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.
While a monsoon ruined the scheduled Jackie Robinson Day at Shea last Sunday, the celebration has been rescheduled for tonight: Appropriately, considering Willie Randolph’s No. 42 jersey would have been beneath a heavy coat or scuba gear Sunday while today, it finally looks like spring.
It also feels pretty good, considering how the Mets ravaged the opposition in a rain-shortened roadtrip this week. Four runs in the first off Willis; six runs with 2 outs in the 3rd last night: These are the kind of achievements I’ve been waiting to get from this team, and that Greg at Faith and Fear has saved me from having to go into more detail about. It’s early to say this, but Moises Alou is already eliciting feelings that Orel Hershiser took half a season to in 1999: That being, the a veteran enemy I’d never had a lot of appreciation for, coming here late in their career to show me, at long last, what I’d missed. Man can that guy hit.
Manager Willie Randolph said he would wear No. 42 on April 15 when baseball honors Jackie Robinson.
“Any time I can be involved with the name Jackie Robinson, it’s an honor for me,” Randolph said Wednesday, according to MLB.com. “I want to be the one. He was such a special man who did so much for so many people. I’m looking forward to the ceremony and to seeing Rachel [Robinson, Jackie’s wife].”
Willie would be the 10th man to wear 42 for the Mets, Others include Larry Elliot (1964); Ron Taylor (1967-71); Chuck Taylor (1972); Hank Webb (1972); Ron Hodges (1973-1984); Tom Hall (1975); Roger McDowell (1985-89); Butch Huskey (1995-98) and Mo Vaughn (2002-03). Huskey and Vaughn were grandfathered into baseball’s leaguewide retirement of the jersey in 1997; and both wore the number in Robinson’s honor.
With Cliff Floyd’s departure to Chicago, it may be interesting to see whether Willie Randolph alights in the now-vacant No. 30 or stays with the 12 he’s worn as a Met player and manager (in his playing days, 30 belonged to Mel Stottlemeyer; Willie was 30 with the MF Yankees most of his career).
Alert MBTN reader Richard informs us that Mets.com is offering the Jose Valentin jersey in No. 22 — the switch from 18 we expected following the Moises Alou signing earlier this off-season.
Hello to new arrivals and/or spring auditionees Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Sele, Jorge Sosa and David Newhan.
While Schoeneweis falls one letter short of the all-time Met record for characters on a name plate (ISRINGHAUSEN, with 12 still leads the pack), if his form holds true the veteran loogy would become the first player in Met history to wear No. 60. We’re kind of shocked to see him get a three-year contract.
The well traveled Sele, who signed a minor-league deal, has worn 30, 34, and last year with Los Angeles, 41. Sosa, who was pretty good for the Braves in ’05 and horrendous with them last year, is yet another former No. 34. We last saw the 34 jersey on Mike Pelfrey, who just might make the starting rotation.
Newhan, often described as a Joe McEwing type, wore No. 11 with the Orioles, as McEwing had in his last years as a Met. Eleven currently belongs to reserve catcher Ramon Castro, who was re-signed recently along with Endy Chavez 10; Duaner Sanchez 50; and, to another minor-league deal, the immortal Mike DiFelice.
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.
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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.
Willie Randolph, as quoted by Bill Madden in the Daily News: “I’m gonna wear No. 12. Why? You remember Ken Boswell? Second baseman on the ’69 team? He was my favorite player growing up. No. 12. It’s a nice number.”
We remember Ken Boswell too, and even if his sideburns might not fly in Willie’s clubhouse, it speaks well of the new Met manager that he has a sense of his place in history. This is probably a natural result of the era we grew up, but 12 has always seemed more Boswellian to us than Kent-like or Alomarish. And as glorified ticket salesman Darryl Strawberry makes a grand reappearance at Shea this weekend, may it serve as a reminder of this team’s horribly miscast former manager, who wore No. 18 but was no George Theodore either.
We found Madden’s piece, by the way, from a link at the extraordinary new blog co-authored by veteran MBTN reader Greg — highly recommended for fans of good writing and historical Metdom.
Only hours after Carlos Delgado and his scheming agent left the Mets high and dry came word that Omar had traded promising ex-Cyclone Ian Bladergroen for spare Red Sock first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. Minky brings an excellent glove but an average bat to his new job, but was probably the best among the consolation prizes. Mientkiewicz wore No. 16 for most of his career in Minnesota and No. 13 in Boston, but what might be most interesting is seeing whether the Mets manage to fit that unweildly last name onto the back of a jersey without dropping the leading: His 12-lettered name matches Isringhausen for the longest in Met history. Omar contends the offseason acquisition spree is all but done, but we’ll believe it when 25 men depart from St. Lucie.
Spotted at the Met Caravan this week: New manager Willie Randolph has indeed returned to his Met No. 12, as reported by MBTN reader Keith, and the photo above appears to showDanny Garcia accomodating by taking No. 1. The Met roster lists Miguel Cairo (next to Diaz) in No. 3 and reliever Dae Sung Koo (next to Brazell in the top row) in No. 60; but we haven’t confirmed either by eyewitness. We’re unsure who that guy is in the back row between Looper and Bell (DeJean?), as well as the dude on the farthest right on the top row.
Updates: The guy in No. 52 is is new bullpen coach Guy Conti, not Jerry or Charlie Manuel as we incorrectly guessed here. Thanks to readers Matt and Sean for pointing it out! Also today, we discovered that Victor Diaz has been given the more dignified No. 20 — he was a rookieish 50 last year.
Omar Minaya’s first move with Full Autonomy (Full autonomy?! Full autonomy!) was to name X-Yankee/X-Met and New Yorker Willie Randolph as the team’s 18th manager. Willie posed for blasphemous photos at Shea yesterday wearing Mookie Wilson’s No. 1, but it’s likely he’ll be wearing another number the next time he suits up. Willie was No. 30 for most of his Yankee career, but wore 12 while with the Mets in 1992. Taking his customary number would require Cliff Floyd to change jerseys but there’s speculation that Minaya will do what he can to change what it says on the front of Cliff’s shirt this winter anyhow. Danny Garcia is the current No. 12.
Though we think Bobby Valentine might have been a better choice, we’re willing to give Willie a shot. Thankfully, he didn’t arrive with the ridiculous contract his predecessor did.