In what must be regarded as some kind of cruel practical joke, the Mets have signed Livan Hernandez as additional competition for the fifth starter's position, currently being contended for by Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding, and Jon Niese.
Livan's older half-brother Orlando Hernandez pitched for the Mets both brilliantly and sporadically for the last several seasons, and it was widely reported that the two longed for a major-league reunion. Now, El Duque is gone, all possibility of a New York reunion vanished forever, and Livan is welcomed aboard.
But the joke isn't only on the Brothers Hernandez--it's on the Mets fans, too. Livan's ERA+ for the last six seasons in order reads like this: 141, 126, 102, 91, 95, 69--a dizzying downward spiral. If Livan ever pitches for the Mets at all, it seems that he is destined to become another bleak footnote to recent Met history, along with James Baldwin, Jose Lima and Chan Ho Park, Brian Lawrence and Dave Williams.
Hope I'm wrong.