The Mets as expected activated Dave Williams 32 prior to Sunday’s getaway in Houston and the Astros summarily beat him silly. The question as to who would be demoted to make room was answered when Ricky Ledee 9 was optioned to AAA.
The 8-3 loss sent the Mets limping into the break still in first place, but hardly looking like a championship team. While injuries have been a part of the struggle, it’s the performance of the guys out there everyday — particularly the right side of the infield — that’s really been a drag. That and the fact that some Mets just seem … unhappy. There’s Reyes sulking after bouncing out and and failing to run out grounders. There’s Heilman and his hangdog expression. LoDuca blowing up at umpires and/or the press. Wagner flattening a teammate with a comment in the papers.
There’s been some good stuff too, particularly from Reyes and Wagner. But over the break the Mets will have to consider how much more rope they can afford to give Jose Valentin 22, who is battling wounded knees and just doesn’t look sharp at all and how they intend to get better production out of the corner outfield slots. As the trade deadline approaches it will be interesting to see just what the Mets go for (I’m thinking, Brand Name Relievers if nothing else, but it would als be nice to see them pry some future help as well, like they did with Oliver Perez a year ago.
Yes, Ricky Ledee is back. The reserve outfielder returned today for a second engagement with the Mets after a second year of awaiting an emergency at AAA. This year’s crisis concerns injuries to three starting outfielders and one reserve, and that two minor league reinforcements are already up. Ledee, who again this year is wearing No. 9, tagged punchless utilityman David Newhan 17 on the way down, so the news isn’t all bad.
On Thursday, creaky-kneed second baseman Jose Valentin 22 and magician Endy Chavez 10traded places on the active and disabled lists. Endy looks to be gone for a month or more with a bad hammy. Valentin hopes to make do on a partially torn ACL.
Now that September has arrived, the Mets are reportedly looking to promote several minor leaguers, in addition to Heath Bell 19 and Royce Ring 43, who were activated Friday.
Considering Sunday’s performance by Mike DiFelice 6, there’s little doubt catcher Kelly Stinnett will be among them: Stinnett is a returning Met who was last seen wearing No. 33 in 1995 (that number currently belongs to John Maine). Also slated to return, reports say, are Lastings Milledge 44, Mike Pelfrey 34, Brian Bannister 40, Ricky Ledee 9, and newly arriving prospect Phillip Humber.Humber, should he see action, would become the 799th man to play in a Met uniform: Barring any additional shenanigans, that means we’re likely to see the 800th Met on opening day next year.
Still no word on what number Shawn Green turns up in, but MBTN reader Michael points out it probably won’t be 25 as foolishly suggested below (that’s Pedro Feliciano’s these days). His guess: 9, for the odds-on favorite to be released to make room for him, Ricky Ledee, but we’ve thought it over and suddenly realize it could be 20, for Victor Diaz, the guy whose place on the 40-man roster disappeared overnight because of Green.
Green by the way will become the 45th Met this year, and the 797th of all time. While the 1967 record of 54 different players is probably safe, there’s a strong possibility that the all-time Metland population reaches 800 sometime in September. Back in 2003, when Tom Glavine became the 700th Met, we ran the following chronology of Milestone Mets and their Debut Dates:
100: Jimmie Schaffer (July 26, 1965)
200: Bill Sudakis (July 11, 1972)
300: Phil Mankowski (April 11, 1980)
400: Randy Milligan (Sept. 12, 1987)
500: Kelly Stinnett (April 5, 1994)
600: Lenny Harris (July 4, 1998)
700: Tom Glavine (March 31, 2003)
New outfielder Ricky Ledee arrived at Shea this evening and suited up in No. 9, last worn by chunky infielder Craig Brazell, best remembered for ruining the Cubs’ 2004 season, currently playing AA ball for the Dodgers organization. Also tonight, the Mets announced that Cliff Floyd 30 was headed to the disabled list for the second time this year and that his spot on the roster would be filled by journeyman Michael Tucker, who’s hitting 265/381/411 while wearing No. 34 down in Norfolk. Let’s hope Floyd stays disabled until fully able. Update Aug. 10 — Tucker appeared today in 22.
Thanks to Louis for the correction on Uni Controversies — the player John Franco swiped 31 from was Julio Machado and not Julio Valera. And thanks to Adam, Michael and Gordon for the Ledee news.
Editorial: If you’re a Met fan out at Shea desperately seeking attention by booing, do yourself a favor and put a sock in it. Thanks.
Ledee In; Marerro Out: The Mets on Tuesday picked up veteran reserve outfielder Ricky Ledee on waivers from the Dodgers and brought an end to the short and undistinguished Met career of Eli Marerro to make room for him. The well-traveled Ledee has frequently worn 33 but was wearing 21most recently with the Dodgers — neither number is available here. We’re guessing he appears tonight in Marerro’s old 32.
Nice to see the great ovation given to returning hero Mike Piazza, and odd to see him wearing No. 33 — his familiar 31 has been retired by his new employers for Dave Winfield. Odder still to see Jae Seo in Tampa Bay wearing the outrageous No. 98.
Shout out to Uni Watch Blog, deliverer of some recent traffic. If you don’t read it, um, you should.