Matt Harvey Asks New Yorkers About Matt Harvey

What do you think of Matt Harvey? Maybe you should ask someone who’s told Matt Harvey.

You’ve probably seen this already, but in case you didn’t, perhaps the funniest thing a Mets player has done (on purpose) in over 30 years — since John Stearns tackled Chief Noc-A-Homa before a Braves game:

This also pretty much explains why the Mets are able to get away with all they get away with — because the vast majority of the people they’re marketing to (i.e., NOT people who read Mets blogs every day) — are casual fans / observers who aren’t paying much attention. In other words, a Mets game is a social event, with Mets fandom something to help with connecting to others and/or establish an identity for themselves.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan Tanna (@danXtanna) July 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    I can’t take anyone seriously as a fan if they have no idea what Matt Harvey looks like.
    • crozier July 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm
      But they DO know what Matt Harvey looks like. They just don’t recognize him when he’s dressed.

      Funny there are no women in this piece – probably because none of them would have been fooled.

      • wohjr July 17, 2013 at 3:33 am
        Crozier +1, very true
  2. Steven A July 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm
    This video demonstrates why the Mets care about things like keeping Scott Hairston/Marlon Byrd to win a few more games, and why the Wilpons will never sell. There are probably only about 2,000 knowledgeable Mets fans, and the rest will pack the ball park once the team starts winning, and then Jeff Wilpon will be on the cover of the New York Times Magazine
    • argonbunnies July 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm
      If fans will pack the park for a winning team, doesn’t that mean the Mets should build a winning team ASAP instead of wasting time on Byrd/Hairston?
      • crozier July 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm
        So this light-hearted thread has been co-opted by the Trade Marlon Contingent. Okay, fair enough. As opposed to bashing everyone in New York for not wanting to trade Byrd, make your stand. Marlon Byrd for what level player?

        It’s easy enough to say he should be traded because his value is supposedly so high. But really, what is he worth? And not in conjunction with Parnell and Murphy or someone, which is an entirely different discussion.

        Marlon Byrd isn’t Carlos Beltran. He’s having a pretty decent year he is unlikely to repeat, with no guarantee he’ll even continue this performance after the break. Yet there’s talk that he can bring a player of reasonable impact. What’s the historical model from which you’re working?

        I’m not outright saying you’re wrong; I just want to see an argument beyond “they should trade him because it’s short-sighted not to.”

        • Sidd Finch July 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm
          I think you raise a good point. You don’t want to trade him for the proverbial “bag of balls”. It would seem that in return for Byrd the Mets best options would be: 1) a really raw talent with huge upside in low A; 2) a prospect that the Mets value higher than their current organization; 3) a once highly regarded upper level prospect who has fallen out of favor with their current team.

          All of this would depend, of course, upon how desperate of a situation the other team is in and the quality of B-level prospects available within the particular organization the Mets would choose as a potential trade partner for Byrd.

          If Byrd is moved, I would imagine it happening as a post-trade deadline waiver deal in August or September.

        • John July 17, 2013 at 1:00 am
          The bag of balls argument completely misses the point. The objective of any front office is not only to find players like Byrd in the offseason, but it is also responsible for extracting the most value out of that player. If it is a trade, it is the job of the front office to identify the raw A players who would be available in such a deal. If the Mets were to keep him, the question is do you seek to re-sign him on a one year extension, or are you keeping him around for a veteran presence in the locker room.

          My two cents is the Mets front office has failed if they get nothing for Byrd because there will be a market for him, and there should be more than one team looking to trade for him (Pirates and Rangers come to mind)

        • argonbunnies July 17, 2013 at 7:51 am

          I would search for an organization who has a good prospect who’s blocked. Example: a 21-year-old OF in A+ or AA with good strike zone discipline, good defense, and power potential, who’s dropped on scouts’ radars because of an average arm and suppressed numbers from playing in pitchers’ leagues, in an organization with a much flashier OF prospect ahead of him in AAA. A Matt Adams behind an Allen Craig, an A.J. Pollock behind an Adam Eaton, Gregorius or Grandal behind Cozart or Mesoraco, etc. Young players who may be very good, but whose current teams have little need for them, and an urgent need to upgrade a black hole on their MLB roster.

          Do you really think Ilitch cares if the Tigers give away too much talent for Parnell? Compared to the idea that a leaky bullpen may keep his team out of the World Series?

          Do you really think the Pirates want to risk another second-half disappointment and kill all their momentum by failing to outperform their run differential with that weak lineup? Even if Byrd isn’t a better player than Garret Jones or Jose Tabata in 2014 (or even September 2013), he’s definitely a better player right this second, and every game counts with the Reds and Cardinals in the hunt.

          Maybe the Yankees don’t want to subject their fans to a minor league OF, and would appreciate Byrd in a package for high-risk/high-reward Pineda. Players like Pineda would be good targets for the Mets too — gambles who are currently on teams who don’t need to gamble. If the Mets collect a bunch of injured pitchers with ace stuff, and one of them heals, that’s a big win for the future.

          As for historical precedent, GMs try this sort of thing constantly, and it works out infrequently. But it never works unless you try. I could list the huge heists like Lowe and Varitek for Slocumb, but I think more common is stuff like Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill for Trevor Cahill. The A’s took a shot, Cowgill didn’t pan out, but Cook did. Yeah, he’s just a reliever, but the A’s have already gotten 2 great years out of him and stand to get 2 more before he’s arbitration eligible.

        • crozier July 17, 2013 at 10:36 am
          Thanks argon. That’s by far the most thoughtful and detailed scenario I’ve seen on the subject, and I appreciate it.

          True, the Mets can’t win a prospect lottery if they don’t play. What I’ve found objectionable is framing the argument such that Alderson’s an idiot if Byrd isn’t traded, and that fans are dumb for wanting to keep him. It’s not that black and white.

          There are many Mets fans who’d like to see them play well through the remainder of the season, and Byrd has undeniably been a contributor to what (limited) success they’ve had. Are the Mets on the cusp of contention? Possibly; the 2012 A’s are a good example of how moderate talent can come together to play exceptionally well (the ’69 Mets also exemplified this). If true, Byrd’s leadership via his work ethic has intangible value now, and it’s more a matter of how well Alderson does in the off-season. Whereas Byrd for a prospect will at best pay dividends in 2015 or later.

          Alderson has to balance between a theoretical improvement down the road vs. keeping a shrinking fan base from further contracting. Should the Mets manage a .500 finish, he can, reasonably, claim improvement, with more on the way.

          To your point, there may be a GM or two who will pay high for what Byrd can offer over two months. But I see his modest numbers as merely useful for an improving young club, and so I remain doubtful on that point.

        • argonbunnies July 18, 2013 at 7:28 am
          I think you are correct, but if the Mets finish a game or two away from a playoff spot in 2015 or later, it will not have been worth it.

          As for short-term fixes to shrinking attendance, all the attendance figures I’ve seen point to little difference between a .420 Mets team and a .480 Mets team, which is what Byrd and Parnell will be impacting in 2013. So even if we play the prospect lottery and lose, I don’t think that leaves the franchise noticeably worse off than it already is.

          I want a winner. Most Mets fans want a winner. Aiming for .500 with rent-a-players is worthless. (By “rent-a-players” I mean “players who aren’t part of the next winner”.)

          I truly don’t believe this team can win in any year by balancing one year against another. There simply isn’t enough talent in the organization. Our only hope to win in 2016 is to go all in on 2016 and absolutely reject anything that might interfere with that. If management had taken that approach in 2010, maybe I could say “2014” instead of “2016”. What I really fear is that it’ll soon become “2018”.

          Does that seem overly pessimistic to you? If so, compare our roster to the Braves. Just about everything that can possibly go wrong for the Braves has happened in 2013, and they’re still 105 runs better than the Mets at the All-Star break. I don’t think anything less than a 100% committed plan can possibly bridge that gap.

        • NormE July 18, 2013 at 7:47 am
          Argon, your take is a very realistic view. Band aids will not make the Mets a true contender.
        • crozier July 18, 2013 at 8:12 am
          That’s good stuff. I like your positive commitment to the team, and I only wish the Wilpons were right there with you. And your point about the thin talent in the organization is well-illustrated by the Byrd debate itself. That we could be debating the value of this one decent (at best) player and what theoretical talent he could bring us in a couple years shows how little Alderson has to play with in building towards a better future. (Pitching aside, that is, which I hope Alderson has the good sense to leave alone).

          Baseball’s a funny game, though. Miracle teams pop up from time to time, and the Mets could find themselves contending next year. But building an organization that competes year over year takes a level of commitment and smarts that first requires ownership and GM to be in lockstep. We’ll see what the offseason brings, and if there’s any reason to be hopeful.

          Good discussion, thanks for taking part.

        • DaveSchneck July 18, 2013 at 11:30 am
          Good points although I disagree on two. First, the Braves have had their issues, but so have all other teams in the NL East. Their hitters have powers but are a bunch of whiffers. It is the pitching that drives the team, and yes, the pen has taken some hits, but take Minor and Kimbrel off that team and they stink. Second, I agree with your theme, but I do not buy into the 2016 target year. The Mets have many holes, yes, but there is no tangible reason why they cannot put a playoff caliber team on the field opening day 2014 with a payroll of $100 million (or less) and a deep stable of young pitching to add depth in case of injury. So long as Harvey’s arm doesn’t fall off. They need to take actions like they plan to be in the mix for first place NL East in 2014, it is there for the taking.
        • Dan42 July 17, 2013 at 11:02 am
          Cowgill was a minor part of the Cahill trade, with Jarrod Parker being a major piece, and Craig Breslow as the other player. Considering that the Dbacks took on significant salary (Cahill) who is currently on the DL, I’d have to say the Towers fleeced himself with a failed “win now” attempt (Kubel being the other building block), with Oakland being the beneficiary.
  3. Dan B July 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm
    or this video examplifies how a tv show can interview 100 Met fans and edit together 4 of them into a funny clip.
    • argonbunnies July 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm
      That would be my guess as well. Props to the video editors! That was actually way funnier than I expected.
  4. Steve S. July 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm
    Matt Harvey is one cool guy–on and off the mound.
  5. Dr. Bob July 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    OMG… this is too funny! How can they claim to be fans?!
  6. John July 17, 2013 at 12:51 am
    I don’t understand Mets fans obsession with this because it just paints them in a poor light. I really do not know what has happened to this fan base. We went from passionate and loyal to idiots.
    • James July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am
      would met fans have recognized tom seaver in 1968? that would have been a good control experiment. I would guess that until the mets caught fire in June 0f 69 you might have had the same result, if a little better. And I agree Harvey is one composed BMOC.
      • John July 21, 2013 at 10:42 pm
        This argument assumes TV and the media are the same as it was in 1969.
  7. Wohjr July 17, 2013 at 1:33 am
    I like Lucas Duda well enough but one’s favorite player???!!!
    • argonbunnies July 17, 2013 at 8:02 am
      Best name on the team.
      • James July 18, 2013 at 8:38 am
        sin duda = no doubter Duda homerun

        sin Duda = mets without Duda soon to be true as he is DH material and too mediocre to carry next year

  8. Wohjr July 17, 2013 at 1:58 am
    Joe would be interested to hear your analysis of Molina calling Harvey. Seemed like way fewer 4 seam FBs which I like because that sinker (?) around 91-92 is nasty as well…?
    • Jon C July 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm
      I’d like to hear it as well—seemed like he was calling most everything down in the zone which is unusual for harvey

      there was one sequence when the batter fouled off a couple, molina called for it low and away, and he threw it up and in (getting the swing and miss). Wasn’t sure if he missed his target that badly or he just decided to take matters into his own hands 😛

  9. Timo July 17, 2013 at 9:51 am
    Funny Stuff! They would have probably recognized him if he was wearing a fake mustache.
    I bet the Wilponeze’s won’t have recognized him either.