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The Mets on Thursday reassigned longshot reliever candidates Carlos Muniz and Willie Collazo to their minor league camp, and by doing so freed up numbers 32 and 36, respectively. Jason Vargas, who was assigned a different number this spring (39) than last year (43), also left to have surgery and is out for awhile, the Daily News said.

As you might not care to remember, Muniz and Collazo were among the desperate moves the Mets found themselves forced to make as a collective suck infected the bullpen last September and, along with unreliable starting pitching, too many guys getting picked off first base, lack of hustle, lack of focus, lack of brains, lack of courage, overconfidence, underconfidence, stupid decisions, and a few things that didn’t go our way, cost the Mets the division they probably should have won.

Collazo we’ll remember for the goof of spelling his name improperly on the back of his jersey. Muniz, who spent most of the year in AA, debuted in that nightmarish 10-9 loss to the Nationals mopping up for Mr. I’m-Not-Devastated, and the seemingly innocent single run Muniz loomed large when the Mets’ 6-run rally in the ninth didn’t tie the game but left them one run short. Of all the disastrous Mets games last year, and there were plenty to choose from, that one probably burned me the most.

Anyway, I found it a mild surprise but also a nice gesture that these guys were invited to camp this spring and allowed to retain the numbers they were issued despite their longshot status and the arrival of others more likely to wind up in their numbers. (What do you figure the chances are that either of them surfaces with the big club ever again?

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