but you could see it coming. Because the Mets owners are morons who for way too long invested poorly on behalf of themselves and their fans, they can no longer afford to keep one of the best players they’d ever developed. I always thought the best chance of saving Jose Reyes from signing with another franchise was if a new owner pulled a hero act but the Wilpons couldn’t even get that right and so that’s where we are. Reyes leaves town as the best shortstop the franchise ever had, its most exciting player, and among its most accomplished overall. One can certainly make an argument that he won’t be worth what the Marlins are giving him but that’s beside the point when a formal offer was never presented because it was so unaffordable. Congratulations, Mets.
All that said, I’m anxious as always to move on and Sandy Alderson yesterday began the process. He traded Angel Pagan to the Giants for an older counterpart, Andres Torres, and a nice looking reliever, Ramon Ramirez. Torres like Pagan had a good season in 2010 but struggled this year, and was well-liked by fans and teammates in San Francisco. He wore No. 56 most recently with the Giants, reminding me of another veteran center fielder acquired as a short term leadoff man,Brian McRae. Ramirez, well-traveled himself, wore 52 in Frisco last season.
He’ll be joining a Mets bullpen that will also include new relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, both signed as free agents. Rauch is a shaggy giant whom Keith Hernandez once called a ‘Wookie.’ He’s hung around for years now despite only average results. Francisco has worn No. 50 his entire career: Word was the Mets would “retire” that number for 2012’s 50th anniversary, so we’ll see what comes of that. Rauch wore 51 early in his career and 60 more recently with the Diamondbacks and Twins.