I almost wish I never paid a trip to MetsBlog last night. What I read there turned my stomach more than those two bottles of lemon-flavored sludge they make me drink every time I have to get a CT-scan. In a post entitled, Matt Harvey is on a mission, Matt wrote the following about our exciting, young righthander:
My bet is Harvey never wins a Cy Young. However, once he learns to “command an inning,” and “pitch to contact,” he’ll string together several seasons of consistent, significant and meaningful results. 15 to 20 wins here, All Star appearance there, repeatedly falling short of the ultimate award, maybe never being his team’s “ace,” but always heralded by fans, recognized around the game and touted by his teammates.
First of all, let’s get something straight right off the bat… This wasn’t a hatchet piece on Matt Harvey and in fact it was quite the opposite. There was plenty of praise thrown Harvey’s way by Cerrone, so let’s get that out of the way so that I can move onto my problems with this quote.
Needless to say, after reading the entire post and particularly that segment of it, I couldn’t wait to leave Matt my own two cents and tell him exactly what I thought about his assertion that Matt Harvey will never win a Cy Young Award in his career.
So I pulled my laptop closer to me, gathered my thoughts together, and then I started looking for the “Leave A Comment” button. However, there was a slight problem…
The comment thread had been closed… That was disappointing to say the least. I don’t really know why the thread was closed after only a day and a half, but that’s not for me to say or speculate on. But I did find it curious and frustrating nonetheless as I had a lot I wanted to get off my chest and felt deprived of that opportunity.
I decided that I would go ahead and tell Matt what I had to say in a post on MMO first thing in the morning. Lucky for him I was a lot more calmer today than I was last night.
My first reaction to Matt’s post was that of complete puzzlement. I thought perhaps it was just another typo and that somehow a word was left out, or that it may have been an incomplete sentence. We’ve all see that before on MetsBlog, right?
But that wasn’t the case at all because there was Matt, defending his posture quite passionately, right there in the comment thread – the same thread I was precluded from replying on.
Those words, coming from Matt, kind of cut deeply into me… Because when I see Matt Harvey I finally see a pitching prospect that is going to deliver on all the hype and do all those great things the scouts and experts had predicted for him.
When Harvey came up in the middle of the 2012 season, he was every bit as good as what we’ve all been told – and then some. Those ten starts were not only good from a Mets’ fan’s point of view, but they were historically significant and his debut ranked up there with some of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen. “A dominating debut like no other, for a Mets starting pitcher”. That’s what Ron Darling had to say about it.
Now, here we are, on the brink of a new season, with most of us having Matt Harvey earmarked as one of the very few reasons to get excited about the 2013 Mets, and then you read those words from Matt Cerrone and it all goes POOF…
Why say something like that and more importantly, why now?
Even if that’s what you believe in your heart of hearts, why would you utter such a thing or put it in writing and sign your name to it?
I wouldn’t have a problem with this if it had come from Keith Law, Rob Neyer or John Sickels, those guys are experts and they get paid handsomely to be critical and objective.
Matt says in one of the comments that he was simply writing his expectations and contrasting that to what is typically used to define a great career. It’s a perfectly plausible explanation, but the problem is that oftentimes Matt presents himself as an expert with inside information from the team and MLB sources as well.
But Matt has also said on many occasions, especially in instances like this one, that he is not an expert, so why make such a claim that he must have known would pierce the heart of many a Met fan?
Then something else struck me… What if Matt Harvey read that?
If MMO has all these players reading our site and writing us to say thank you, or re-tweeting our articles just about every week, then surely MetsBlog must be getting that kind of attention from them as well and most likely double the attention if not more…
I am always mindful of anything I write about our players and in fact I included it in our MMO Writing Standards that I share with every new writer on MMO. Here is a part of what I say:
Always make your points respectfully. Think about what you are going to write when you talk about the players, coaches and executives, many of whom read MMO daily. A professional doesn’t hurl insults in a post against people that are not allowed the opportunity to defend themselves. Temper your criticism with fairness.
As our site grew, I always believed our responsibility grew with it. I thought it was important that we understand each of our roles and how important it is to support the team and especially the players.
MetsBlog made Matt Cerrone the most powerful person in the Mets blogosphere. He underestimates the significance of that.
There are literally tens of thousands of Mets fans who hang on every single word he says… Literally.
Matt worked hard to get there and it wasn’t easy to get where he is, believe me, I know. However, he can no longer use the old standby, “I’m just a fan like you,” or “I’m just a blogger posting my opinions.”
That is so untrue…
Matt, you are not just a fan or just a blogger. You are a lot more than that, and for one thing you are paid well to do what you do – that makes you a professional. Writing about the Mets isn’t a hobby for you, it’s your career. That makes you more than just a blogger, and it certainly makes you more than just a fan.
You have to be mindful of everything you say. You have to forego expediency for accuracy. Tens of thousands of fans read your site everyday. That’s mind boggling when you think about it, but it shows why you have to bend over backwards to make sure you stay on point and project a positive message about the Mets.
Most Mets fans I know have high expectations for Matt Harvey – I think you deflated those expectations for thousands of your readers by saying you’d bet Matt Harvey will never win a Cy Young Award.
Maybe you’re right, maybe he won’t, but it wasn’t for you to tell us that.
I hope Harvey racks up multiple Cy Young Awards in his career just to prove you wrong, but mostly to show Mets fans that it’s still okay to dream big and aim high.