After that horrific ankle injury — ever do something like that? It makes a noise — Mets never really adequately replaced Damian Easley.
There was irony, or something, in the Mets failing to make the playoffs given all the attention to Easley’s dubious ascension in the Guy With the Most games Never to Appear in the Postseason rankings. But you know, Jeff Conine didn’t turn out to be a very good replacement for Easley.
Far be it from me to take away attention from the horrendous performances of the bullpen, Jose Reyes, Tom Glavine, etc etc down the stretch … but when it all comes down to a single game, perhaps a guy who could whack the lefthanders a little more reliably may also have made a difference. All of which is a convoluted route to getting to the point you already knew: Easley will get another chance to end (um… or extend) his streak for playoff futility with the Mets in 2008. A one-year deal for Easley, along with a option renewal for Moises Alou 18, were announced by the Mets on Wednesday. Easley and Alou happened to be the first two new guys added to the roster last off-season too.
The Mets also purchased a catcher, Luis Alen, from the cool-hat-wearing Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent Northern League. Alen isn’t likely to be a starting candidate on the Mets next year but it’s always fun to note the first appearance in the transaction agate of the hot stove season.
The Mets would be fools not to pretend to be interested in Alex Rodriguez, and for all we know, they are (just move Wright to first and flip Delgado at a loss for pitching. It’s not that unfathomable). With 13 tied up in Billy Wagner, we’d bet on Easley losing No. 3 so that A-Rod could have it here. Meantime, the idea that Jorge Posada turns up on our team was raised in the papers today. Just saying: Shawn Green is out. No. 20 is available.
Well, it finally happened.
Jeff Conine started tonight’s game against the Phillies wearing No. 19, having tossed aside theNo. 28 issued to him upon joining the Mets last month. The Mets.com roster indicates he swapped jerseys with reserve catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. Not for nothing but we’d anticipatedthis move for awhile.
The change couldn’t hurt either guy. Conine, who’d frequently worn 19 during his lengthy career, was batting just .174 (4-for-23) in 28. Alomar had just 3 hits in 21 at-bats for a .143 batting average and an OPS+ of -13.
MLB.com’s Anthno DiComo has all the non-drama.
Stories abound in professional sports of athletes trading numbers for cars, cash, jewelry — you name it. But Sandy Alomar Jr. didn’t need any of those things. As soon as he realized the significance that No. 19 had for Jeff Conine, he offered up a swap for free. So beginning Friday, Conine will again wear his familiar 19, while Alomar will assume No. 28.
Conine has had some form of the No. 9 in his uniform throughout his 17-year career. Mostly, it’s been 19, though in Baltimore, he had to settle for No. 18 (one plus eight equals nine).
So when he saw Alomar sporting a No. 19 wrist band — an old band that clubhouse attendants mistakenly put in Alomar’s locker — Conine asked where he got it. That sparked the conversation and the swap.
Just asking, but is Sandy Alomar Sr. the world’s worst third-base coach?
Looks like tonight’s big series in Philly will begin with Paul LoDuca 16 back in action and the Son of the World’s Worst Third-Base Coach designated for assignment. That would free up 19 forJeff Conine should he want to wear it. Also look for Endy Chavez 10 to return during this series perhaps taking the place of tonight’s pitcher, Brian Lawrence 54. (pure speculation on my part here). Or wishing. Or whatever.
Jeff Conine’s surprise appearance in No. 28 for his Met debut last night was remarked upon in the TV broadcast by Gary Cohen who said it was unusual to see Conine wearing anything but No. 19. Cohen related that he brought this fact to the attention of the Mets’ current wearer of No. 19, Sandy Alomar Jr., who told Cohen he’d have no objections to surrendering the jersey, only he hadn’t because nobody had asked him to.
I’m highly suspicious of Conine remaining a 28 for much longer.
In a move they hope will address the right-handed bench power in the absence of Damian Easley, the Mets this afternoon said they have acquired veteran Jeff Conine from Cincinnati for a duo of minor league scrubeenies. No word yet on what number Mr. Marlin will wear for the Mets but he’s most often been spotted in 18 and 19 with his other employers.
Guess here is that as a means of welcoming Conine to New York, the Mets will offer him 19, currently belonging to Sandy Alomar Jr. but of no real significance to him. (How significant Alomar is at all is a matter of debate). Moises Alou has 18 today and will tomorrow. Another solution is to give him “09″ (pronounced oh-nine) which would rhyme.
I might have preferred the Mets swing a deal for Detroit’s Craig Monroe, who’s younger and presumably still has upside. The issue I have with Conine is only that in the event Delgado doesn’t heal properly the Mets will be tempted to make him an everyday guy and we’ve seen too often already this year the downside to that. But, here’s to Mr. Marlin. Chime in if you have a uni number suggestion or confirmation.