So, nice effort by Nelson Figueroa today but it didn’t amount to much as bad luck and bad timing doomed the Mets offense. And don’t let any nimrod tell you a failure to bunt Fernando Tatis had much of anything to do with it (I can’t believe those complaining watched even a minute of Met ball this year). I want Tatis smashing balls off the fence, that’s what he’s there for.
Anyhow, Figueroa is headed back to the minors and in his place will be Casey Fossum, a lefthander off to a good start in Buffalo, who will provide bullpen depth until Mike Pelfrey‘s next turn or we learn the fate of Darren O’Day.
Fossom, should he maintain his digits from spring trianing will be the first Met to wear No. 47 sinceTom Glavine walked off the mound having kicked the final grains dirt onto the 2007 Mets’ grave. How not devastating.
When the 2003 Mets crashed and burned for good, fired Steve Phillips, and hired doomed interim general manager Jim Duquette, one of Duke’s first orders of business (along with the promotion of Jose Reyes) was to clear the team of its disappointing deadwood: Roberto Alomar, Armando Benitez and Jeromy Burnitz among them. And not only did the Mets bounce these guys, but they moved rather quickly to erase their memories by re-issuing all of their numbers, on guys who played the same positions, before the year was out. Before you knew it, Alomar’s 12was on the back of second baseman Danny Garcia. It was reliever Orber Moreno (remember him?) in Benitez’s old No. 49. And in the outfield, Prentice Redman, and not Burnitz, wore No. 20. How cruel. How brilliant.
With that in mind, do you think Johan Santana might mind downshifting by 10 from his customary 57? Because, provided he winds up with the good guys, that would be an appropriate tribute to Tom Glavine, the last of 2003’s disappointing veterans and the newest member of the Atlanta Braves. Can you believe Reyes is now the senior Met?
Hello again to Luis Castillo, whose four-year contract represents about four times the commitment he probably deserves. Expect to see Castillo back in the No. 1 jersey next year, hopefully without the spare tire providing emphasis.
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.
Thanks to eBay fiends Gordon, Pete and Jason who all shot us a copy of a Cubs scorecard up for bid on E-bay from the final series of the 1973 season, confirming long-held suspicions that Bob L. Miller wore No. 30 in his second go-round with the Mets. Miller was an original 1962 Met and the team’s first wearer of the No. 24 jersey but was cashiered after a 1-12 season for what one writer cracked was “half an infield” — Tim Harkness and Larry Burright — only to go on to a pretty fair career as a reliever for eight more teams and 11 more years before returning to the Mets in a waiver deal for the final two weeks of the 1973 season. By then, his No. 24 belonged to Willie Mays.
As the Winter Meetings begin and the possibility of seing the Mets’ first-ever No. 75 are high, the Mets welcomed back Tom Glavine 47 and bid farewell to free agent Chris Woodward 4, Cliff Floyd 30, Steve Trachsel 29, Chad Bradford 53 and Roberto Hernandez 39. Of these men, we’ll obviously miss Floyd most of all, whom we wouldn’t have guessed would grow so Metly when he arrived in the Winter Meetings four years ago. The Mets are also expected to name a third-base coach shortly, seeing as Manny Acta 3 a few weeks back was named manager of the Washington Nationals. The Mets reportedly are considering Howard Johnson and Gary Carter, among others, to take Acta’s role.
Shawn Green arrived tonight and is in the lineup wearing No. 20, most recently belonging to Victor Diaz,who was sprung to make room for Green on the 40. Disappointing would-be spare part Ricky Ledee 9 was released to make room for him.
The Mets in the meantime had more injury news to share: Ramon Castro 11, who suffered a setback in his rehab assignment earlier this week, was tranferred to the 60-day disabled list making any chance he’ll rejoin the Mets this year a longshot. Telegraphing doubts both in Castro’s return and Mike DiFelice’s usefulness, the Norfolk Tides signed veteran backstop Kelly Stinnett,who played for the Mets 11 years ago wearing No. 33.Prediction, DiFelice bequeaths the No. 6 jersey to Stinnett in no time, or the Mets go fish for another backup and soon.
Also, they said Orlando Hernandez 26 would skip his next turn, giving Brian Bannister a start for the first time since pulling a hammy in San Francisco in April. You should remember him as No. 40.That means lefty project Oliver Perez will likely get Tom Glavine’s scheduled start on Saturday: Perez is currently wearing No. 47 in Norfolk, and was 48 and 59 in Pittsburgh. The Mets following Thursday’s win sent Lastings Milledge 44 down to Norfolk to make room for Bannister. Wow.
MBTN readers come through again: With their help, we’ve made a methodology change, fixed an accounting error and present the following list of century Mets:
100: Jimmie Schaffer (July 26, 1965)
200: Bill Sudakis (July 11, 1972)
300: Phil Mankowski (April 11, 1980)
400: Randy Milligan (Sept. 12, 1987)
500: Kelly Stinnett (April 5, 1994)
600: Lenny Harris (July 4, 1998)
700: Tom Glavine (March 31, 2003)
Thanks to MBTN readers Gordon for providing guidance on Nos. 100 and 200; and to Lou who spotted an error in No. 500. The latter was actually a “tie” between Stinnett and Pete Smith, the starting battery for the April 5, 1994 game. We went with Stinnett because he was announced first. Applying a consistent tiebreaker to this year’s coronation of the 700th Met makes Cliff Floyd 698, Rey Sanchez 699 and Glavine 700. I know we said before we didn’t plan on doing it that way but we also didn’t anticipate historical ties.
Joe McEwing signed a new contract today and saw his uniform number slashed along with his pay. Super Joe, whose No. 47 was usurped by Tom Glavine, says he will now suit up in No. 11: “That’s four plus seven,” he noted. McEwing had worn 47 previously as a tribute to former St. Louis teammate and mentor John Mabry.
The Mets pulled a mild shocker today by signing veteran enemy lefty Tom Glavine to a laughably rich deal. Hey, they’re better than they were yesterday. The Mets’ first free-agent splash of the season also brings the first legitimate Uni-Controversy of the year: Glavine has spent his entire career wearing Number 47, digits that also hold significance for longtime Met mascot Super Joe McEwing. (Dec. 10 Update: As Glavine meets the press it comes as no surprise that sweatshops around the Tri-state area are busy stitching together GLAVINE 47 jerseys in time for the Holiday shopping season. McEwing was meanwhile spotted asking a department-store Santa for a new Uni number. Stay tuned).