Opinion: Wheeler wants to be like Harvey, sort of

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The possible friendly rivalry between Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard is exciting to think about, so long as it remains friendly.

Harvey was first to arrive. He made 12 starts in 2012, and then took over baseball in 2013 before ending his season with what would eventually be Tommy John surgery. Wheeler debuted last summer, pitching the second half of a double-header with Harvey starting game one. Let’s hope Wheeler has a similar 2013 to Harvey, minus the elbow issue, of course. While we’re at it, it would be awesome if Syndergaard could make his debut during an equally dramatic double-header, with Wheeler pitching earlier in the day.

The comparisons between Wheeler, Harvey and Syndergaard, and all three compared to Generation K, and Doc Gooden and Tom Seaver, etc., is all just beginning.

Zack WheelerThis isn’t fair. These are three separate guys who are deserving of three separate storylines and three sets of expectations. However, it’s impossible to see them that way, which is going to lead to them being forced to compare themselves to one another, which will give inevitably give birth to some sort of rivalry.

For instance, columnist John Harper (Daily News, Mar. 11) recently talked with Wheeler about following in Harvey’s footsteps, and Wheeler said:

“We’re different. Everybody expects all of us to love everything about being a star. I’m just laid-back. But I love playing baseball and the attention that comes with it — I guess I just don’t show I love the attention. … I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to take on (the Harvey role) and everything that comes with it. Does that include dating models?’ Whatever comes, we’ll see. I don’t go out that much. Last year I didn’t even go out one time in New York because I was so concentrated on what I was doing, just being called up at the time. But we’ll see. If a hot model comes along, so be it. Why not, right?’’

I love this quote. Imagine life if these two (hopefully three) are dominating together, each contending for awards and rings, all in the same uniform? I get chills thinking about it. But, what if the pressure and competition consumes them? What if it creates jealousy, or an unhealthy resentment? What if someone isn’t working hard enough, partying too much or doing too much media, garnering attention for the wrong reasons? Then what?

It’s a good problem to have, I suppose. I don’t know any of these three guys well enough to know if this is even a possibility. For all I know, their pin-straight morals and lovely personalities will turn the pitching mound at Citi Field in to a drum circle. I’m willing to bet, instead, that like most young men, ego and pride can get the best of them.




29 comments
Sandy Decker
Sandy Decker

It's so sad there is absolutely nothing exciting about this season and there 6 of 9 minor league starters

Frank Kajtazi
Frank Kajtazi

He can never be Harvey,lacks the bull mentality,the fearlessness to attack hitters.I predict our rotation will be 1.Syndergaard,2.Harvey,3.Wheeler Harvey will have to prove himself that he can be #1 after surgery.

Stearnsfan12
Stearnsfan12

I think its naïve to think the Mets will be able to keep all 3 of these pitchers well into their primes.  Being the rational Mets fan, I see the day that Boras outprices Harvey for these cheap Mets owners, or ends up costing the team the ability to sign Thor or Wheeler.  The beneficial thing is that you still have other young arms like Montero, Mejia, Mazzoni, de Grom to potentially step up.  Plus, Niese and Gee aren't old by pitching standards so the future, from a pitching standpoint, is quite bright.

metjetnet
metjetnet

Cerrone... ENOUGH!!! STOP IT!!!! 

Here's the money quote: "I don’t know any of these three guys well enough to know if this is even a possibility."

But that didn't stop you from throwing 8 lurid graphs onto the barbecue, now did it?


If you wanna compare these 3 to some other guys, if you can't sleep until you do, then compare them to Maddow/Glavine/Smoltz. Excellence across the board, different personalities, different pitching styles, different lifestyles, internal friendly competition, no stories of strife or rancor, dozens of Division titles to their resumes, all with long careers & HOF cred and NO INJURIES!


Some folks will wet the bed worrying about every aspect of our 3 guys, when, in reality, they're gonna have to sweat the system hotshots rising up behind THEM, in order to hang on to their jobs, too, just like Niese & Gee are now. The dozens of Matz, Mejia, Montero level guys all the way down to GCL won't worry about these three & will push them out of the way in a heartbeat. 

For now, I choose to think of a Mets version of the M/G/S troika & go about my business, smiling.

buckets
buckets

 Last year I didn’t even go out one time in New York because I was so concentrated on what I was doing, just being called up at the time.


Cleary just in it for the ladies.

Susan Mitchell
Susan Mitchell

Harvey is an A-Rod wannabe. Just be yourself Zach. In the end, the fans will like you more.

It is hilarious Wheeler is talking in a baseball interview, but his mind is clearly all about finding some prime nyc girls.  I see Harvey being most susceptible to the consuming nature of fame (superstar his rookie year).  After Harvey, probably Syndergaard (twitter, Thor nickname, harvey like pitching potential).  Then Wheeler, but an incredible #2, really like Zack Wheeler.  It's hard to tell what is going to happen with Niese, Gee, Montero, and Mejia,  I like Montero and Mejia's potential to be dominant at the back end of the rotation.  It is nice to have a lefty in the rotation, and poor Dillion Gee.  Best rotation 1-5 in baseball 2016?

Andrew Engelhardt
Andrew Engelhardt

In 2015 how bout this, wheeler, harvey, syndrgaard, montero, and mejia idk

cver
cver

I definitely would like to see Montero a bit more lumped in with these guys.  Let's face it, none of these players has completed a full season of baseball in the Major Leagues, but I certainly get it.  I do like this kid Wheeler though - from what I see and hear, seems like a nice kid.  It is all exciting to think about and hopefully, we have all of them healthy and winning games for the Mets for years.

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

Watch Montero & Meija will be the best of the bunch, and that will be saying a lot, because the other guys will be good too.

James Corsair Jr.
James Corsair Jr.

so how many wins are we talking about for wheeler. with all the holes-1st base,shortstop etc

gregf
gregf

What if they all want to (date) the same model? Then what? Oh my ...

Gee, can't we just play some baseball?

nwmets
nwmets

In other words, Zack would like to have access to some of the ladies that Matt seems to.

exileinla
exileinla

I saw Wheeler interacting a bit with fans yesterday in PSL.  He was always very aware of what was going on around him; he was one of a very small # of players who signed balls for kids between drills, and took a moment to pose for photos.  He joked & talked, too - in a way that most of the others didn't. 

If this is a sign of his being comfortable, it's a good sign!

Brandon Hillman
Brandon Hillman

86 mets had tons of stars. Some got along some didnt. But they won. Who cares if they're bffs.

pochemu
pochemu

Yeah, that's kinda my attitude, too... You know, if a hot model comes around, why not? That's just the kinda guy I am...

Looking forward to a 2015 rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Syndergaard, Gee/Montero.  Just don't let SI put them on the cover and put the whammy on them like they did to GenK.

Kevin Connelly
Kevin Connelly

starts the paragraph with how it isn't fair to put labels on the kids or burden them with generation K expectations, then ends the paragraph with dreams of the three of them dominating and fantasies of them pitching the same double header. sounds like expectations, no?


there are expectations. they should be all top of the rotation pitchers, they have the ability. i expect them to be. 

nolrog
nolrog

Comming tomorrow: Wheeler will never win a Cy Young.  Thor will never win a Cy Young.

Herman Clements
Herman Clements

don't compare him to Harvey that's where people makes mistakes just be himself and everything else will fall in place!!!

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

Very nice problems to have. Just like the 70's with Seaver, Koosman, Gentry, Ryan, Matlack out there every day with very little offense. Deja Vu all over again.

Opti-Mets-tic
Opti-Mets-tic

Uh... is the end of this, Matt "betting" that it won't work out?

Kyle Tompkins
Kyle Tompkins

 Just stay away from the Drugs, otherwise I don't care what they do

@Kyle Tompkins  Agreed, I am pretty fearful Harvey could end up like Doc.