Opinion: Winning is a mindset, and Harvey has it

miniMCavatarMatthew 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.


MLB: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs


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…


harvey-bridge


“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…




144 comments
Rob Martin
Rob Martin

Sad reality. We need bats bad, these guy's suck.

Metsfan62
Metsfan62

That's great that Harvey has a winning mind set. But what about the owners ?

matmil
matmil

Harvey, if he comes back from his surgery should be the Captain of this team. He is the only guy on this team with an edge. He isn't mister nice guy, which is what they desperately need. Somebody who actually hates to lose.

RodPell
RodPell

Great article. Someone has to change the culture. They shouldn't be 9 games under .500, especially when you see what the Yanks and Marlins are doing with their current rosters.

Harvey, although not the sole answer, is a refreshing start. Let's support this attitude and not denigrate it.

Jeffrey Goldstein
Jeffrey Goldstein

This team is going nowhere unless they add a 30 home run bat to the middle of the lineup

Harvey HAS been in the dugout every game they've played in Queens.

The Mets are 31-33 at home (not winning). Mets pitchers have pitched pretty consistently at home, (all starters have a sub-3.75 era and are pitching either .500 or one game under). 

Also at home, the Mets have only outscored their opponents by 4 runs. (Run differential, shmun differentia)l. They're 2nd to last in the NL in runs scored, and 3rd to last in the NL in runs scored against. It's as though they're pitching against themselves.

Harvey's great as a dugout presence, but unless his "winning mentality" is code for "Matt Harvey's magic bat-corking scheme," it's not gonna fix the offense. Pitching wins pennants, but lack of offense can't break 80 wins.

painterman
painterman

Harvey will leave this bunch of losers as soon as he is eligible to do so. He and the other young pitchers can see this organization is not going to field any decent hitters that are needed to make them competitive.

Probably, the Yankees will sign some of them!

Shawn R. Babcock
Shawn R. Babcock

The best Metsblog post of the season. From top to bottom had me nodding my head...


“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.”

Harvey can give the Mets A SHOT at changing the culture. But he can't do it alone...

semperfi
semperfi

Clint Hurdle/Pirates, Bob Melvin/A's, Buck Showalter/O's, Ned Yost/KC and Joe Maddon/TB are 5 examples of how great leadership can win even with smaller budgets. It starts with TC, he will not win with this team or any team, big budget or small budget. TC is forever trying to make the perfect decision and by doing so he creates uncertainty, confusion and inconsistency, Vets can do poorly and get rewarded while the youth can have a great game and get benched. Never will you reach full potential with TC at the helm, the above mentioned Mgr's get the most out of their teams while TC gets very poor and inconsistent results which is a direct reflection of his leadership style, let him save face and reposition somewhere else in the organization and get a winner to lead this team or 2015 will be another year of underachievement and disappointment to fans!

chasesimms
chasesimms

All the more reason why he is not on the right team.  If he stays healthy, his Mets career is going to be a short one.  

bcpics
bcpics

This mentality issue is considerably bigger than we give credit for.  The current roster doesn't believe it can win games on a regular basis - and Alderson's comments show that the Front Office doesn't have that belief either.


Our problem is that even as fans we don't have belief in the team either.


Chris Young has been picked up by the Yankees - tell me how many people had a fleeting thought that he'll probably go to the Yankees and show the Mets up by being a contributor somewhere down the line.


I have been guilty of ripping the Wilpons - and in many respects this whole attitude can be focused back to them as owners.  Prove to us that you want to win by putting some $'s into the team!  However - for as long as they own the organisation we will have to deal with the fact that they wont.


The team and it's fans are in transition .... we as fans are learning how to support a team that was once a big market team, now a small market.  Players are realising that their time at the Mets may not be as contenders but as a farm system for the bigger market teams.


All this has an impact - and right across the team the game has changed - the Mets are no longer the organisation we thought they were, and we as fans, along with the players are adapting to this new circumstance.

One where winning is not as important as just purely surviving

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

This outfit is SOOOOooo cheap and overprotective I doubt he'll get 28 starts and 160~ innings next year, meaning again, the "pen" will be handling our critical innings instead....wish I was wrong but, Mets have an attitude of "looking"at their prize $$ players instead of using them to their max....

Joe Montemarano
Joe Montemarano

you cant win games if you don't score runs! Lots of 1-0  2-1 3-2 games if Mets don't open their wallets and get some bats

sheaheykid
sheaheykid

Low on the priority list, but the Mets need to include Jon Niese in a trade package for a hitter. I'm really tired of his sustained mediocrity.  He's a combination of Pete Schourek and a left-handed version of Mike Pelfrey.   Gotta go.

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

The Mets woes are more about the fragile mental state of the org than they are about how much money they spend in payroll.  Teams have proven at the very least you can get to the playoffs on a small payroll.  Throwing money at the payroll for this dumpster fire of an organization would be akin to putting lipstick on a pig.  


Complete  Structural  Cleansing     Wilpons, Katz, Horowitz, Alderson, Ricciardi, Ray Ramirez, TC, et al.  Get rid of the entire lot of them and start from scratch.  

Since the Wilpons took over complete control of the team in 2002 the Mets have 1 playoff appearance and 4 seasons playing .500 or better.  

Jay Cross
Jay Cross

Why do people act like this is some kind of mystery? The Mets are a losing team because their payroll has been slashed, their best players have been traded or allowed to leave for nothing, and in most cases, were never replaced. 

It's totally obvious to anyone with half a head on their shoulders. If this team even had a $120MM payroll (downright modest by today's standards and the market they play in) it would be smack in the middle of a playoff race.

Baseball teams aren't built with bits of string, as Howard Megdal said. They're built with money. 

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

True. That attitude + $70 million more in payroll and we'll have a solid shot at a 90+ win team.

zoddie
zoddie

Harvey is a headstrong, confident jock.  I love his energy and mentality, but I also love that the Mets have adults working for them that can reign him in.

Stephen Hanks
Stephen Hanks

Overhauling that awful media relations department led by Horwitz would be a good start.

Cheryl Ann
Cheryl Ann

Yeah, just remember all this when Harvey loves winning so much that he leaves the Mets the first chance he gets -more $ and better chance to win. People on here now trashing Wright's deserving to be Captain over Harvey make me sick.. DW could have left just like Cano and probably been better off for it. Disgruntled fans like to believe no one would have wanted him or paid him but that's just wrong. He chose to stay and has always given 100% to teammates, team, fans and community. How do you think Harvey would have reacted if Wilpon dissed him in public the way he did DW, Reyes, Beltran. Sorry but being a winner and leader is about more than attitude. Harvey seems to care a little too much about himself -at least in what we've seen so far. Either way, he won't be around for long IMO

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

Here's how you WIN: Healthy Harvey, Sign Yasmani Tomas, trade for Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, or Addison Russell. Sign a competent backup catcher in case Darnaud gets injured again or regresses, try to swing a trade for Scott Van Slyke to platoon with Duda (1.025 OPS vs Lefties), replace Terry Collins, preferably with Wally Backman, bat Wright 6th.


Then you'll MAGICALYYYYYY see winning mentality in the 2015 NY Mets

howinnb
howinnb

howinnb

The manager of the team is a company man and does not share a true opinion of what is happening. Has he been told to do this?  We need a dymamic manager with an opinion and the will to win and a management who will obtain the players needed to win.

brrrandooo
brrrandooo

valid point matt, still need hitters in the lineup tho

rustysribs
rustysribs

Intensity is something this team has lacked for a very long time now. TC and Sandy both come from the school of "never get too high...never get too low". Sorry, but that just doesn't cut it. This front office needs to stop rationalizing and start promoting the intensity and winning mentality from the top down. That starts by adding more talent to compliment guys like Harvey. Also TC has got to go.

Eric Koeller
Eric Koeller

hey guys, the Yankees just signed Chris Young....thoughts?

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

@matmil You have to have more maturity and common sense and fewer mirrors to be a Captain of a team. Matt Harvey doesn't qualify. He is a boy...a spoiled brat.

matmil
matmil

30 homers, 50 homers, you need some heart to go with it. Some people just compile stats.

Metsfan62
Metsfan62

@painterman  the other problem is the Mets wont pay up  !  You know and I hate to say it but Harvey will be a Dam Yankee then !


Ed Renner
Ed Renner

@painterman I believe that Harvey will leave too. I really can't stand him, but there's no denying his talent and The Met Organization's lack of talent.

RodPell
RodPell

Agreed wholeheartedly!

matmil
matmil

@semperfi I agree, he's an insecure man that's why he won't drop Wright from the 3 spot. And his insistence on batting Granderson in the leadoff spot is really driving me crazy.

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

@semperfi You didn't mention Joe Torre. Remember that he was a LOSING manager until he had the players. What is Buck's career record? You have to have players.

matmil
matmil

@bcpics I don't think Young is going to do anything in the Bronx. He is right handed and a dead pull hitter, not conducive to success in Yankee Stadium.

birtelcom
birtelcom

I agree, but with some caveats.  Oakland had an Opening Day payroll lower than the Mets; KC and Seattle have payrolls only slightly higher than the Mets.  But they are all highly competitive this season.  That suggests that payroll is not entirely fate.  High payroll teams can fail, low payroll teams can succeed.

But it is true that having a higher payroll makes succeeding much easier and having a low payroll team makes it much harder.  To succeed, a low payroll team needs to be smarter, luckier and more patient than a higher payroll teams needs to be to achieve the same level of success.        

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@Cheryl Ann Cheryl, it's another episode of "Short Attention Span Theater".  Wright is playing with his injury, has poor batting order protection, has an off season, and people hate him.  Harvey made a big splash, then needed TJ surgery, and he gets a free pass.  I know it's a different sport, but"...the most popular guy in town is the backup quarterback."  Some of these "fans" just aren't happy unless they have someone to hate.  Castillo, Perez, Bay, K-Rod, etc. are gone and they need to hate someone.  For heaven's sake, they got on d'Arnaud's back when he was recovering from a concussion.  It's annoying, but when you're a Mets fan, they'll always be there.

It was like the drunk I remember at a Spring Training game back in 2012.  He was yelling at a pitcher telling him that he should be sent back to Tidewater.  The Mets haven't had their AAA team in Tidewater since 1992.  Then the Tides moved to Norfolk and were a Mets affiliate until 2007 when the Mets signed an agreement with Buffalo.  But that drunk didn't care to know if he was right, he was having fun yelling at a player.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Cheryl Ann Could not agree more. I love Harvey but the guy has won 12 games, been in 36 games and never played a full season. Not one. Yet people are anointing him Captain. Unreal

zoddie
zoddie

@Mr. SERCH Agree with all except:


Signing a backup catcher -- Plawecki is already in AAA.  We should be set at catcher for the rest of the decade.


Replacing Terry with Wally.  Terry may only be an average manager (worse than Bobby V, better than Willie Randolph and Art Howe), but let's not appoint Wally as some savior.  We all hate when the Mets play old guys.  Well, Wally is a MINOR LEAGUE manager and has been jerking Puello around all season.  And Backman's primary job is to develop young talent.  I'm not sure the Mets need the Backman experience.


Also, if Wright bounces back even a little, he's your #3 hitter.  It isn't like 2012 and 2013 are that long ago and Wright had amazing seasons both years.

hankypanky
hankypanky

Turns out that CY was assigned to Scranton AAA

(where he belongs).

hankypanky
hankypanky

Playing in a bandbox should be helpful.

matmil
matmil

@Ed Renner @matmil Not really, an ego is not bad leads to ambition unless he gets carried away. The guy will go through a brick wall to win a game ,that's a leader.

Metsfan62
Metsfan62

@Ed Renner @painterman Ed why do you hate Harvey so much ?  Why because he speaks his mind ! To many pansies on this team ! David Wright the biggest one !  Nice guys always finish last ! I miss the 86 Mets real men on that team .

Cheryl Ann
Cheryl Ann

Thanks. I love Harvey too but I just don't get it. He wants to plat they injury and come back early, people applaud his "bulldog mentality". DW tries same and he should "cut the BS iron man stuff" and shut it down. Just don't get it.

golflady7
golflady7

He's a righty so the bandbox right field does not help him!!!!

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

@Metsfan62 @Ed Renner @painterman The Mets are a business...with guys who get paid a lot to work for them. Yeah, they are a team. But they are a business. Harvey is a disrespectful jerk. I am a Met fan since 1962 Mr Mets Fan 62. Maybe you are too. But the 86 Mets NEVER disrespected their team in public. They disrespected the opposition. Harvey is the epitome of today's athlete. Selfish and not at all appreciative of the place the Mets have put him in.

Like everyone else, I hate the current Management regime. But you don't, if you are Matt Harvey, place yourself above the team that's paying you. At least not publicly.

Harvey is 12-11. He isn't Walter Johnson just yet.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@Cheryl Ann You would have figured that he would have stepped back when he saw what happened to Hefner.  Frankly, I just think it's an act to make fans think that he is tougher than he really is.

Metsfan62
Metsfan62

@Ed Renner @Metsfan62 @painterman  All I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt to have a little edge . Which Harvey has and yes him trying to rush back for a lost season ticks me off.  Disrespect the team ? Haven't  the Wilpons  been disrespecting all its fans for years  now !  We need some players with attitude and grit which this team lacks . Yes I was born to be a Mets fan March 1962 . I love this team but hate Ownership !