Just a quick update here to tell you something all of us already know: The Brett Baty thing was a thing, and it couldn’t have gone better. He wore No. 22 which I also had associated with him because as noted in the comments below by Gene (and confirmed by Matt), he wore 22 in Binghamton and knew also that finding him assigned 2 in Syracuse seemed unusual to me, but only because I didn’t know how recently he’d been assigned there but it was much less that I thought. I also knew he was considered something like Wright but seemed to have been surprised then to find he batted lefthanded. I can adjust for that a little and say he also resembles a young Robin Ventura.
The other thing I’ll mention here is that I’m old and decrepit enough to have a specific memory that Benny Ayala became the first Met ever to hit a home run in his first at-bat and that means I actually have been alive and paying attention to all five.
||Aug. 27, 1974
||Solo HR 2nd inning off LHP Tom Wilson at Shea. Mets 4, Astros 2
||Ayala was traded to St. Louis on March 30, 1977 for a minor league infielder Dog Clarey, a day after it was revealed that GM Joe McDonald had been driving while intoxicated when his car collided with a bus a few days earlier. McDonald said he hadn’t been drinking prior to the accident but had drinks the night before. He said he was out to pick blueberries to put on breakfast cereal when the accident occurred the following morning.
||September 13, 1983
||Solo HR, 2nd inning off RHP Tony Ghelfi at Veterans Stadium. Mets 5, Phillies 1
||The pitcher who surrendered Fitzgerald’s mighty blast, Tony Ghelfi, never pitched in another MLB game. It was only his third appearance in one.
||April 6, 2004
||Solo HR, top of the 1st off RHP Russ Ortiz at Turner Field. Mets 7, Braves 2
||Matsui knew how to enter a room. Not only was his first hit a home run, his first pitch he saw he put over the fence. He’d twice more hit a home run on opening day, including in 2005 (2-run HR off ex-Met Paul Wilson of the Reds) and the following year, an inside-the-park home run off Jake Peavy in Petco Park.
||Aug. 21, 2005
||Pinch-hit for Juan Padilla, 3-run HR, bottom of the 5th, off Esteban Loiaza at Shea. Nationals 7, Mets 4
||Jacobs’ home run saved his place on the roster and he would hit .310/.375/.710//1.085 through the end of the year. He’d later be a key piece in the Carlos Delgado trade.
||Aug. 17, 2022
||2-run HR, top of the 2nd off Jake Odorizzi at Truist Park. Mets 9, Braves 7
||Baty was a 12th-overall pick. His parents and sister had driven from Texas to be in the park and were on camera as he hit it. Be on the lookout for a MLB “Enjoy The Show” commercial like they made from this one.
Baseball is a very humbling game. Just saying, Joe. And you don’t ask Shelly Duncan for his number, you take it while he’s drunk.
With the offseason officially underway and the countdown to April 5 already begun, two future ex-Mets already filed for free agency and as far as I’m concerned can beat it. See you later, Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider.
Delgado is obviously a terrific talent and really made the difference in 2006 but like way too many Omarian acquisitions his best days were behind him and he spent entirely too much time nursing injuries and maybe a few grudges as a Met. He made pretty clear in 2005 he didn’t care to be here anyway. Schneider in the meantime might be one of the most overlooked busts the Mets have ever had. In any other year, his 2009 stinking-up-of-the-joint would make him the target of vicious fan abuse and a major concern in the offense. But amid all the other bad news and bad players, he just about got away with it. Schneider’s 2008 was pretty rotten as well.
We’ll see what the Mets have in mind regarding the potential replacements for these guys, but I wouldn’t kill them for looking into what it might take to pry catcher Chris Iannetta from the Rockies. I tend to think the Mets might be best off holding their noses and getting Daniel Murphy a right-handed hitting platoonmate at first base while waiting to mix in promising prospect Ike Davis at first base. Garrett Atkins? Xavier Nady? Let’s think on it.
This team already has that quality of looking terrific when it wins and ghastly when it loses, which I guess is a good sign because it indicates an expectation of victory accompanies us most nights, and so managing my own moods as they proceed through a long season is going to be challenging at times.
What I like about this team however has been on display this weekend in San Francisco, where a guy who replaced Marlon Anderson on the bench can sub in, legitimately, at cleanup, while the choice of which guy to back up at first base or at short in a pinch isn’t an automatic crippling. And where a rookie can go from capably filling in for Sean Green to capably replacing JJ Putz on consecutive nights. They’re still a little too sloppy for my liking but what’s not to like about beating up on Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson and Brian Wilson: No slouches there.
As you probably noticed they’ve done it without Carlos Delgado who’s going to be out for a long stretch, probably. They finally got around to disabling him today only to call the forgotten man, Angel Pagan, who last played for the Mets more than a year ago, and on Saturday was still wearing No. 16.
Nothing like making dumb play after dumb play and damn near getting swept at home by the Braves to take all the good feelings out of a seven-game win streak; then again there’s Carlos Delgado‘s hip, Jose Reyes‘ hopelessly casual attitude, the fact that JJ Putz can’t finish an inning in under 15 minutes, Jerry Manuel‘s continued baffling moves, and perhaps the season’s toughest road trip ahead of us, so don’t feel too bad yet.
The flight to san Francisco tonight — a long one, and they deserve it — won’t include Jon Niese, whose been optioned back to Buffalo after a subpar outing in his second turn as Oliver Perez‘s stand-in. His seat goes instead to Nelson Figueroa, who never made good on his threat to leave but may stick around for some time considering the sudden back-of-the-bullpen struggles of Ken Takahashi. Niese’s next start, it would seem, would go to Tim Redding as long as his Buffalo tune-ups continue progressing.
Delgado in the meantime appears headed to the disabled list, the Mets having compromised their bench for the requisite number of games without even a diagnosis of what’s actually bothering him. Speculation of a replacement is even harder to figure at this point, with Nick Evans batting 083 and the rest of the Buffalo lineup barely any better.
Nobody asked, but were it up to me I’d try to make a deal with Mark Teixeira, trade Carlos Delgado to Toronto for pitching/bullpen/bench help, and somehow make Brian Schneider a backup catcher. Improving the offense is important. If Tex costs too much buy the cheaper of Fuentes or Rodriguez, or take your chances with the guys you get in trades. Somebody’s going to pitch in the ninth inning.
Despite all you hear of Omar’s rep as whacky wheeler-dealer, he’s probably going to play it considerably safer. Blowing his wad for the closer first is one of those moves that won’t get criticized considering how impovrished everyone thinks the bullpen is,and will excuse him for doing much more. Just saying, it’s probably not the cleverest thing he could do.
Citibank’s on the brink of collapse? How appropriate!
What’s a weirder sight — Jay Horwitz wearing Jeromy Burntiz‘ hideous orange sportscoat… or Carlos Delgado wearing a uniform dirtier than Jason Giambi’s lucky thong? We got all that, plus Scott Schoeneweis wearing a satisfied smile, as the Mets’ sudden winning streak reached 3 games Thursday night. They scored all eight runs with two men out, an unfathomable accomplishment at some times this year and perhaps… maybe … a sign that they have turned the corner. Before they go for four straight Friday, please stop by the Holiday Inn LaGuardia and the Pine Lounge — that’s the former Bobby Vee’s — at 37-10 114th Street, right across the Grand Central from Big Shea. I’ll be there with Matthew Silverman. We’ll have books to sell and sign, or just hang out and schmooze pre-game: We’re headed to the game afterward. Thanks to Joey Reynolds and WOR for having us on the other night, and by night, I mean, late night: I didn’t wind up being much of a conversationalist at 2am, though Matt picked up the slack. The highlight of the experience was definitely getting an impromptu a capella “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Nu Millenium A Capella Soul, who went on before us.
Pedro Martinez hit the disabled list for the second time this year, and for the fourth time, the Mets have recalled Heath Bell from Norfolk, helping the Mets turn this into their worst road trip since the Boston debacle in late June. With Carlos Delgado 21 radically slumping, David Wright 5transforming into a singles hitter, and Lastings Milledge 44 looking every bit the rookie he is, this could get worse before it gets better. And that’s why God created 12-game leads.
Thanks to Met number genius Ed for pointing out the comment below on Jae Seo’s “outrageous”No. 98 in Tampa had a precedent: Seo, Ed writes, wore 98 as a Met spring training hopeful in 1998.
Props also to the reader who pointed out our math below on Ed Kranepool’s tenure in No. 7 was inaccurate: Krane was 21 for his first two seasons with the Mets, and so occupied 7 for 15 years, not 17.
Hours after introducing new Met first baseman Carlos Delgado the Mets rolled out the podium to introduce new closer Billy Wagner, reeled in on a four-year contract by free-spending Met GM Omar Minaya. Wagner will wear his customary No. 13 jersey, most recently worn by Brian Daubach and more famously by infielder Edgardo Alfonzo and early-80s closer Neil Allen.
Delgado suiting up in 21, by the way, is actually a return to his original Blue Jays uniform and proves he’s a bigger man than Roger Clemens or Paul O’Neill, which granted, aren’t hard things to do. But as pointed out by MBTN reader Steve, Delgado took 25 only after Clemens arrived in Toronto in 1997. By contrast, O’Neill refused to surrender 21 when his jerkoff teammate arrived at Yankee Stadium in ’99. We sure like Delgado so far.
In meeting the press and Willie Randolph today, newly acquired first baseman Carlos Delgado said goodbye to jersey No. 25, and his beard, both of which he can no longer wear. Taking No. 21 instead, Delgado explained that 25 belongs to Kaz Matsui, though MBTN suggests you don’t spend all your Christmas money on a new Delgado jersey pending Matsui’s survival of this winter’s hot stove.
The Mets today announced they would acquire slugging first baseman
Carlos Delgado and 7 million U.S. Dollars from the Marlins, giving up promising
young hitter Mike Jacobs 27 and alleged phenom pitcher
Yusmeiro Petit in return. That this is a dynamite deal for the Mets should be
obvious: Delgado fills the need for another threatening bat in the lineup
and they didn’t need to cough up Lastings Milledge to get him. This
of course isn’t the first time the Mets have picked up luxury goods on
the cheap in a Marlin liquidation: The 1998 sell-off produced
Dennis Cook 27, Al Leiter 22 and Mike Piazza 31, all key players in the last
respectable Met era.
Considering the strenous attempt to land Delgado last off-season, we expect the Mets will provide Delgado with all the comforts he deems necessary, which means
Kaz Matsui 25 might find a new jersey hanging in his locker this spring
(presuming it says “Mets” on the front, that is). We argued back in ’03
that Matsui should have been issued 77 and would still like to see it.
Speaking of Marlin giveaways, the Mets quietly provided X-Marlin lefty reliever
Matt Perisho with a minor league contract and invite to Spring Training.
Perisho wore 46 with the Marlins last season.