If you’re not careful you’ll learn something new every day.
Today, for some reason, Steve Trachsel “took over” the @Mets twitter account, fielding questions from fans. And for some reason, I clicked over to read the exchanges, only to come across this interesting bit of Trac-trivia:
How about that? I suppose with 29 also available and Bobby Jones having just departed the Mets could have been more sensible in re-issuing No. 28 so quickly. But I’m impressed Trachsel gave this thing any kind of thought. And it certainly hadn’t occurred to me that jocks would necessarily carry these rivalries from college; or than Cal State-Fresno and Cal State-Fullerton were big rivals, although that makes some sense if you think about it.
As someone who lived through the Steve Trachsel Era, it’s worth pointing out here that despite a ghastly beginning and a truly terrible end, Trax had a pretty good five years as a Met, and remains the undisputed champion pitcher of Mets-who-wore-29, having twice as many wins (66) and more than twice as many losses than the next guy (Frank Viola).
A brief update on the Ike Davis situation: Yes he’s been called up and may start this evening against the Cubs, while Tobi Stoner heads back to Buffalo with our thanks and a tough luck loss. Think Jerry’s a little obsessed with creating eighth inning magic? Jeez.
As for why you’re here: The mets.com roster lists Davis as wearing 29, which Stoner just surrendered. (Now I see the press release reportting same). Isn’t it my fate to campaign for a guy to get Keith Hernandez‘ number only to see them give up Dave Magadan‘s instead. I don’t much get into that number, 29. It’s Steve Trachsel. It’s Steve Bieser. It’s some guy named Steve.
At any rate, tonight we really don’t have to worry about it since Davis will be wearing No. 42, along with the rest of his Met teammates in Part II of Chuck Taylor Appreciation Night.
Should have known as soon as I complained about the glut of lousy middle infielders on the Mets we’d be doomed to encounter still more.
David Wright’s beaning and subsequent disabled-listing prompted the Mets to recall veteran mediocre minor-league warrior Andy Green — and on the same night reach back into this year’s troubling history to summon Wilson Valdez when it finally became clear, after months of applauding the effort, that Alex Cora‘s look-ma-no-thumbs act had caused way more trouble than it could ever solve.
Imagine if you would that Cora resisted the hero urge and submitted to surgery when he initially injured that thumb. Assuming Jose Reyes is forthcoming and the Mets are honest, it may have prompted them to make a better effort to get a capable shortstop in there than the parade of Valdezes and Argenies and Berroas they spent all season embarrassed about, and maybe the Mets in turn don’t suffer the relentless offensive and defensive consequences of playing more than half a year with a one-handed shortstop. It would have mattered.
OK, then. They dressed Green in No. 29, quickly on its way to becoming the new No. 6. He’s the seventh wearer of that uni since Steve Trachsel left town, and the third this year. Interestingly, it could force Robinson Cancel into a fourth jersey in the event he is recalled (and with Brian Schneider around, being a AAA catcher ain’t so bad). Valdez is back in the No. 4 he’d briefly lost to Angel Berroa.
There will be a quiz at the end, and we’ll all fail.
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Quick note to let you know that Amazin’ Tuesday is on its way back to Two Boots Tavern, this Tuesday, the 25th, and again on Sept. 15. I will be out of town and will miss this month’s event but organizers have more than made up for my presense and will welcome you there. Go!
Thanks to eBay fiends Gordon, Pete and Jason who all shot us a copy of a Cubs scorecard up for bid on E-bay from the final series of the 1973 season, confirming long-held suspicions that Bob L. Miller wore No. 30 in his second go-round with the Mets. Miller was an original 1962 Met and the team’s first wearer of the No. 24 jersey but was cashiered after a 1-12 season for what one writer cracked was “half an infield” — Tim Harkness and Larry Burright — only to go on to a pretty fair career as a reliever for eight more teams and 11 more years before returning to the Mets in a waiver deal for the final two weeks of the 1973 season. By then, his No. 24 belonged to Willie Mays.
As the Winter Meetings begin and the possibility of seing the Mets’ first-ever No. 75 are high, the Mets welcomed back Tom Glavine 47 and bid farewell to free agent Chris Woodward 4, Cliff Floyd 30, Steve Trachsel 29, Chad Bradford 53 and Roberto Hernandez 39. Of these men, we’ll obviously miss Floyd most of all, whom we wouldn’t have guessed would grow so Metly when he arrived in the Winter Meetings four years ago. The Mets are also expected to name a third-base coach shortly, seeing as Manny Acta 3 a few weeks back was named manager of the Washington Nationals. The Mets reportedly are considering Howard Johnson and Gary Carter, among others, to take Acta’s role.
The Mets today welcomed back Steve Trachsel 29, and slotted him in the rotation on Friday. The drama as to who would be sacrificed to make room for him was satisfactorily resolved when washed-up mop-up man Danny Graves 32 was designated for assignment. On Monday, beefy reliever Heath Bell 19 was recalled from Norfolk while Dae Sung Koo 17 was demoted. On Sunday, reserve catcher Mike DeFelice 33 returned to the active roster when the Mets got around to disabling catcher Mike Piazza 31. Meanwhile, a massive three-run homer in his debut turn at bat Sunday appears to have saved a job for Mike Jacobs 27, who’s now your starting first baseman.
MBTN reader Mike from Tennessee points out that Jacobs became the fourth Met to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat — and that each of them had ascending uni numbers: Benny Ayala 18; Mike Fitzgerald 20; Kaz Matsui 25; and Jacobs 27. This is the kind of useless history MBTN was designed to capture.
Joe McEwing was the kinda guy who wore a number to honor a teammate then gave it up to accomodate another. Super, whose run at becoming the 25th man on the roster for the sixth straight year ended today at thirtysomething, wore 47 as a tribute to former St. Louis teammate John Mabry than selflessly cast it aside forNo. 11 when Tom Glavine arrived.
Joe did it all: He played adequately everywhere he was asked to, got a big hit now and again, drove the fork lift to deliver supplies to 9-11 victims and earned a spot alongside Rod Kanehl, Bob Bailor, Matt Franco and Jeff McKnight on the Mets All-Time Versatile Scrub team. His departure also breaks the oldest Trade Chain in Met history, dating back to All-Versatile predecessor Kevin Mitchell in 1984. Thanks Joe!
We at MBTN also want to wish Steve Trachsel 29 a speedy recovery. Honestly, we’ve come to admire his boring effectiveness and unspectacular reliability.
While the Mets were asking Alfonzo to beat it, they also decided against arbitration offers to John Valentin 4, Mark Guthrie 53, Jeff D’Amico 18 and Steve Reed 39, most likely ending their careers with the Mets. And they re-signed the boring-but-effective Steve Trachsel 29.
The Mets today called up promising minor league pitcher Pat Strange and issued him No. 38. Strange got the call as an emergency reliever in light of Steve Trachsel’s injury yesterday. Jae Wong Seo served the same purpose earlier this year, also wearing 38. Also: Grant Roberts 36 is back from the DL.
With starter Steve Trachsel 29 taking a trip to the disabled list, the Mets called up Tyler Walker today (Try not confuse Tyler Walker with Pete Walker or Tyler Yates, earlier Norfolk call-ups this year). Ignoring 40 years of history, they issued Walker No. 46, most recently worn by Rich Rodriguez and a host of regrettable Mets.