Where Is Tony Armas, Jr.?
One of the “big” moves immediately prior to spring training (this one was just a tad less important than the Johan trade) was the signing of Tony Armas, Jr. to a minor league deal. He was handed a spring training invite with the idea that he’d fight for a spot in the Mets bullpen, and also provide the team a veteran spot starter as insurance behind Orlando “Jose de Vidrio” Hernandez.
However, Armas has yet to appear in Port St. Lucie, making it very difficult to win a job. Rumor has it that he was experiencing issues entering the USA from his native Venezuela.
Per Omar Minaya:
“From what I understand, the authorities were asking Tony for his Visa, but all he had was a MasterCard.”
His father Tony Armas, Sr., is worried for his son.
“We are all keeping his fingers crossed, hoping someone will have information about Antonio. We are very concerned.”
Another non-roster invitee, Jose Valentin, was asked if he’d heard from the missing righthander.
“Man, he supposed to meet me tonight at the bar,” Valentin said when questioned at Duffy’s Bar just a mile up the road from Tradition Field. “If my man don’t show up soon, I gotta bell. There are some hotties lined up waiting to twirl my ‘stache,” he added.
Mets manager Willie Randolph was also notified of the disappearance.
“That’s a shame, you know. He was a great rightfielder. He had a rifle out there. I remember him being a star on some bad Oakland teams, and then having a lot of fun putting balls over the Green Monster when he joined the Red Sox. My condolences to his family.”
When it was explained that the subject was Tony Armas, Jr., rather than Tony Armas, Sr., Randolph didn’t miss a beat.
“Oh yeah? Another “arm”, huh? Get it? ARM-as … heh heh … Well if he gets here we have a spot for him. Hey Charlie,” he called out to Charlie Samuels, the Mets’ equipment manager, “where’d you put Sele’s old chair? The nice one with the extra padding we had out in the bullpen?”
Here at MetsToday, our thoughts are with the Armas family while they endure this difficult situation.