Mets ace Jacob deGrom established himself as one of the best pitchers to ever don the blue and orange.
In 2019, the 31-year-old claimed his second consecutive Cy Young Award following his career-high 255-strikeout season. DeGrom fell one vote shy of unanimous selections over the past two years as he developed into one of MLB's most dominant pitchers.
DeGrom is set to enter his seventh season in New York. Discussions among fans continue to develop as to where deGrom falls among the pitching greats in Mets history. Howie Rose, who serves as the Mets' radio broadcaster on WCBS, has an idea of where deGrom falls and what separated the ace from other notable pitchers.
"When you mention those other two — (Matt) Harvey and (Noah) Syndergaard — what a part from brilliance on the mound consistently separates those three? I think clearly it's personality," Rose said. "Matt had his Broadway Joe type personality. Noah has had more of I suppose an independent voice if you will than Jacob has been. They play that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd "Simple Man" when Jake takes the mound. It's the perfect description of what he is. He's just very single-minded and focused in a way that very few are.
"I've taken to saying on the air certainly this past season being the one where it really crystalized, I don't think there's any question that Jacob deGrom is on the Mets pitching Mount Rushmore of all time, which to me has names starting with (Tom) Seaver and then (Jerry) Koosman and then (Doc) Gooden and then Jacob deGrom," Rose said. "You can make a case for certain pitchers who've had spectacular years or a couple of really good years. I would challenge really anybody to find someone who would be more a suitable say No. 4 on Mount Rushmore than Jacob deGrom would be except the other three."
DeGrom, however, is forced to put his pursuit of the third-straight Cy Young on hold. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) risks, MLB delayed the start of its season. New York's opening day has been pushed back with various amounts of speculation to when baseball would return. Will there be a season? How many games? Can MLB have a half season?
There's a debate as to how many games a legitimate season would schedule. Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera dismissed the notion of a 60-game season, saying he doesn't think you can play 60 games and call yourself a champion. Rose isn't sure which number MLB will ultimately move forward with this season, but isn't "concerned with the word legitimate at this point."
"It's silly to say we'll start here, we'll start there but in my mind I've been thinking what better celebration could there be for this country than to build opening day ... wouldn't it be wonderful to re-start around July 4?" Rose asked. "You talk about a rebirth. I don't even know if it's even remotely possibly that we can get to a point where we bring people into a ballpark and play games. I know it sounds crazy because it's almost three months out but given what we know, what we hear every day I'd grab that and run with it right now.
"That's kind of my fantasy right now," Rose added. "That would take us to what? If you look at a regular season and a regular schedule, July 4 would be roughly the halfway point in terms of games played. So let's say around July 1, everyone has played around 80 games, which means you'd have another 80-82 to go from there — and you know they're going to pack as many games in as they can. If they were to start July 1, there's no reason they couldn't play close to 100 games. That's more than enough for me to suggest legitimacy to a season."