On Monday, a week before they begin the regular season, the Mets finally set their starting rotation for the 2009 season - or at least the start of it.
I posed the question here yesterday, just what was the biggest worry for Mets' fans heading into 2009 and it was nearly unanimous that the starting rotation is what keeps you up at night. Johan Santana is fine on the front of the rotation - and frankly, Livan Hernandez seems secure for readers at the No. 5 spot. But in between, there is headaches and upset stomaches for Mets fans.
As we detailed in today's Record, the good Ollie was back Monday, so the Mets feel secure with Oliver Perez as the No. 3 man in the rotation - although that $36 million deal might be thrown in their face a few times over the next three years.
Jerry Manuel also named his No. 5 starter, finally acknowledging that Livan Hernandez is the man. There is little surprise there since every one of his competitors has gone by the wayside and Pedro Martinez is not coming back. Will the Mets regret that? Maybe. But one interesting thing came of this decision-making process. I believed that Manuel was just being evasive and protecting the Mets against an injury or late move when he refused to give the nod to Hernandez before Monday. But one Mets official said that the manager really was infatuated with Dillon Gee and did consider him for the fifth spot.