Adam Rubin of ESPN reports that the Mets are “strongly considering” Bartolo Colon to be their Opening Day starter.
Not Matt Harvey, who has missed 17 months nor Jacob deGrom, who was the Mets best pitcher last year. Which I suppose could bug someone if someone cared about such things. In the rational world, however, being an Opening Day starter is usually either a reward for being the team’s “ace” or, in some cases, a nod to seniority. It’s not really a big deal.
Unless of course you have a kinda sketchy Hall of Fame case, in which case it means practically everything.
Whatever the case, I have argued in the past that teams should run their worst starting pitcher out on Opening Day. I mean, the game is going to sell out regardless, so you don’t need the star power. Plus, with all of the pregame festivities and hoopla, the game often starts late anyway. Who do you want to annoy more, your ace or the dude who just barely nailed down the last rotation spot and who will probably be in the pen or Triple-A before June?
In other news, there are about 10,000 pretty good reasons no one has ever asked me to manage their team. This is merely one of them.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.