Matthew Cerrone, Lead WriterAs I mentioned in the previous post, while away these past few weeks, I didn’t watch every pitch of every inning. However, I did watch every pitch thrown by Matt Harvey. He’s made just 14 starts and is already “must-see baseball.”
While his results are impressive, it’s his style and approach that make him so magnetic. I love that he is not impressed by being in the big leagues. He isn’t impressed by you or I, the media, or fame. He seems to have one goal: be the best. That’s it. If he’s the best, the rest will fall in to place. Also, as was the case with R.A. Dickey, Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana, I’m taking special note of Harvey’s schedule because I don’t want to miss seeing him work. It’s not just about strike outs and zeroes with Harvey (or Dickey, etc.), it’s about watching him perform surgery on the other team’s lineup. It’s about watching that night’s story of how he’s going to pick them apart, brick by brick. He has quickly become one of the few people I will watch just to watch, regardless of the team, results, standings, etc. The fact that he’s on the Mets is simply a bonus.
In a post to MetsBlog in March, I said, “My bet is Harvey never wins a Cy Young.” Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s totally capable of winning this award in his career. It’s just that – year in and year out – the odds of winning this trophy are low for any pitcher, even the best pitchers, so I’d always bet against it. The point I went on to make in March was that, Cy Young Award or no Cy Young Award, it doesn’t matter; because hardware and rings will not be used by Mets fans to define Harvey. Instead, I think we’ll define him by his focus, consistency and presence on the mound — how pumped up we get before games to watch him pitch — and how he is acknowledged by the national media will be irrelevant.
By the way, I’m not a scout. I’m a fan with an opinion. I thought David Wright would be awesome the first day I saw him in Double-A, but I also said the same about Anderson Hernandez. Sure, I’d bet against Harvey winning a Cy Young, but I also think he has the talent to win one. In either case, what’s the difference? I’m not a expert, and I’m not a magician. I don’t control fate. As fans, we are not bound together by what we think can, will or should happen. Instead, we are connected by what we want to happen. I want Harvey to win a dozen Cy Young Awards. And, in the years he isn’t winning, I want Zack Wheeler to get the rest.