Jeff Conine’s surprise appearance in No. 28 for his Met debut last night was remarked upon in the TV broadcast by Gary Cohen who said it was unusual to see Conine wearing anything but No. 19. Cohen related that he brought this fact to the attention of the Mets’ current wearer of No. 19, Sandy Alomar Jr., who told Cohen he’d have no objections to surrendering the jersey, only he hadn’t because nobody had asked him to.
I’m highly suspicious of Conine remaining a 28 for much longer.
In a move they hope will address the right-handed bench power in the absence of Damian Easley, the Mets this afternoon said they have acquired veteran Jeff Conine from Cincinnati for a duo of minor league scrubeenies. No word yet on what number Mr. Marlin will wear for the Mets but he’s most often been spotted in 18 and 19 with his other employers.
Guess here is that as a means of welcoming Conine to New York, the Mets will offer him 19, currently belonging to Sandy Alomar Jr. but of no real significance to him. (How significant Alomar is at all is a matter of debate). Moises Alou has 18 today and will tomorrow. Another solution is to give him “09″ (pronounced oh-nine) which would rhyme.
I might have preferred the Mets swing a deal for Detroit’s Craig Monroe, who’s younger and presumably still has upside. The issue I have with Conine is only that in the event Delgado doesn’t heal properly the Mets will be tempted to make him an everyday guy and we’ve seen too often already this year the downside to that. But, here’s to Mr. Marlin. Chime in if you have a uni number suggestion or confirmation.
Well the all-odd infield as described below went out together for a second straight night Saturday but it’ll be their last for awhile. Damian Easley stepped awkwardly while running and gruesomely rolled his left ankle in an event likely to sideline him for the rest of the regular season. Ever roll an ankle like that? It makes a noise.
Anderson Hernandez was recalled from AAA Sunday to take his place on the roster, arriving to find out the No. 1 jersey he wore in previous visits to New York had been assigned to Luis Castillo in his absence. The Mets roster has Hernandez dressed in No. 4 (bad news for Ben Johnson should he deign to return).
A more pressing concern could be finding an acceptable right-handed pinch-hitter, preferably one who can play first base (among other positions), so as not to further compromise our oftentimes meager attack. Easley was one of the few guys on the team who’d done almost no harm and/or disappointing this season too. But I thought it was weird when Omar didn’t come back after the trade deadline with a right-handed bench hitter, so I’m pretty sure this merits a trade too.
Meantime on Sunday Sandy Alomar Jr. 19 was back for Ramon Castro 11, whose bad back necessitated a DL stay. All as we swept a team for the first time since June and — can you believe this? — reached a new highwater mark at 17 over .500.
Can’t take a day off without missing a few transactions anymore.
OK, indeed it was Chip Ambres 36 designated for assingment last week when Damian Easley 3returned for the bereavement list. Then after another poor outing Thursday, the Mets demoted Bazooka Joe Smith 35 with the idea of giving him some rest. In his place the Mets recalled Jon Adkins, the reliever acquired in the so-far lopsided Heath Bell trade. Adkins was assigned No. 39and debuted on Friday.
Also debuting Friday, it seemed, was some guy called Moises Alou who wore No. 18. Alou’s promotion from the disabled list, where he’d been since the late 1970s, accompanied a return to the minors for catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. 19, but also, news that Carlos Beltran 15 would sit indefinitely with one of his mysterious injuries — an injury he was apparently still feeling Saturday when Willie Randolph torched his entire 3-man bench and looked like a complete fool pinch-running and pinch-hitting 40-year-old pitchers while falling a run short against a guy making his major league debut.
The day-night debacle also required the Mets to recall Mike Pelfrey 34, and demote Anderson Hernandez 1 who arrived after the crippling of Jose Valentin 22. Pelfrey was evidently on his way back down to AAA but who is recalled becomes an issue now that Paul LoDuca 16 may be injured.
Oh, and the trade deadline is Tuesday.
Veteran catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. was in the dugout during last night’s debacle in Denver and wearing No. 19. Alomar had been recalled from AAA after Jason Vargas 43 was whacked following his revolting outing on Tuesday. Alomar is expected to last at least until Sunday when it is anticipated the Mets will recall Dave Williams to take the turn in Houston initially scheduled for Vargas. Williams threw, fairly effectively, for the Mets last season wearing No. 32.
As for Alomar, he becomes the second No. 19 this season (disgraced reliever Lino Urdaneta was the first) and the third member of the Alomar Clan to play for the Mets. Brother Roberto began the decline phase of his career here wearing No. 12 and their father, Sandy Sr., was a reserve infielder for the Mets in the first few weeks of 1967 (wearing No. 5); and has served as a coach since 2005 (wearing No. 2).
The Alomars now match the extended Alou clan (Moises Alou 18, his uncle Jesus Alou 25, and cousin Mel Rojas 51) as the Metliest families we know of.
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Thanks to reader effort we’re relatively sure catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. is wearing No. 90 which we also think may be the highest number in camp this spring. Nice job by the Mets to dress longshot catching invitee Jose Reyes in No. 77, which not only recalls his famous namesake but indicates he’s roughly twice his size. In a new number this spring is Steve Schmoll, submarining in the No. 38 jersey belonging most recently to Victor Zambrano.Schmoll last year attended camp wearing 46.
Zambrano, by the way, is non-rostering it with the Blue Jays wearing No. 31. Steve Trachselof the Orioles is wearing No. 18. And in an arrangement we won’t believe till we see, Cliff Floyd wears No. 15 for the Cubs (And Ted Lilly gets 30. Really, now).
For the second winter in a row, the Mets traded a soft-tossing starter who wore No. 40 for a hard-throwing young reliever who wears No. 50. While last year it was Jae Seo to Los Angeles for Duaner Sanchez, this time it’s Brian Bannister to Kansas City in exchange for Ambiorix Burgos.(Yes, we know Seo’s turn in No. 40 was a few changes ago, but we couldn’t resist all the spooky parallels). We’ll wish good luck to Bannister, who showed a lot of heart in an unexpected rookie campaign with the Mets, and hope that Burgos can cut down on those home runs allowed and wild pitches.
The Winter Meetings also brought word that ex-Met Howard Johnson would serve as the first-base coach next season, with Sandy Alomar crossing the diamond to third base to take the place of the departed Manny Acta. We’ll be watching to see which jersey Hojo turns up in, noting that his former No. 20 belongs today to outfielder Shawn Green.
More Numbers Confirmed: Thanks again to Gordon, who mailed along a scan of a scorecard from the opening series of the 1977 season including the listing of Ray Sadecki wearing No. 33. While this number wasn’t especially difficult to remember (that Sadecki wore 33 is in fact about the only thing we can recall of the guy) finding independent confirmation was a bit ornery and so we’re thankful to have it.
Quick update on the first Met Uni Controversy of the 06 offseason: Veteran outfielder Moises Alousigned a 1-year deal today and was presented with the No. 18 jersey. That number belonged last season to Jose Valentin, who was also re-signed recently. Newsday relates that Valentin willingly surrendered the digits after learning who asked for them: “You tell him he’s got the number.”
The guess here is that Valentin resurfaces in No. 22, a number that last season belonged to Xavier Nady then to Michael Tucker.
In other news the Mets dealt Nov. 15 for outfielder Ben Johnson (No. 4) and pitcher Jon Adkins (No. 57) of the Padres: Going to Petco are relievers Heath Bell 19 and Royce Ring 43. Should Johnson make the roster, he could remain in No. 4 since it doesn’t appear Chris Woodward is coming back. The Mets further cleared their roster of homegrown relief prospects by sending a pair of hard-throwers, Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom, to Florida for two lefty projects: Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick. Owens made a brief appearance for the Mets last season wearing No. 36; we might have smelled a deal cooking in back in September when the Mets issued that number to a backup catcher, Kelly Stinnett. Vargas, who wore No. 56 for the Marlins last season is the guy with the best chance to make something of himself though he hasn’t done so yet. Bostick has yet to crack the majors.
Also: Vetejourneyutilityman Damion Easley was added as a free agent. Easley’s been everywhere, man, but most recently in Arizona and Florida, he was wearing No. 2. That number currently belongs to coach Sandy Alomar.