Why the all-time Mets starting rotation should include Sid Fernandez

New York Mets Sid Fernandez
New York Mets Sid Fernandez / Bernstein Associates/GettyImages

The New York Mets have traditionally had some pretty good starting pitchers. Think of some of the Hall of Famers who have started games for the Mets – Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine. Those five right there would make for a pretty good choices if you were looking to name an all-time starting five for the Mets.

But there has to be some kind of criteria pertaining to the selections. Seaver is a no-brainer. But the others? Spahn was way over the hill by the time he got to the Mets and he was just plain awful. Ryan, well, we won’t even get into that scenario. Pedro was good, and a leader, but he was no longer the dominant force we had come to know. Oh, and Glavine? He had some gas left in the tank when he came to the Mets but he failed when it mattered most and can never be forgiven for that.

So who would be included on the New York Mets all-time starting five?

Well SNY recently revealed their Mets all-time starting five and it was, of course, Tom Seaver, Jacob deGrom, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Koosman, and Sid Fernandez. Mets fans took to social media and just about came unglued because of the inclusion of El Sid.

Many Mets fans and members of the media pointed to the omission of David Cone, Al Leiter, Jon Matlack, and even Ron Darling. Yes, they are all worthy of being in the conversation. How about Craig Swan?

I don’t always agree with SNY or a lot of the other media outlets, but on this one, I believe they got it right. Sid Fernandez should definitely be one of the five members of the New York Mets all-time starting rotation.

Much like Koosman performed in the background of Seaver’s rising star, Fernandez dabbled in shadows of Doc, and even took a back seat to Darling and Frank Viola. And perhaps he actually like it like that…blending into the woodwork.

Fernandez was actually a forgotten guy even when he came to the Mets…he was the “thrown in” in the Ross Jones trade…you know…when the Mets traded Bob Bailor to get a very versatile player who could hit. Fernandez just happened to be thrown into that deal.

Just maybe that is why people don’t realize just how good he was, just how good he was for the Mets, and how really is one of the five best starting pitchers that Mets have had in their history.

El Sid pitched 10 seasons in a Mets uniform, was a two-time All Star, winning 98 games with an ERA of 3.14 and a WHIP of 1.113 and averaged over eight strikeouts per nine innings. He threw 23 complete games with nine shutouts.

In the 1986 World Series, when Gooden and Darling struggled, it was Fernandez who came out of the bullpen and shut down the Boston Red Sox in Games 5 and 7 respectively…much like Ryan bailed out Gary Gentry in the 1969 post season.

Fernandez broke his arm just prior to the 1991 season and he suffered with injuries from that point on, so his performances the last three seasons of his Mets career were greatly curtailed. But prior to that, he proved to be one of the most effective and reliable starting pitchers the Mets have ever had.

And if you ask his opponents, his peers, it was El Sid they had the most trouble with, the one they preferred not to face. And you know what, that’s enough for me.