I did a radio spot on 610 WIP in Philadelphia this morning. I’m not in Philly so I don’t listen to that station, obviously, but they’re always really fun when I stop by and I enjoy chatting with them. It was particularly enjoyable today when HardballTalk was described as “a subsidiary of ProFootballTalk” which was a new one for me. But, hey, as long as Florio’s monster traffic keeps paying the bills they can call me his butler for all I care. I digress.
The last question they hit me with was “gun to your head: assuming for the sake of argument that all three were fresh and available for Game Seven of the World Series, who would you start if you were managing the Phillies: Halladay, Hamels or Oswalt?”
I think I let one ten millionth of a microsecond pass, but then I said “Roy Halladay. No doubt about it. I wouldn’t even blink.” The response from the host: “Sorry, but the answer is Cole Hamels! Thanks for playing!”
Hurm. I can’t decide if they were just messing with me or if they really think that Hamels should get the start in a critical game over an equally-rested Roy Halladay.
This has been bothering me for the past two hours, in fact. They were messing with me, right?
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.