Matthew Cerrone: The Mets need Matt Harvey, not just on the mound, but in the clubhouse, on the bench and in their brains…
The Mets are on pace to finish 76-86, which will be their sixth straight year winning between 70-79 games. The last team to do this was the Expos between 1970 and 1975, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Sandy Alderson has pointed to run differential to demonstrate the Mets are a better team than their record indicates. However, teams with worse differentials have significantly better records than the Mets, such as the Yankees and Cardinals.
Similarly, while the Mets lost Harvey, the Marlins lost Jose Fernandez, yet Miami (who have a run differential worse than the Mets) are four games back of a Wild Card spot.
“There is more going on here,” writes Joel Sherman (NY Post, Aug. 27). “Sandy Alderson and his front office must figure out if this is managing, culture, the wrong mix of players or some combination,” which will lead to another losing season.
In Spring Training, Alderson admitted to challenging his front office to begin thinking and making decisions like a franchise aiming to win 90 games each season.
“I sense he saw an organization that talks winning, but doesn’t know how to do it. That doesn’t set high enough standards, that doesn’t have a significant enough accountability gene,” Sherman says, in regards to Alderson’s 90-win challenge. “Winning is a mindset. So is losing. And the Mets, frankly, are too content with it, not demanding enough of each other to play to their skill level, much less over it.”
And this is where Harvey enters the equation…
“I don’t accept mediocrity. I don’t want to be just another guy,” Harvey said last season (NY Post, 2013). “Winning is what I want to do.”
This is what Sherman is talking about. This is what Alderson respects in Harvey. This is what I miss, as a fan. This type of talk. This intensity.
His results on field are the most important, don’t get me wrong, but he pitches once every five days. Harvey is the type of guy who transcends the typical talk that only an every-day player can be a team leader. He is bold in a way that create culture, talking points and get fans, teammates and opponents charged up. So, with all due respect to Sherman’s thesis, which I kind of agree with, these are not Harvey’s Mets. Harvey doesn’t accept mediocrity. He has been missed this season in more ways than one…