Terry Collins

Mets Blame Players For Injuries And Have Them Play In Rain

For New York Mets fans salivating for one of those good old fashioned Terry Collins throw the players under the bus press conferences, interim GM Zack Scott gave it to them. While it lacked the flair, the substance was on point.

Scott said the Mets have been mediocre, and their play of late has been unacceptable. In all honesty, both were true, and there’s no issues with him saying that.

Then, Scott went on to say the soft tissue injuries were really the result of players not following designed protocols from the team. Essentially, the Mets washed their hands from the vast majority of injuries their players faced.

What’s hilarious about that is the Mets started a game with a threat of rain. Remember, before first pitch, the home team decides whether or not to proceed. After that, it’s the umpires.

With the Mets proceeding, they got one inning from Carlos Carrasco. After he sat around a bit, he had to simulate a game to continue with the process of stretching out.

Because the game was suspended, the Mets bullpen, starting with Drew Smith, has to pitch eight innings. And, that’s before the second game of a doubleheader.

Keep in mind, the day after that, Rich Hill takes the mound. The Mets learned the hard way Hill is just a five inning pitcher. That means even more stress for the bullpen. That means they’ll be overtaxed as they hop on a plane to head out west.

So yes, Scott and the Mets can put these injuries on the players. They are in charge and can say whatever they want. However, behind that is a series of pitching decisions and decisions like tonight which have led to pitcher injury after pitcher injury after pitcher injury.

For all we know, it’s these types of decisions and missed opportunities which have trickled down to the position players. Overall, the Mets are right in saying the players have their share in the injures. However, as the Carrasco one inning suspended game shows, this front office isn’t as innocent as they told us they are.

Mets Received Additional Time To Extend Michael Conforto

Before the season, Michael Conforto said he did not want to have contract extension talks during the season. While some have intimated he relaxed that Opening Day deadline, Conforto did once say he wanted to resolve his contract status by Opening Day.

Right now, we know Francisco Lindor has a 10 year $341 million contract. What we don’t know is what impact that will have on the Mets willingness and ability to hand out extensions to their other important players. On that note, the Mets were simultaneously having extension discussions with Lindor and Conforto with Lindor obviously being the priority.

With Lindor, the Mets had a future Hall of Famer who they parted with some good young players and prospects to obtain. For Conforto, it’s different. He is the homegrown player who could be a future captain and break a number of Mets records. He is also the player who hit two home runs in a World Series game at Citi Field.

Being further away from that shoulder injury, and being further away from Terry Collins, Conforto has re-emerged as an All-Star caliber player. While his career has not been on par with Lindor’s Conforto does have Hall of Fame talent. This is a player with one of the sweetest swings you’ve seen in Mets history this side of Darryl Strawberry. He has also been a good outfielder.

How we all remember Conforto’s career is going to be dictated by what he does in his prime and beyond. With the Mets, he has a comfort level, and now, he has a front office which is going to give him to the tools to really succeed. He can now get even more out of his talent with the data and training the Mets can now put in place. That many not only make his peak higher, but it may also lengthen his career.

Of course, the Mets have to entice him to stay in terms of dollars. While the narrative on Scott Boras is overstated, he has been reluctant to have his players sign extensions. Still, we have seen it with superstars like Greg Maddux, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Altuve. The key is that Boras wants a real deal for his clients and not the hometown discount.

Seeing Conforto, he shouldn’t be pressured into the hometown discount. That goes double when they gave Lindor the third highest contract in the game. Conforto is a Met through and through, and he deserves to be treated as such.

The Mets were gifted an extra couple of days to focus in on Conforto and get a deal done. With Boras and the extremely weak outfield free agent class, that is going to be very difficult. However, as we saw with Lindor, all it takes is to make the offer to make Conforto feel like the wanted star he truly is. The Mets now have 48 more hours to get it done.

Jacob deGrom Paying It Forward

The changing point in Jacob deGrom‘s career as a pitcher was arguably at its darkest moment. No, that wasn’t the pep talks he received from Frank Viola in the minors or Terry Collins in the majors. It was when deGrom, a 23 year old ninth round draft pick out of Stetson University, was rehabbing from Tommy John.

deGrom was at an age when big time prospects are already pitching in the Major Leagues. To put it in perspective, his current teammate Noah Syndergaard was a 22 year old rookie pitching in the World Series. His other teammate, Marcus Stroman, who also went to college, was a 23 year old rookie for the Toronto Blue Jays.

But deGrom, well he was a 23 year old pitcher who had not thrown a pitch in even full season Single-A. His career was potentially over before it started with his needing Tommy John. However, during that rehab stint, he was there with Johan Santana, who was rehabbing from his own career threatening injury. It was during this time Santana taught deGrom how to throw the changeup. It is a pitch which has completely altered the trajectory of deGrom’s career.

Well, it is a nearly a full decade later, and deGrom is following Santana’s lead, and he is taking the next generation of Mets players under his wing.

Specifically, he has taken fellow Stetson alum Patrick Mazeika under his wing, and he has worked with Mets top pitching prospect Matthew Allan. That was work which began during the offseason, and it is something which has continued into Spring Training. It is genuine with deGrom with him not only providing pointed advice but also insisting Allan “wear him out with questions.”

For Mazeika, a player who is very much in the same shoes deGrom once did, this is an invaluable experience. He gets to further understand what Major League pitchers look for in their catchers. He gets to experience catching the best pitcher in the game, and he can learn how to better work with not just other Major League pitchers, but also he can help out his minor league teammates down in Syracuse.

For Allan, he is getting a master’s course in how to pitch. He is not just learning how to throw this pitch or that pitch. He is learning when you need to throw those pitches. He is learning how to better comport himself and get the most out of his ability, and Allan has immense ability. It is not even arguable he has better stuff coming out of the draft than deGrom did.

As with deGrom, the question is what he does with his natural ability, and how he continues to develop as a pitcher. For deGrom, working with Santana taught him not only how to throw the changeup. It also taught him about preparation and developing your pitches. For Allan, it can be so much more.

In some ways, we are seeing this link that should be the envy of every organization. Santana, who was once the best pitcher in baseball, helped mentor deGrom. We have seen deGrom take that experience and himself become the best pitcher in baseball. Perhaps, not too long into the future, we will one day talk about Allan as the best pitcher in baseball. Not only should we be excited about that happening, but we should also be excited to see the pitcher Allan may one day help become great.

Dawn Of A Potential Mets/Dodgers Rivalry

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers have an interesting history. For fans of the original Mets team, many of them were originally Dodgers fans.

That includes Fred Wilpon, who built a ballpark in testament to those Dodger teams. Of course, that was resented by younger more modern Mets fans who have zero recollection of those Brooklyn teams.

For Gen X fans and younger, the history of the Mets and Dodgers is quite different.

There was the Dodgers upsetting the 1988 Mets. That was a painful series highlighted by David Cone perhaps riling up the Dodgers, Davey Johnson leaving in Dwight Gooden too long with the ensuing Mike Scioscia homer, and Orel Hershisers virtuoso performance.

The 2006 Mets got some measure of a payback in the NLDS sweep. That was a total beatdown with former Dodgers Shawn Green and Jose Valentin relaying to former Dodger Paul Lo Duca who tagged out Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew at home plate.

Things between these two teams really ratcheted up in the 2015 NLDS. That all began with Chase Utley living up to his reputation as one of the dirtiest players ever with his tackling Ruben Tejada at second thereby breaking Tejada’s leg.

Utley would go on to cowardly duck the Mets in New York. Ultimately, the Mets won that series behind the brilliance of Jacob deGrom and the postseason heroics of Daniel Murphy.

The bad feelings of that series carried forward into the next season when Noah Syndergaard was ejected during a nationally televised game after throwing a pitch behind Utley. Utley would get the last laugh with Terry Collins being revered years later when the ejection video was released.

After that, things calmed down. That was due in large part to the Wilpons ineptitude taking the Mets out of contention. During that time, the Dodgers became the model franchise finally breaking through and winning the 2020 World Series.

Now, with Steve Cohen at the helm, things promise to be different.

With Cohen comes real financial heft which arguably surpasses what the Dodgers have. We’ve seen early on what that means with the Mets already signing Trevor May and James McCann as well as being in the market for George Springer and Tomoyuki Sugano.

But, it’s not just the financial strength. It’s also the scouting and analytics. The Dodgers have used that to identify players like Max Muncy and Justin Turner who have become relative stars. They’ve also developed an enviable pipeline of talent with young players like Gavin Lux and Will Smith.

The Mets have started heading in that direction by bringing back Sandy Alderson. They’ve also hired Jared Porter as GM and Zack Scott as Assistant GM.

Of course, the Mets have retained perhaps the best draft scouting with Mark Tramuta, Tommy Tanous, Drew Toussaint, et al. That group is responsible for great talent like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Dominic Smith. That’s nothing to say of the talent still left in the system and traded away.

The Mets have the core, financial resources, burgeoning front office, and now the right ownership for the Mets to become a juggernaut like we haven’t seen from this franchise since the 1980s. They will very soon rival the Dodgers on and off the field.

That is going to lead to some more postseason run-ins. With that will be the heightening if tensions between these franchises which have already had their moments.

If the Mets make the right moves, we’ll see an epic postseason clash between these teams come October not just this year but in each of the ensuing seasons. The seeds are already there, and so, with more epic postseason series, we’ll see the makings of a bitter Mets/Dodgers rivalry.

Enjoy Retirement Terry Collins

With his contract up and new ownership in place, Terry Collins has departed the New York Mets and has announced his retirement.

There’s a lot to say about Collins and his tenure as Mets manager. More than the wins and losses was Collins the person. He is a good and decent man who connected with everyone, and he’s going to be missed.

We’ve seen it from fans who remember him celebrating with them in Chicago. His players, like Noah Syndergaard, always spoke highly of him and continue to do so

It’s not just what we saw and heard from Collins. It is what he did when no one was looking.

Five years ago, as the Mets were going through a mercurial season which ended in heartbreak, Collins took the time to send condolences to a widow of a family he didn’t know.

For me, that’ll be the lasting memory of Collins. He was a man who took the time to do the right thing even when his job was extremely difficult and tense. He did it when no one was looking.

Overall, Collins is a good man, and you’re never better off as an organization when you lose genuinely good human beings like him.

Being the person he is, he still has a lot to offer the world. No matter what he does, here’s hoping he finds something which brings him as much joy as watching his team win a pennant. As a man, he deserves that and much more.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Big Chance Against Yankees

The Yankees were banged up, and they struggled against the Mets. However, when push came to shove, they came out on top because this Mets team couldn’t get that big hit or big out.

1. The Mets were sellers at the deadline obtaining Steve Cohen for Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, and a Wilpon to be named later.

2. You’d have to assume if any deadline deals go forward now they have Cohen’s blessing. Of course, with the Wilpons, it may not be safe to assume.

3. This season is more evidence Brodie Van Wagenen should be fired. Hopefully, that’ll be one of the things Cohen does first.

4. No, Van Wagenen’s hot mike saying Rob Manfred doesn’t get it doesn’t make him likable or competent.

5. Hopefully, that wasn’t Van Wagenen’s Terry Collins ejection video.

6. Mets should insist on wearing Jackie Robinson‘s 42 for the rest of the year as art of their protests.

7. Luis Rojas‘ bullpen management has not been great.

8. Not using Drew Smith to protect a five run lead but then using him in a tied extra inning game is bizarre. That’s still not as bizarre as bringing in Edwin Diaz with runners on base.

9. These games just further cement how much the Mets need Seth Lugo in the bullpen. Aside from him, there’s no one you can truly trust in that pen.

10. The Mets are looking for a catcher at the trade deadline because Wilson Ramos has been terrible, and all indications are Tomas Nido has COVID19.

11. The COVID19 anonymity doesn’t work when you put players on the IL. At that point, we all know who had it.

12. Aside from that huge three run homer, Pete Alonso has been lost at the plate all season.

13. The same is true for Amed Rosario. He hit that walk-off homer off Aroldis Chapman, and then he once again did nothing at the plate. Also, he still hasn’t drawn a walk all year.

14. Chapman plunked J.D. Davis leading some to point out Davis was on the 2017 Astros.

15. Speaking of Davis, he’s been flat out terrible. Without the juiced ball, he’s back up to a 50% ground ball rate. That’s where he was before the juiced ball.

16. While others struggling mightily stay in the starting lineup, Luis Guillorme continues to sit despite his stellar defense and his continuing to get on base. If he’s not playing, it’s clear these Mets only want to win with Brodie’s guys.

17. Dominic Smith continues to play great, and he continues to show the Mets organization failed when they didn’t give him a real chance to win the first base job.

18. Andres Gimenez had just about as bad an inning at third as you can have. It’s a reminder he’s a rookie who never played above Double-A before this season.

19. If you like these seven inning games, you don’t like baseball. You might’ve at one point. You might’ve even loved it. But if you’re pushing for seven inning games now, you no longer like the sport.

20. Hopefully, Cohen tells Van Wagenen he’s not allowed to ruin the Mets future for short term personal glory before being shown the door for a real GM.

Game Recaps

Mets At Homer In Yankee Stadium

Dellin Betances Throws It Away

A Doubleheader of Depressing Losses

Ranking Mets Managers

Typically speaking, deciding who is “THE BEST” at something is a futile endeavor. After all, trying to apply objective measures to reach a subjective opinion is a concept somewhat at odds with itself.

In terms of baseball, it’s nearly impossible with the change of eras. Should Babe Ruth be considered the best ever when he played before integration? Should Barry Bonds be disqualified due to PEDs? Should we split the difference and say it’s Willie Mays?

Again, there’s just too many factors at play to determine who is THE BEST. To that end, we should look at this more as who’s in the discussion rather than who is atop the list.

In terms of the Mets, we know Tom Seaver is the best player to ever play for the team. That’s one of the rare instances where it’s clear-cut. It’s far from clear-cut on the manager side.

For 25 years, it was clearly Gil Hodges. He led the Miracle Mets to the 1969 World Series partially due to innovation. Hodges utilized platoons, and he might’ve been the first manager to utilize a five man rotation.

As we all know Hodges never got the chance to cement himself as the best manager ever as he suddenly died of a heart attack on the eve of the 1972 season. You can’t help but wonder what he could’ve done with the Mets getting Rusty Staub.

In 1984, the Mets hired Davey Johnson, who arguably went on to become the best manager in team history. In addition to winning the 1986 World Series, his teams never finished lower than second in the division.

Johnson was also the only Mets manager to win multiple division titles. In his tenure, his teams averaged 96 wins. It’s part of the reason why he has the most wins and highest winning percentage. Those were the Mets glory years, and he was at the helm.

Arguably, Hodges and Johnson are the Mets two best managers. However, there could be a case for Bobby Valentine.

Valentine is third in terms of wins and winning percentage. He came one year short of Johnson’s team record by having five consecutive winning seasons. However, notably, Valentine’s teams were not as loaded as Johnson’s.

Despite that, Valentine was the first Mets manager to lead the team to consecutive postseasons. He’s the only Mets manager to lead his team to a postseason series victory in consecutive seasons. In fact, he’s the only one to do it in any two seasons.

Overall, that’s the top three, and people should feel comfortable ranking them as they see fit. There’s a justifiable reason to put them in any order from 1-3. That said, Hodges and Johnson have the edge having won a Word Series.

After that trio, it’s fair to say Willie Randolph was a clear fourth. In addition to his leading the Mets to the 2006 NLCS, he never had a losing record while amassing the second best winning percentage in team history. His hand in developing David Wright and Jose Reyes to not only reach their potential, but also handling the city should never be discounted.

Honestly, if that isn’t your 1-4, you’re simply doing it wrong.

Terry Collins has a losing record and the most losses in team history. He blew a World Series. He also unapologetically destroyed reliever careers (see Tim Byrdak, Jim Henderson) while admitting he didn’t want to develop young players like Michael Conforto.

Yogi Berra was the manager who led the Mets to their second pennant, but he also finished with a sub .500 career despite having a World Series contending type of roster for part of his tenure.

After that, well, just consider there are only six Mets managers with a winning record. Two of them, Bud Harrelson and Mickey Callaway, were not generally well regarded for their managerial abilities. After that, there’s a lot of bad, including Hall of Famers Casey Stengel and Joe Torre.

Through Mets history, it’s clear who the four best managers are even if the order isn’t nearly as clear. Past them, it’s an uninspiring debate among pretty poor choices.

In the end, your list is personal to you, and no one can quite tell you you’re right or wrong. That is unless you do something monumentally stupid like having Hodges outside the top three or putting Stengel on your list.

Short of that, everyone’s opinions are valid, and it’s a fun debate. And remember, that’s all this is – a fun debate. It’s nothing more than that because you can’t definitely prove one is better than the other.

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 59 Fernando Salas

When it comes to the number 59 in Mets history, there are a lot of bad memories. That started with the first to wear it, Guillermo Mota, shaking off Paul Lo Duca and throwing a pitch which would change the entire course of the 2006 NLCS.

After Mota, there was Josh Smoker who had durability issues, and Antonio Bastardo. Bastrardo struggled so much the Mets actually welcomed back Jon Niese. That brings us to Fernando Salas, who was one of the few players to do something positive in a Mets uniform.

The Mets had obtained Salas from the Los Angeles Angels at the end of the waiver trade deadline. At that point, the Mets were 1.5 games of the Wild Card, and they were in desperate need of bullpen help. Like Addison Reed the year before, Salas was great over the final month of the season.

In 17 appearances, Salas was 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, 0.635 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9. Remarkably, he did not walk one batter while striking out 19 batters. Over that stretch, no one in the league made more appearances than he did, and he would have the seventh best WHIP. Overall, he proved to be the missing key to that bullpen which helped the Mets go from the outside looking in for the 2016 postseason.

Salas would return to the Mets after signing a deal in the offseason. He got off to a hot start with seven scoreless appearances and a 2.89 ERA over his first nine. However, he would eventually wilt after Terry Collins kept going to the whip with him. After his struggles, he was released a few weeks prior to the anniversary of the day the Mets obtained him.

While things did not end well, and Salas was not up to the rigors of pitching in the bullpen for Collins, he was everything the Mets needed him to be in 2016. It is very likely without Salas’ performance in 2016, the Mets might’ve missed a Wild Card they claimed by just one game over the St. Louis Cardinals. For that 2016 performance, he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 59.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

34. Noah Syndergaard
35. Rick Reed
36. Jerry Koosman
37. Casey Stengel
38. Skip Lockwood
39. Gary Gentry
40. Bartolo Colon
41. Tom Seaver

42. Ron Taylor
43. R.A. Dickey
44. David Cone
45. Tug McGraw

46. Oliver Perez
47. Jesse Orosco
48. Jacob deGrom
49. Armando Benitez
50. Sid Fernandez
51. Rick White
52. Yoenis Cespedes
53. Chad Bradford
54. T.J. Rivera
55. Orel Hershiser
56. Andres Torres
57. Johan Santana
58. Jenrry Mejia

 

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 34 Noah Syndergaard

It’s rare a team can trade the reigning Cy Young Award winner and make the trade look like an absolute steal. However, that is what happened when the Mets traded R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package which included Noah Syndergaard.

After the December 2012 trade, Syndergaard would have a somewhat interesting path to the majors. It included him trying to push his way to the majors partially to get away from the environment in Triple-A Las Vegas. He would also be ambushed by David Wright and Bobby Parnell in Spring Training with the duo throwing out his lunch. That strange odyssey led to him being truly ready in 2015.

The Mets first called him up in May when Dillon Gee hit the disabled list. Syndergaard would have a very impressive start to his Major League career. In his fourth career start, he hit his first Major League homer. In August, he would be named the National League Pitcher of the Week. He’d set a Major League record by becoming the first rookie since 1900 to have consecutive starts with nine strikeouts and no walks. This was a pitcher not only ready to debut; this was a pitcher ready for the biggest of stages – New York and the postseason.

He pitched well in his first postseason start, Game 2 of the NLDS, but he would get tagged with the loss partially because what should’ve been an inning ending double play was a blown call by second base umpire Chris Guccione when Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Syndergaard would get his revenge twice for this. The first time was his relief appearance in Game 5:

That relief appearance helped propel the Mets to the NLCS. Syndergaard would pitch again in Game 2 of the NLCS helping the Mets get a 2-0 series lead on the Cubs after striking out nine Cubs in 5.2 innings. He would not take the mound again until Game 3 of the World Series. With the Mets down 2-0, he would send a message to the Royals that he was 6’6″ away.”

The Mets would win that game and get back in the series. With that win, Syndergaard would become the first ever pitcher to win a World Series game at Citi Field. Unfortunately, he never got to take the mound again in what should’ve been an epic Game 7.

Instead, he took the mound in Kansas City for the second game of the 2016 season. In that game, he unleashed a wicked slider which would be a key to his having a great year, one which he was named an All Star for the first time in his career. Over his first two starts of the season, he tied a club record with Pedro Martinez and Dwight Gooden for the most strikeouts over the first two starts of the season (21).

In that season, Syndergaard developed not only that slider but also a chemistry with Rene Rivera. He would have a number of great games including his two home run game against the Dodgers.

That season, he would also get tossed from a game trying to exact revenge against Utley by throwing behind him. As if that moment was not iconic enough for Mets fans, it created the infamous Terry Collins rant video.

In that season, Syndergaard would lead the league in FIP and HR/9, and he would be second in the majors in pitcher WAR and third in ERA and ERA+. For some reason, he would only finish eighth in the Cy Young voting that year. Despite the voting, one thing was clear – Syndergaard had arrived on the scene as a true ace. The was the type of ace you wanted to give the ball to in a winner-take-all game, which is what the Mets did.

In the Mets first National League Wild Card Game, Syndergaard was phenomenal. Over seven innings, he actually out-pitched Madison Bumgarner, the greatest big game pitcher of his generation. Unfortunately, the Mets were not able to give him the support he needed, and ultimately, Jeurys Familia would allow a three run homer, and the Mets would be eliminated from the postseason.

One interesting fact about Syndergaard is he joined Al Leiter and John Franco as just the only Mets pitchers to pitch in elimination games in consecutive postseasons. Familia would join him in that feat as well.

After 2016, Syndergaard has had difficulty taking the leap we expected. In 2017, he had a torn lat, and as we recently discovered, in addition to the bone spurs in his elbow, he had a torn UCL. Despite the injuries, Syndergaard pitched like an ace level pitcher. For example, in 2019, he was 18th in the Majors in FIP, and he had the second best hard hit rate.

In fact, since his debut in 2015, Syndergaard has the 10th best WAR and FIP in the majors. During that time frame, he has also been etching his name onto the Mets record books. In fact, despite all the hand wringing some commentators have about his ability to strike people out, he has the second best K/9 in team history. He has also demonstrated exceptional control with the fourth best K/BB in team history.

In the end, he has the fourth best FIP in team history. He has also established himself as a big game pitcher who you can trust to take the ball with everything on the line. He has already established himself as the best Mets player to ever wear the number 34.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey Deserves More Love Than Bartolo Colon

Because of the regular season, we normally overlook what happens on a particular day in the history of any franchise. For example, if it wasn’t for everyone wearing the number 42, it is very likely Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier on April 15 would be little more than a footnote year-in and year-out.

However, with there no baseball going on, we get to appreciate just how much significant events happen on the same day. For the Mets, on May 7th, there were two fairly significant events which happened.

The first was Matt Harvey‘s near no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. This was back when Harvey was drawing Tom Seaver comparisons, and this game was a perfect example why. He was not just dominant, but he was pitching smart and effective. Really, none of the White Sox batters had a chance against him.

If not for Ruben Tejada, he would have had a perfect game. That’s how great he was on this day. If not for the Mets offense, he would have had a complete game shut out. Instead, he would have to settle for one of the most incredible no decisions you will ever see.

It is easy to forget but in 2013, Harvey is what gave Mets fans hope as they hoped the team would eventually turn the corner to become World Series contenders again. He started the All-Star Game in Citi Field, and he was neck-in-neck with Clayton Kershaw in the Cy Young chase until he succumbed to Tommy John. Remember, this was Kershaw at his peak, which was back when Kershaw might’ve been the best pitcher anyone has ever seen. Harvey was that great.

Three years later, May 7 would be the day Bartolo Colon did the seemingly impossible. Someone who was just about the worst hitter you will ever see, and a player who obviously had little to no interest in hitting, would hit a homer. What made it all the more incredulous was it happened in Petco Park, one of the most difficult ballparks to homer:

Colon made Major League history that day by becoming the oldest player to hit his first homer. Arguably, he also made history by becoming the worst ever hitter to homer in a game.

Harvey’s near perfect game and Colon’s homer were significant events which both happened on the same day. Especially given the fact there is no baseball being played, those are two events which should be denoted and remembered. The Mets did do that with Colon:

The Mets did not do the same with Harvey. There was no tweet commemorating one of the best pitching performances in team history. It’s also very likely you will not see it on SNY anytime soon.

This is part of the strange odyssey of Harvey, and it is part of the way over-the-top adoration of Colon during his time with the Mets.

There is no doubt Harvey had his missteps with the Mets. Many did not appreciate Scott Boras trying to protect Harvey’s career the way he once did with Stephen Strasburg, who was last year’s World Series MVP. There was the missed workout on the eve of the 2015 postseason, and then there was that one day he was a flat out no show at the ballpark.

Eventually, Harvey pushed back against a demotion to the bullpen, and he wouldn’t accept a demotion to the minors. This led to his eventual DFA and trade to the Reds.

Lost in all of that was Harvey’s great 2013 season. Also lost was how he returned to form in 2015. In those seasons, Harvey was synonymous with hope. He gave you hope the Mets could turn it around, and then he gave you hope the Mets could win it all. With that 2015 postseason, if not for some serious managerial missteps by Terry Collins, he would have pulled it off.

Keep in mind, in doing that, Harvey had to ignore the advice of his agent and doctors. He would pitch more innings than anyone has post Tommy John surgery. It would not be his fault his career was forever altered by TOS. In the end, he did everything he could do to help the Mets, and he gave us some moments we truly cherised.

As for Colon, well, he was a below average pitcher during his time with the Mets (96 ERA+), and he was just not good in the 2015 postseason.

Still, he had his moments, especially in the field. There are many defensive plays no one will forget like his behind the back flip against the Marlins. Overall, Colon was a good fielding pitcher, and he was frankly robbed of the Gold Glove in 2016. It should also be noted he was very good in 2016, and he was one of the main reasons why that team went on the great run they did to get back to the postseason.

Ultimately, fans are entitled to love who they love for whatever reason. After all, there is a certain irrational element in being a fan of any team or sport. You have to stick by when people give you every reason there is not to stick with them. That goes double, triple, and much much higher for a Wilpon run franchise.

That said, Harvey was great with the Mets, and he gave everything he could give them. As such, it is flat out wrong to see his great moments go completely overlooked by the team. When you boil it down, he should also get more respect and love from the fans, the same fans who once chanted his name and cheered him vociferously during the 2013 and 2015 seasons.