PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Those still bitter at Jose Reyes' departure might prefer to look away from new Mets bench coach Bob Geren, who trotted out to the practice fields Wednesday wearing Reyes' old uniform No. 7. Reyes had worn the number for his entire nine-year stint with the Mets.
Though 19 other players have worn No. 7 since the team's inception in 1962, it is common practice for a team to delay re-issuing a number after the departure of a prominent player. When Ed Kranepool retired in 1979 after wearing No. 7 for 15 seasons, for example, the Mets waited a full year before re-issuing the threads.
Recently, however, that has not been the case. The Mets re-issued Carlos Beltran's No. 15 to Val Pascucci last September, just six weeks after trading the longtime Met to the Giants.
Geren, for his part, did not request No. 7; the Mets simply gave it to him.
"Whatever's in my locker," Geren said, "I put it on."