Monday, April 06, 2009

Opening Day!

It's the best day of the year. Woo-hoo. Opening Day.

Well, the Red Sox game has already been canceled, so that kind of stinks, but there are still plenty of other matchups to watch today and tonight. I plan to catch many of them.

Technically, last night was actually Opening Day. It was a good game that proved one major thing: I think that any Mets fan should be particularly nervous.

Look, the Mets may win the division, but they're not a real threat to being a great team because Omar Minaya is not a good general manager. He's not even an OK one. I'll argue that to the death.

The team's starting pitching is not that great. We're talking about a major market team. Seriously. One with a big, shiny new stadium. And this is the starting five they field?

Derek Lowe won't be as good as he was last night every night, but the Mets needed him. Needed him. Instead, they're going to throw out Johan Santana, arguably the best starter in the NL, and then a bunch of crappy-to-OK starters.

Let's begin with Livan Hernandez. He stinks. He was having a historically bad season last year until the Twins finally released him. He's garbage. Poop. The man gave up 12.9 hits per nine innings last year and hasn't been even league average for a season since 2005, a year when he was 2 percent better than the average starter. Last year, he was 31 percent worse than the average. Think about that.

Mike Pelfrey was pretty good last year, but the team is counting on him to be a No. 2, and he threw a ton of innings last year. Those kinds of guys tend to take a step back the next season. Pelfrey threw 128 more innings last year than he ever had before. That's a huge, huge jump. He's not bad, but he's no No. 2 on a championship-caliber team, and he's risky. And he doesn't strike people out enough.

And then we get to the duo that most olks consider "good." Why? I don't know. John Maine, in a shortened 2006, had a decent year. Not great, not bad. The last two years, he's been basically league average. No more, no less. He's been awful this spring. Why is this man considered anything more than a No. 3 or 4 starter? I don't know. On a championship team, he's a 5. He's not even cracking the rotation of the three or four best teams in baseball this year. Yet, he's a 3 or something for the Mets.

Now let's talk about Oliver Perez, the guy the Mets should have waved bye to while they signed Lowe. But, no, Omar is a bad GM and he gives more evidence. Perez walks way too many people. Way too many. Last year, he was exactly league average. But the Mets decided league average was good enough for a rich, multi-year deal this offseason. Perez was good in 2007, but his WHIP was mediocre and he was probably a bit lucky. Besides his great year for Pittsburgh in 2004, he's been horrible in all his other years. So what does Omar do? He gives $12 million a year to a guy who couldn't crack the Yankee rotation. Think about that: He would not even make the Yankee or Red Sox rotation, and the Mets give him $12 million per. Derek Lowe would definitely crack both rotations.

I mean, look, the Mets have a very good lineup and a deep bullpen, but the Phillies, Marlins and Braves have better rotations, and Philly's lineup and bullpen are pretty good too. It's going to be an interesting year for the NL East, but listening to folks on the radio go on and on about how good the Mets, lusting after Daniel Murphy (hello, Brandon Moss the sequel), etc., it just makes me wonder if I'm missing something. I don't think so.

This season, I'm going to try to write more about baseball. We'll see. Happy Opening Day!

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