Tag Archive for Victor Diaz

Not Getting It

Leave it Yankee fans to find a way to interrupt my schafenfreude. After the Mets were rained out last night, I listened in with sick delight as the Rays dismantled the Yankees, 13-4. The beatdown was highlighted by a 6-run outburst against LaTroy Hawkins, the newly acquired veteran reliever off to a rotten start with the Yankees.

Stay classy, fellasThere’s not a true Met fan out there who didn’t chuckle to themselves when the Yanks made that acquisition, by the way. Hawkins was the pitcher who surrendered a 3-run, 9th-inning, game-tying bomb to Victor Diaz in the final week of the 2004 season, in a game that ultimately obliterated the Cubs’ run for the playoffs and provided about the only Mets’ highlight of that entire miserable year.

But back to last night. Yankee fans being Yankee fans, it’s not enough for them to be disgusted with, and unsupportive of, their players while they struggle. No, they have to hate Hawkins on a level beyond that for having the temerity to struggle while wearing (hush now) Paul O’Neill’s venerated No. 21. So while Hawkins was out there scuffling last night, he did so to a chorus of unsportsmanlike “Paul O’Neill!” chants.

Mets fans, don’t act like that.

Never mind the fact that Hawkins explained he’s wearing the number in honor of Roberto Clemente. That in itself ought to be reason enough to leave his choice alone. But somehow the Yankees and their fans have allowed the whole idea of re-issuing popular players’ numbers to become an affront to the former player’s dignity and an invitation to their fans to act disgracefully. The Yankees’ organizational habit of dubiously retiring numbers (Howard, Maris, and Jackson to name three) no doubt has conditioned fans to sniff out disrepect behind innocunous or even well-intentioned re-issues, while demanding they honor any or every pretty good but not great player who came through the organization and was fortunate enough to be a part of a championship team.

DISCLAIMER: Not all Yankee fans are like the guy above. Many don’t smoke. 

* The Mets’ rain-out last night sets up a delicious Santana-Glavine matchup for Sunday’s game, which we’ll be watching at Stout NYC (133 W. 33rd St.) for the Mets by the Numbers launch/viewing party. I’m told SNY’s Mets Weekly crew may be on hand. Hope to see you there too!

* I’ll be warming up for that event with a talk and book signing today (Saturday) at Barnes & Noble in Bayside, 3 p.m.

 

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Tim Bogar Lives

The Mets this afternoon announced they had traded one-time prospect Victor Diaz, a former wearer of the 50 and 20 jerseys, to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league catcher Mike Nickeas. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t get all excited over an exchange of minor leagers (Nickeas has been assigned to Class A St. Lucie), but this particular one provides hope that the Tim Bogar Trade Chain may live again after last rites had been administered. Bogar at the beginning of this season was the oldest Met who could be connected by trade to current Met(s), but Diaz’ designation last week nearly spelled the end seeing as injuries already put the futures of pitchers Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano in similar danger. Bogar who debuted with the Mets in 1993, was traded to Houston for Luis Lopez, who went to Milwaukee for Bill Pulsipher, who went to Arizona forLenny Harris, who went to Milwaukee for Jeromy Burnitz, whose trade to Los Angeles yeilded Victor Diaz and minor leaguer Joselo Diaz; the latter brought back Zambrano and  Fortunato in the regrettable Scott Kazmir trade. So here’s to the future of young Mike Nickeas, which hopefully includes a part in a multiplayer trade.

* * *

Still waiting for official word, but the Norfolk Tides today announced that Anderson Hernandez is on his way back to the Mets, perhaps as the first of the September call-ups. You might recall Hernandez was this year’s opening-day second baseman, wearing No. 1. Manager Willie Randolph today said he didn’t anticipate the team would make many  call-ups, so whether the Mets reach player No. 800 this year or next remains to be seen.

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Green Thoughts

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)
800: ???

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Maine & Bannister

John Maine will make a start today for the Mets, taking Brian Bannister’s spot in the rotation. You may recall maine made a to-do in spring training about favoring No. 33, and that’s what he’ll be wearing tonight. Victor Diaz 20 was sent back down to Norfolk to make room for him.

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Diaz & Feliciano

Underutilized stick Victor Diaz 20 was told to play all he wants — in Norfolk. LeftyPedro Feliciano 39 takes his place on the roster.

Still finishing extensive site update. Thanks for your patience…

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Injury Update

The Mets have recalled Victor Diaz 20 to fill Cameron’s spot. Earlier this week, Kaz Matsui 25returned from the disabled list while Doug Mientkiewicz 16 took his place.

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Cairo Returns; Diaz Sent Down

Miguel Cairo 3, out for a few weeks with hammy issues, returns to the Mets today while outfielderVictor Diaz 20 is sent back to Norfolk.

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Diaz Recalled, Valent Designated

The Mets’ piddling offense over the last week in the wake of so-called day-to-day injuries to Carlos Beltran and Kaz Matsui highlighted the need for a more threatening bat and so the team recalled Victor Diaz 20 from Norfolk. But the failure to send either player to the disabled list may wind up costing the Mets pesky reserve outfielder Eric Valent, whom they’ll try to sneak through waivers and stash at Norfolk to make room for Diaz.

At the moment, this move has yet to earn the MBTN Seal of Approval: Though Valent was off to a slow start this year, lefthanded bench players who cost nothing and hit 13 home runs in part-time work are hard to find and probably, in demand. We also admire Valent’s contribution to Met Uni history, continuing to wear the absurd No. 57 he was issued as a non-roster spring-training invitee in 2003 when he made the team unexpectedly. Could the Mets have lived with 11 pitchers for a while instead? Did Willie have to give all the lefthanded pinch-hitting opportunities to Marlon Anderson, who for all his success can’t smell Valent’s power? Will Valent clear waivers? How many days before day-to-day becomes week-to-week? We shall see.

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Ishii Back, Castro Out, DiFelice Up, Diaz Down

Kaz Ishii 23 returned to the active roster today and pitched well in a win over Cincinnati and maybe,Victor Zambrano’s job. To make room, the Mets optioned one-time rookie-off-the-year candidate Victor Diaz 20 to Norfolk, where he’ll work on his defense and await Cliff Floyd’s next injury.

In the meantime catcher Ramon Castro 11 went to the disabled list with a strained quad, and journeyman Mike DiFelice was recalled from Norfolk. DiFelice made his Met debut tonight in No. 33, recalling historical Metly backup catchers Clint Hurdle, Barry Lyons, Tim Spehr, Mike Kincade, Charlie O’Brien and Barry Lyons.

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If at First …

Quick corrections to begin the new year: Manny Aybar debuted this afternoon in No. 36; and Felix Heredia wore 49. (Thank you Tom for the update; FU to MSG and Time Warner for not showing it to me). Also, Kris Benson 34 hit the DL, revealing Omar was probably foolish in having traded away Matt Ginter. That means Victor Diaz made the squad, and in a new number this year, 20.Meantime, it appears a move or two is on the near horizon as Benson is expected to miss three weeks and after today’s performance you can bet the pressure will build on Braden Looper. Ugh. We did almost everything else right.

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