NEW YORK (WFAN) — Fans of the New York Mets, having endured years of futility, are heading into the 2015 season with more hope than they’ve had in a long, long time.
And who better to ring in the campaign than … 41-year-old Bartolo Colon? Wait, what?
WFAN co-hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton opened Tuesday’s show with the team’s decision to start Colon on opening day in Washington over reigning Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom or ace Matt Harvey, whose comeback from Tommy John surgery has become one of the biggest stories in baseball.
Hint: they’re not happy.
“We all love opening day. It’s a big deal for all of us. It doesn’t matter who you root for, opening day is special in this country — always has been, always will be,” Carton said. “And they’ve robbed us of it.”
Colon was solid in his first season with New York, going 15-13 with a 4.09 ERA while pitching more than 200 innings in 2014, though the ample journeyman can’t energize the fan base like homegrown talents Harvey and deGrom.
“They have taken away the joy of opening day. And I don’t care what anyone has to say. They’ve robbed people of opening day,” Carton said. “To go with Bartolo Colon shows you, for the umpteenth time, a franchise that is so completely lost when it comes to the relationship with their fans.”
On Monday, manager Terry Collins said Colon earned the nod with his performance last year while Harvey was rehabbing from reconstructive elbow surgery. Carton wasn’t buying it. He said Collins was “being put out there like a big meatball” to defend the decision when the skipper would probably prefer to battle the NL East favorites with his best team on the field.
But Washington and ace Max Scherzer — after signing a mammoth seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals — will avoid having to open against Harvey, who last year on the “Boomer & Carton” show said he was already notching April 6 as a ‘W’ for himself and the Mets.
“How is that guy opening up the season where Mets fans have the most hope they’ve had in forever?” Carton said of Colon. “It makes no sense! None! It sucks!”
DeGrom is scheduled to pitch the second game of the season, with Harvey taking Game 3 in Washington.
That brings us to the Mets’ home opener.
DeGrom will get the ball for the April 13 afternoon game against Philadelphia. Boomer and Carton believe the club is saving Harvey’s Citi Field debut for a game that would otherwise be attendance-challenged. In this case, a Tuesday night in April.
“It just reeks of like, you know, screw you (to the) fan,” Esiason said. “It really, really does.”