Stop us if you heard this before: The Mets on Tuesday sent ineffective reliever Matt Wise to the disabled list for the second time this year and for the second time this year, recalled New Orleans closer Carlos Muniz to replace him.
As you might also know, Wise’s arrival over the offseason inadvertently triggered Muniz to switch from his first-issuedNo. 38 and alight in 32, which he was also dressed in earlier this year.
As you also already know, the Mets held an especially unsatisfying press conference Monday during which Omar Minaya acted as if he didn’t want Willie Randolph fired and Randolph continued pretending his team was OK and plays hard for him. They gave vaguely encouraging lip-service to a need to try and improve the team and suggested they had a lot of the same ideas (such as?) while perpetuating the myth that Randolph’s remarks to Ian O’Connor deserved the attention and scrutiny they received, and that Randolph necessarily had anything to apologize for but the revolting play of his team.
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A few more book-related events this week not to be missed: Tonight (actually Wednesday morning at 1 a.m., along with Matthew Silverman, guesting live in-studio on the Joey Reynolds Show on WOR-radio (and simulcast nationwide). You can listen to an archive of the event at the same address.
On Friday May 30, Matthew and I will host a book signing and pregame schmoozing at LaGuardia Holiday Inn‘s Pine Bar & Restaurant, at 5:30 p.m. Come on over, have a drink, buy a book for your Dad, or get yours signed. Afterwards we’ll hoof it to Shea and catch the return of Joe Torre.
Thanks as usual to a great readership we destroyed the Kingman Kontroversy in a matter of hours and moved on to still more mystery.
First up, on the right is a 1981 program showing a spring training photo of Dave Kingman (wearing No. 5, obscured by his bat) along with Rusty Staub. Both TommieCleon and SJR provided me with this image — apparently published at least twice that season (once pre-strike, once post-strike).
On the left is a weird All-Star insert card provided by TommieCleon, also showing Kong with the partially obscured No. 5.
As detailed in the comments in the post below this, this controversy reminded me of another “false positive” Kingman spring. This one was 1975. Tonight I cracked open the ’75 yearbook to find the below photo, showing the newly acquired Kingman in a St. Petersburg batting cage wearing No. 4 but with a roster, dated March 27, noting Kingman would wear 26 once the season began. Adding to this confusion were photos of Rusty Staub also wearing 4 — but they dated to 1974. Staub that spring was wearing 10 for the first time — he’d ditched 4 after Duffy Dyer was traded that winter.
Now things get really weird. When that 1975 season finally began, it was April 8, a Tuesday day game against the Phillies — 33 years ago today. I was at Shea with my Dad, and Kingman hit a home run. We won 2-1 that day as Seaver outdueled Carlton.
Tonight I learned that today’s disappointing home opener against the Phillies was attended by Dave Kingman.
I don’t know what it means either.
* Before today’s game, Matt Wise was placed on the disabled list with a stiff forearm. The surprise recallee, Carlos Muniz, pitched this after noon wearing No. 32. Muniz wore 38 last year before Wise arrived this winter.
OK, so now that Johan Santana is in the fold and will presumably slip on a No. 57jersey at a press event sometime next week, there’s still the matter of the other new guys and what they’ll turn up in when spring training begins later this month.
What new guys? Well, those indicated by the “–” symbol alongside their names on themets.com 40-man roster: Pitchers Ruddy Lugo; Steven Register, Brian Stokes and Matt Wise; and outfielders Ryan Church and Angel Pagan. Catcher Brian Schneider is also indicated with a double-en-space, but we’re reasonably sure he’s headed for the No. 23 jersey photographed below and Marlon Anderson will change into something new.
Normally at this time of year the Mets do their fans the courtesy of scheduling a Winter Caravan in which their guys visit sick kids in the hospital and hit tourist landmarks for photo-ops while wearing their newly-assigned jerseys, but perhaps because of the relative lack of good news to share until very recently, they called it off this year. They didn’t have one last year either and they set an attendance record. Go figure.
Anyhow, none of the pitchers but for maybe Wise has enough number-equity than to take what they’re assigned this spring and it may not be pretty. Register, a longshot Rule 5 reliever, may follow the suit of last year’s counterpart Mitch Wylie and show up in 59. We’ll predict low 60s in fact for all the pitchers but Wise whom we predict ought to scoop up the available 38. Stokes (41 last year for Tampa Bay) and Lugo (45 for Oakland) will obviously be shopping for new digits in the event they make the squad.
And until just recently I would have pegged the lack of a press conference welcoming Ryan Church to the fold as evidence of their preparedness to flip him away in a trade but now I suppose it’s safe to present him with the 19 jersey he wore with Washington most recently. Pagan, No. 29 in Chicago last year, will likely have to give that up for incumbent Jorge Sosa. He could be a 9, maybe.
Know different? Say so below.
Thanks for the welcome from Mike’s Mets.
The Mets yesterday signed free agent Matt Wise to a one-year contract with intentions of using the lanky former Brewer righthander as a middle-relief candidate.
Wise most recently suited up in No. 38 for the Brewers — incidentally, the same number associated with Eric Gagne, the free agent whose recent arrival in Milwaukee, along with former Met Guillermo Mota, prompted the Brewers not to offer Wise a 2008 contract. Wise, reports say, utilizes a funky delivery to give deception to a variety of junk pitches. His results have been pretty good if not spectacular, and ought to provide an interesting contrast with the results of Mota.
No. 38 in Metland was seen most recently on the back of Carlos Muniz, the last of the Mets’ desperate callups in September. Wise by the way has also suited up in No. 26 for Milwaukee. That belongs to Orlando Hernandez here.