Bartolo Colon was so-so in his spring debut last Saturday against the Phillies, but he actually looked pretty good against the Red Sox last night, striking out five over three scoreless innings.
The Red Sox didn’t bring most of their regulars since they were on the road — so that means no Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis, among others — but it was still an impressive outing for the 37-year-old right-hander. He threw 35 out of 43 pitches for strikes, sat in the low 90s with his fastball and had good movement on his pitches.
Colon made an important statement last night, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told George A. King III of the New York Post that the competition has just begun.
“It’s going to take time,” Cashman said. “I know New York doesn’t have patience, but I am from Kentucky.”
Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Sergio Mitre — the other candidates for the final two rotation spots — have combined for nine scoreless innings so far this spring.
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.