I get it. I really do.
At this point, no Mets’ fan in their right mind thinks Johan Santana is going to be ready for Opening Day. And it appears the start will go to Jonathon Niese. And out of any other options in the rotation, Niese is probably the one that most deserves it. Shaun Marcum? No. Dillon Gee? No. Matt Harvey? No. Hmmm, on second thought…
Look, I’m not even saying that I’m an advocate for Harvey to get the Opening Day start. Niese deserves it, albeit it’s an undeserving group to begin with. Mike Francesa brought this up on his show a few weeks ago, and the belief was that Terry Collins wasn’t considering it. That’s not surprising – Collins is very much a “by-the-book” baseball manager, who more than likely believes those honors need to be earned. Case in point with R.A. Dickey a season ago.
And this isn’t even a big deal in the grand scheme of things. However, as Joe DeCaro pointed out on Monday, 60% of the Mets’ payroll may start the season on the DL. And it’s looking more and more likely that could include both David Wright and Daniel Murphy. What juice or energy will there be in Citi Field on Opening Day?
This has the potential to be a season where there is little juice all-together at the ball yard in Flushing. We git two home games against the Yankees in May, the All-Star Game in July, and of course Opening Day. That may just be the reality of the situation when it comes to thrills.
I’ll be at Citi Field on April 1st, and even with the uncertain specter of this team, there should be some energy in the ballpark. I’ll be excited regardless. Matt Harvey would undoubtedly bring it on at a whole other level though.
I can’t think of a physical reason why he couldn’t take the ball. Regardless of what day it is, he’ll more than likely be throwing in some chilly April weather. I’m not totally sold that pitching Harvey on Opening Day is the correct move, but I sure hope the Mets at least considered or are considering it. Something for the fans in a year where there may not be much. What’s the harm?
This season could be a long one. If Harvey took the hill on Opening Day, even if just for an afternoon, it wouldn’t seem like it.