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.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.