Tag Archive for Chin-Lung Hu

The Name of the Game

As disappointed as we all are to learn the start of the baseball season has been delayed as part of the economic wreckage of incompetent U.S. preparedness for the coronavirus, perhaps there’s a silver lining in not immediately experiencing how dumb it’s going to be when new rules requiring relief pitchers throw to at least three batters takes effect. And the March 26 opening date seemed obscenely early anyway. I don’t often bother to show up in Flushing until May, given that place is guaranteed to be 20 degrees colder and twice as damp as anywhere else in the five boroughs, but let’s hope they get it going by then.

How are we going to pass the time though? I’d been suffering through the Islanders season and now that’s done too. So we’re rewatching The Wire on the stream, and reading some books.

Around here we care primarily about the number on the back of the jersey but much of what needs to be said about the letters above them is addressed with wit, insight and just the right mix of respect and humor in HALL OF NAME, a new book coming out any day now from D.B. Firstman.

I’ve known D.B. primarily through SABR and the Twitterverse for some time now, and they were gracious to offer an early copy, which I’d been eating piecemeal for a few weeks.

That’s in fact one of the cool things about this book: You can open it to any of its 312 pages and find something fun and interesting. The book includes short biographies, trivial facts, anagrams and vague sound-alikes for 100 of baseball’s “most magnificent monikers” from Boof Bonzer to Coco Crisp to Joe Zdeb.

Even more precisely than numbers, D.B. notes, names lend a uniqueness to the game’s characters that’s part of the fun; but what I enjoyed the most was the revelation of a little bit more than just the stats accompanying those names that would make you briefly pause and admire while thumbing through the Baseball Encyclopedia (Rivington Bisland, Jennings Poindexter, Orval Overall); uncommon commons revealed in a pack of Topps cards (Mark Lemongello, Greg Legg, Biff Pocoroba); or references that never fail to elicit a giggle (Johnny Dickshot, Rusty Kuntz, and Pete LaCock, the latter all lovingly written up in a section helpfully called DIRTY NAMES DONE DIRT CHEAP).

There’s a little Met content too, with J.J. Putz, Lastings Milledge, Angel Pagan, Razor Shines, Ambiorix Burgos and Xavier Nady among those featured.

You’re stuck at home with no baseball? Go out and get a copy or have your bookstore deliver one, like I said it’ll be out any day now. And in honor of the book’s publishing, here’s my list of the Mets All-Time Name Team. They may not win much, but you’ll never forget them:

1B: Marv Throneberry

2B: Chin-lung Hu

3B: Pumpsie Green

SS: Adeiny Hechavaria

OF: Darryl Strawberry, Don Hahn, Prentice Redman

C: Greg Goosen, Taylor Teagarden

P: Wally Whitehurst, Ken MacKenzie, Vinegar Bend Mizell, Patrick Strange, Bartolome Fortunato, Roadblock Jones, Al Schmelz

How are you going to make it through? Who makes your all-name club?

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

My Spine is the Baseline

Always a bummer when one of your key guys breaks his back, but what’s Jason Bay’s excuse? His failure to put the ball in play last night loomed large in a revolting 2-1 extra inning home loss to the Marlins last night that was followed by the announcement that two additional culprits — noodle-batted reserve infielder Chin-lung Hu, and hopeless relief hack Ryota Igarashi — would be headed to Class AAA Buffalo. I know it’s impossible and counterproductive, but I’d send Bay there with them just to punish him. In a bus.

Recalled to take the places of Hu and Igarshi are Ruben Tejada and Pedro Beato, respectively. Tejada was with the Mets last season assigned No. 11; Beato will retake the No. 27 he wore earlier this year.

As for David Wright, he has a broken back requiring at least a few weeks of rest. Met officials say it’s likely he’ll hit the disabled list today and be replaced on the roster by  perpetual tourist Nick Evans and his trusty No. 6 jersey.

Bonus for the first commenter to recognize the obscure headline reference!

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Hu’s the Boss

Interesting update passed along by reader Nick in the comments for the post below: Chin-Lung Hu was assigned No. 17 yesterday, but is listed in No. 25 today. In between, there was some of the typical hand-wringing that accompanies every issue of No. 17 to the Koos, Limas, Lloyds and Appiers of the world, while, by contrast, No. 8 has been mothballed since 2002 in deference to Gary Carter’s enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Could this be a signal that Kevin Kierst, the Mets’ new equipment manager, will take a different route than his disgraced predecessor,Charlie Samuels? It couldn’t hurt if it was.

While I’ve never been a strong advocate of retiring numbers (I think the Mets’ cautious stance on this issue is more or less on the mark) I’d be against retiring 8 while also not retiring 17, particularly as Hernandez’ stature among fans has grown as his broadcasting career has flourished while Carter’s star dimmed amid the feeling that he was a plotting gloryhound with an appetite for a managerial coup. The issue then of course is what to do with 16 and 18, which is why the less-is-more approach is something I’ve always been behind.

That said, the wanton reissuing of 17 — aside from conforming to Met tradition before Hernandez came along — is wrong as well. I’ve long advocated that the Mets save those numbers that might otherwise be retired and issue them to players who would do them proud. I’d put Josh Thole in 8 and Ike Davis in 17 tomorrow. Hu — who like Kelvin Torve assuredly wants no part in a numerical controversy — is scheduled to meet the press tomorrow.

Rafael Arroyo, by the way, was removed from the list of coaches today.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Batter Up

Hey, check it out! The Mets issued a new roster loaded with new numbers. Interesting additions include Ronny Paulino wearing No. 9; Chin-Lung Hu at 17; pitchers Taylor Buchholz (33) Chris Capuano 38 although we argued for 47);  and D.J. Carrasco on track to become the first No. 77 in Mets history. A group of contenders for roster slots is as usual dressed in the 60s, and the coaching staff includes new numbers for Dave Hudgens (52); Mookie Wilson (53 – really?); Ken Oberkfell (55); Jon Debus (56); and bullpen catcher  Rafael Arroyo (58).

Still anticipating new issues for pitcher Chris Young and outfielder Scott Hairston, the latest additions to the squad, as well as uniforms for non-roster invitees: Pitchers Boof Bonser, Taylor Tankersley and Michael O’Connor; infielder Russ Adams; and outfielder Willie Harris. Pitcher Ryota Igarashi, who was dropped from the 40-man roster and waived earlier this winter, is not listed with the NRIs but we’d expect to see him in 18 at camp. Ike Davis is still listed in 29, but 20 is vacant, so watch that space.

Current numerical roster (recent additions in bold):

1 Luis Castillo, 2B
2 Justin Turner, 2B
3 Luis Hernandez, INF
4 Vacant
5 David Wright, 3B
6 Nick Evans, OF
7 Jose Reyes, SS
8 Vacant
9 Ronny Paulino, C
10 Terry Collins, manager
11 Ruben Tejada, INF
12 Vacant
13 Mike Nickeas, C
14 Retired
15 Carlos Beltran, OF
16 Angel Pagan, OF
17 Chin-Lung Hu, INF 
18 Ryota Igarashi, P
19 Vacant
20 Vacant
21 Lucas Duda, OF
22 Vacant
23 Vacant
24 Vacant
25 Vacant
26 Fernando Martinez, OF
27 Vacant
28 Daniel Murphy, 1B-2B-OF
29 Ike Davis, 1B
30 Josh Thole, C
31 Vacant
32 Jenrry Mejia, P
33 Taylor Buchholz, P
34 Mike Pelfrey, P
35 Dillon Gee, P
36 Manny Acosta, P
37 Retired
38 Chris Capuano, P
39 Bobby Parnell, P
40 Vacant
41 Retired
42 Retired
43 R.A. Dickey, P
44 Jason Bay, OF
45 Vacant
46 Oliver Perez, P
47 Vacant
48 Pat Misch, P
49 Jon Niese, P
50 Vacant
51 Chip Hale, 3rd base Coach
52 Dave Hudgens, hitting coach
53 Mookie Wilson, first base coach
54 Dave Racaniello, Bullpen Catcher
55 Ken Oberkfell, bench coach
56 Jon Debus, bullpen coach
57 Johan Santana, P
58 Rafael Arroyo, bullpen catcher
59 Dan Warthen, pitching coach
60-62 Vacant
63 Jordanny Valdespin, INF
64 Josh Stinson, P
65 Zach Lutz, INF
66 Armando Rodriguez, P
67 Manny Alvarez, P
68 Brad Emaus, 2B

69 Vacant
70 Pedro Beato, P
71-74 Vacant
75 Francisco Rodriguez, P
76 Vacant
77 DJ Carrasco, P
78-99 Vacant

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon