This might be the most expensive April Fool's joke in the history of April Fool’s Day, but for some reason, Sports Illustrated has published its baseball preview with the prediction that the New York Mets will win the 2009 World Series.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. Sports Illustrated is really running with the idea that the Metropolitans can win the World Series.
What Sports Illustrated is saying by making this courageous and nonsensical prediction is that, by adding Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, the Mets have become baseball’s elite. The addition of two relievers, who will impact about 140 of the Mets’ 1,458 innings, have transformed the Mets from two-time defending September choke artists to MLB superpower.
Because the 2009 New York Mets are the 2008 New York Mets, plus K-Rod and Putz, minus Pedro Martinez, plus Livan Hernandez. Or in other words, the 2009 Mets are the 2008 Mets with a closer.
But who’s to say the 2008 Mets would have amounted to anything with a closer anyways? Sure, the bullpen last season pitched like they had wagered against the Mets, but does adding a closer and a former closer make you a contender?
Isn’t the age-old saying, “Starting pitching wins championships”?
Apparently, SI has never heard that phrase. Either that, or someone forgot to mention to the magazine that after Johan Santana, the Mets’ rotation consists of John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and Livan Hernandez. And the only sure thing out of that group of names is that one of them (Hernandez) will be on waivers by Memorial Day.
John Maine has never reached 200 innings.
Mike Pelfrey has one major league season under his belt.
Oliver Perez still doesn’t fully understand the concept of a pitch count.
Livan Hernandez’s WHIP looks like the price of gas in Manhattan.
And Johan Santana will only get to start as many as 35 of the Mets’ 162 games (22 percent), if he stays healthy.
Maybe SI is banking on the Mets’ infamous un-clutch lineup to suddenly hit with runners in scoring position with the new setting of Citi Field.
Or maybe the magazine just feels bad for the Mets’ Domino’s pizza logo look-alike patch the team will wear in ’09.
During the long summer in Queens last season, a caller to WFAN, nearly in tears, said, “When the Mets open the bullpen door, I open my liquor cabinet.”
For me, when I open Sports Illustrated's baseball edition, the liquor cabinet will have already been opened for a while.