Mandel’s Musings: The Mets, Matt Harvey, and Baseball, In General

Published on: 16th July, 2013

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Matt Harvey is starting All Star game tonight at Citi Field  | read this item

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New York — Maybe it’s just good karma or maybe it’s just the Mets’ turn to have a run of positive events. Tonight’s sold-out All-Star game and last night’s sold-out Home Run Derby will bring in lots of revenue through new season ticket buyers, renewing season ticket holders, and those long lines at the concession stands and in the merchandise stores. And, that 17-11 record (.586) over the past month and their plethora of 95mph pitchers about to be unleashed on the league is beginning to wake up those Mets fans in hiding. I say good for the Mets, and their long-suffering fans.

In baseball, this time of the season is when a team decides if they’re in the pennant race or not. The Yanks need to start trading their few assets for younger, faster, more exciting, fan friendly athletes. They are boring the hell out of their fan base, as is. Minnesota, one of the worst teams in the sport, are beating the Yanks for a second straight day at the Yankee Museum in the Bronx.

Matt Harvey is starting All Star game tonight at Citi Field

Sports talk radio in NYC is loaded with optimistic Mets fans calling in to be heard. It’s starting to feel like this town is going to have a seismic shift of Met popularity, like in the 80s, with the Yankees headed downward.

Teams are now calling the Mets to gauge their interest in trading any of the 13 top pitching prospects, all under 27, they have under contract in their system. Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Montero, Syndergaard, Gee, Hefner, Michael Fullmer, Familia, DeGrom, Mazzoni, Leathersich, and Domingo Tapia. That’s called leverage, folks. Make no mistake, the Mets have it.

The Mets minor league system has the highest winning percentage in baseball. The Sandy Alderson-Paul DePodesta system is to teach winning baseball in the development years. The trickle upward (17-8 in last 25) has begun, with a couple of vets (Young and Byrd) teaching the kids to play hard every day.

Scott Mandel No doubt the Wilpons are not the greatest owners. I don’t know Jeff at all but I can tell you Fred has always cared about this team, whatever his faults may be. What I like is how Sandy is putting together the pitching staff. If you can’t hit or catch the ball too well, you’ll still be in every game if you’ve got a top of the rotation type starter in every single game. I’ve seen every one of those youngsters pitch except Syndergaard. They are very impressive for their ages. The velocity and the command they have at 21-23 years of age is incredible. None of these kids project to a back of the rotation starter. They’re all projected as one’s and two’s in most major league rotations.

Did any of you notice there was nothing but empty seats at Jeter’s 2013 debut. Maybe they were late arrivals? Maybe this particular Yankee team doesn’t capture their corporate fans’ collective imaginations? I’m beginning to think it’s the latter.

Zack Wheeler’s fifth major league start last week vs. the World Champion SF Giants in San Francisco yielded the following statistical line for the youngster – 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, whip of 0.86. He’s now 3-1 for what has become one of baseball’s hottest teams.

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