NY Post – Bartolo Colon might only be the fourth best starter in the Mets rotation, but come April 6 he will be the ace.
Manager Terry Collins made his decision official Monday, naming the 41-year-old Colon as his starting pitcher for the opener in Washington – ahead of Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, among others.
Colon will be followed in the rotation by deGrom and Harvey, but Collins still hasn’t disclosed who will start the fourth and fifth games. The manager acknowledged deGrom, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, will start the home opener against the Phillies on April 13.
By waiting until after the home opener to start Harvey, the Mets will be in position to get an additional big crowd at Citi Field during the first homestand. This is a fact Mets officials won’t admit publicly, but played into the organization’s thinking, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
I don’t think there’s anything more that needs to be said about this. It’s just the Mets yet again making the Mets-iest decision possible. They just can’t get out of their own way at this point.
Just once make a decision based on baseball and not on selling tickets and making money. You share the largest market in the country, and even if it’s a 2/3 Yankees 1/3 Mets split that’s still a larger market then probably the entire league besides Boston. There is no reason the Mets should still be operating like a small market club.
I understand they had the Madoff situation, and they had a lot of dead weight they needed to get off their books from 2010-2013. They had to rebuild from the entire ground up and during that time, the best way to do it was to operate like a small market club. That’s fine. But finally by 2013 Mets fans were looking at next year like a year they could actually compete. Then Harvey was ruled out for the rest of the season and Mets management decided not to upgrade the lineup but rather go out and sign Bartolo F-ing Colon to replace Harvey and say “we’re still a year away.”
Mets fans gritted their teeth at that but at the end of the day it was true. They made some other moves like adding Granderson with the point being we should be ready to go in 2015. Well 2015 if here and even without Zack Wheeler the Mets should be ready to compete for the Wild Card so for once make a decision based based on baseball.
Opening Day is about optimism. It’s a time for fans to be excited that baseball is back and that there’s hope for your team. Instead Mets fans will be watching their 5th best starter get owned by that dangerous Nats lineup while Max Scherzer completely shuts the Mets down. They could have picked anyone else, literally. They have two starters that deserve to start on Opening Day and two that have done it before, and somehow they land on Colon.
The fact that their lining deGrom up to start the home opener is equally ridiculous. Does he deserve it? Absolutely, but why not let him start Opening Day which he also deserves. Whenever his first game at CitiField is fans will show up. Every other team is going to start their best pitcher on Opening Day and whoever’s turn it is in the rotation when their home opener comes around pitches in the home opener.
Instead the Mets are trying to sell tickets, putting the sales of tickets to one game ahead of the best interests of the team. It doesn’t even make sense. Whenever Harvey or deGrom pitch at CitiField there will be an increase in ticket sales to begin with. So saying Harvey can’t start Opening Day because then he’ll miss the first home series is ridiculous. If he missed the first home series he’ll pitch in the second home series, which as of right now no one will be going to anyway.
The whole thing is just so frustrating and stupid. At the end of the day Opening Day is just one game out of 162. It’s really not a big deal. The frustrating part is the Mets manipulating their pitching staff to try and maximize ticket sales. If you want to maximize ticket sales how about putting a winning product on the field. That’s what you did in 2006 and Mets fans couldn’t stay away from the ballpark.