If Mets need a new poster child, is Matt Harvey it?

The buzz on the street is that the Mets, still strapped for cash and likely to bleed money for another season or two might need to part ways with their beloved 3B.  As David Wright would leave Flushing for a new franchise, this Met fan wonders, who the Mets will bill as the great hope of the team?  If not Wright, then who?

Ike Davis seems to be an option.  He’s clean cut, and puts out effort.  Also doesn’t hurt that he hit 32 home runs in 2012.  Perhaps if he can get his numbers on the track they had been before the injury and keep his nose clean the Mets would pick him to represent them as the future of the franchise.  The issue is that Davis has had his highs and lows and should settle somewhere in the medium of those expectations… not above them.

If not Davis, then who?  Ruben TejadaDaniel Murphy?  Surely nobody in the Met outfield…  How about… Matt Harvey?

He’s a North East kid, born in New London, CT and a pitching legend of Fitch High School in Groton, CT.  He went to college in North Carolina and was the Met’s #1 draft pick (7th overall) in the 2010 draft.  All of this sounds good, but can he smile, say the right things and sell an automobile?  Maybe he’s not the most chiseled and handsome bachelor ever to call New York home, but he has seemed to have a grip of reality and a certain comfort with the media.

The next question is harder: Can Matt Harvey lead a team?

He’ll be 24 in 2013 and while he’ll have Johan Santana and Ike Davis sharing some of the burden, you cannot easily look at Matt Harvey to keep this team going strong.  He’s going to go up to Jason Bay after he grounds into another inning ending double play and get in his face for not showing hustle?  (Maybe, I mean… Bay is Canadian… Canadians aren’t that scary) The point is that Matt Harvey may have almost 60 very impressive innings under his belt, but he doesn’t have the gravitas to become the hero of a franchise right away.

So I put it to the people: If not Harvey, then who?

32 comments for “If Mets need a new poster child, is Matt Harvey it?

  1. Charles
    October 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

    There’s only one clear choice among all the uncertainty facing this disillusioned and stumbling franchise. One strong pillar holding up this unsteady and tilted team. A man whose actions always speak louder then words. A force whose vocabulary doesn’t include the word die. He’s the one they call ” the Dude”. The always media friendly and greatest sound bite of this Mets generation, Lucas Duda. Yeah he may only answer questions with no more then a two letter word, but man, the charisma in which that lone syllable generates is mind boggling.

    • David Groveman
      October 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Lucas Duda has a lot of consistency to discover before he can become the poster child. He also needs a lot more sex appeal to sell a car.

  2. October 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Great article. This is the stuff of off seasons that I love discussing.

    I think that there are two things here to discuss:

    1. Is David Wright the heir apparent as ambassador and face of the Mets now that Tom Seaver is 67?
    2. Is Matt Harvey the next Tom Seaver, clean cut, hard working, and a talent that will last years?

    As far as other “faces”, if the Mets think old school, they are looking at clean cut, hard working, intelligent, articulate, and most obvious, talented producers.

    Davis: good guy, and has talked about his rich Jewish culture which is appealing. Articulate and hard working I am SO against trading him so that Duda can play first. He was weakened in the early part of the season with something compared to Mono. Mono-like symptoms may have haunted him the entire early portion of the season. I had it and it lasted for months. Yikes. 40+ dingers next year?
    Dickey: everything about him is good guy, team player, only his age holds weight against him. 38 next year.
    Reuben Tejada: quiet, hard working, team orientated, limited in English. Great representative to Spanish speaking fans. Collins calls him a “great kid.” No one cried about Reyes due to this kid. He is a keeper.

    Harvey: Serious, team orientated, hard working, talented, articulate….great choice.

    We need a face that stays off Page 6, and is not a “Me First” type. Hard working team orientated and well spoken. Some shy guys are great teammates but don’t do well as spokesmen.

    I think Harvey is as good a choice as may be. If he has a Rookie Year like he has had in August and September, we are looking at the Rookie of the Year. Imagine if he stays out of trouble and actually hits, cheers, encourages, and leads? He’ll be someone our kids and grandkids can look up to.

    I am really excited about 2013’s pitching staff.

    I also respect the character guys we have. If the pitching staff works out as it might and we pick up a Centerfielder and a Catcher…

    it will be a fun year to watch. I don’t know about Santana (I would move him for a prospect by eating some of his salary if possible) but if he is there, he will be a good influence on Harvey, as will Dickey. Team guys like Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and David Wright will impact young kids positively. I will NOT bet against Zach Wheeler forcing their hand in Spring Training!

    February 20th is a traditional day for Pitchers and Catchers, but this year it is a bit earlier. I am already thinking of Spring Training and all the promise it brings.

  3. Mack Ade
    October 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Morning, David.

    Great idea, but I wouldn’t take the poster picture away from David Wright he is gone.You don’t have another face when Chipper is still on your team.

    Now, if David leaves, I leave the ussue alone for 2013 and come out of the box in 2014 with a new “face”… probably Zack Wheeler or Harvey.

    • David Groveman
      October 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I agree about not removing Wright before he goes. If the Mets bring Wright back it’s HIS team 100%.

  4. October 6, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I prefer these things to develop naturally rather than planning for their occurrence.

    It’s still too fresh in my mind how the 1986 Mets got rid of the fiery, anti-clean cut guys like Knight, Mitchell and Dykstra.

    Let’s collect as many great ballplayers as we can and not worry how we sell them to the fan base. Focus on development and winning and let the “face of the franchise” stuff sort itself out.

    • Name
      October 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      I agree. You can’t be popular unless you produce. Results are all what fans care about. Great performances create leaders.

    • Chris F
      October 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Yep. That says it all.

    • David Groveman
      October 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I work partially in the world of marketing and I can promise you that they never develop “naturally” there are business people pulling the strings on every level.

  5. kjs
    October 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Whomever punches the Wilpons in the jaw is the new face of the franchise, and I’ll stand him a drink until the end of time.

    • David Groveman
      October 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

      I’ll remember that while I’m in jail for assault.

  6. Hobie
    October 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Poster child? That is what leadership has become these days? No wonder we’re watching these two clowns debate.

    You want leadership? Better hang on to David & R.A. You want a pin up boy? I dunno–my wife doesn’t understand why Tejada hasn’t unseated No.2 in the eyes of her HS girls.

    And if you’re gonna get in Bay’s face for not hustling, better duck.

    • Mack Ade
      October 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      (btw, Hobie taught me how to be crusty 🙂

      • David Groveman
        October 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

        @ Mack, I thought you taught God how to be crusty… JK

        @ Hobie, Leadership and poster-child are two different things. Wright is the face of the franchise but Dickey is currently the leader.

  7. Mack Ade
    October 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The thing is, old war horses like Conrad (‘Hobie’) and I hate speculative posts, especially during the off-season. And, we’ve seen too many years of trading off stars.

    Tomorrow, I spend some time on the 1962 Mets.

    For the remainder of the off-season, I will go back to one of my old features, ‘I Might Be Wrong…’ (or is it ‘I Could Be Wrong…’). I’ve already talked to Josh Satin and have some ‘facts’ to talk about.

    Don’t kill the messenger (Groveman). Lots of people love this ‘who wiill be the number one’ bullshit. It’s just old farts like me and Conrad don’t.

    Jist build the team. Sign Wright. Sign Dickey. Keep Davis. Play Bay. On to 2014.

    • Chris F
      October 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Hey Mack, Hope you are recovering well. From your post above, do I detect a sense that you believe DW and RA can be re-signed? Not that long ago, I sort of felt that they were both already out the door.

      • Mack Ade
        October 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm


        Thanks, I’m just about 100% and start my therapy in 2 weeks.

        Both Dickey and Wright can EASILY be resigned. They both want to retire as a Met and all it takes is the Mets to get it done. Right now, they are trying to work both out, Dickey with a 3-yr. deal and Wright with a 6-7 yr. one.

        You can sign Wright for at a discount and Dickey is pennies vs. his value to a young staff.

        Every winning baseball team has to have some stars and these two represent the leadership needed in 2013-2016.

        I think the new TV deal changed everything. Don’t be surprised if both are signed in the next two weeks.

        • Name
          October 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm

          Just a thought. How about including some clauses(like if he starts to decline earlier than expected) or include in the back end of his contract an option to become a pitching coach for the Mets. I wouldn’t mind paying RA $1 million a year (or more) to teach some youngsters how to throw the knuckleball. It will certainly be risky (because $1 million is a lot of a coach), but if it works out, it could pay huge dividends for the Mets and usher in a whole era of baseball(the knuckleball era)

          • Mack Ade
            October 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm


            There will ne no clauses in Dickey’s contract based on performance because there wouldn’t be any from other teams.

            An incentive laden contract to a Cy Young winner would be quite insulting.

            Hardball Talk has a new deal at 3-yrs, $36mil. This is just speculation now. They also project a Wright deal at 7-yrs, $125mil.

            • Name
              October 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

              I think you didn’t understand what i’m my proposal was. I was actually proposing a contract that included a post-playing career(as a coach) for the Mets. His job would be teaching failed or willing players that would learn the knuckleball. He could usher in a new generation of knuckleballers.

        • Chris F
          October 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

          Great to hear the process for you is moving ahead with positive steps. Also glad to hear the odds of retaining DW and RA are improving. I did ear today that there’s talk of getting both done before the world series. I believe that would be a good step forward for the team. However, the financial news is horrific and 2013 will be stasis in terms of personnel except for small shuffling of minor names.

          • Mack Ade
            October 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm

            Don’t go crazy about the financial news.

            Regardless of how much they own, the Wilpons still own 65% of a cable network that could sell tomorrow for $1 billion dollars.

            Add to that the ‘paper’ value of a New York City baseball team, with that new TV deal in hand, and a last sale value being the LA Dodgers sale… well… the total of the team and SNY could have a value close to $3 billion dollars.

            What you are watching is a lot of creative paper pushing hoping to find refinancing monies at lower interest rates with added years for the eventual total payoff that never seems to ever happen.

            The Wilpons know they can throw one press conference and put this team, and everything they own (SNY), up for bid, and every New York guru will come running. You would see someone similar to Magic Johnson (Tom Seaver, Straw, Keith Hernandez) be the face of a money man in the Mark Cuban-Donald Trump class.

            The sale could easily total $3 billion, far more that the total debt today.

            The Wilpons know this and that’s why they don’t have to sell it. The team’s net value is still a pretty penny.

            More important, the money people stepping to the plate now that the TV deal is done (the whole sport has instantly become a better investment for a bank… an average of $50mil a year pure profit… and they too recognize that the amout of debt owed is a moot point if the value of the business is far above the debt).

            Based on recent developments ($50mil + revenue from TV deal; $40mil less payroll from year ago, minority moneu used to pay down debt and pay back league loan), the Mets are a good investment.

            • Mack Ade
              October 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

              One more thing…

              When you go to a bank and try and refinance, you do it by showing the results of your profit and lost statement from the previous one to three years.

              Projected profit has basically been thrown out the door since the boom of the 80s. Nobody believes this shit anymore.


              The Mets can ‘correctly project’ that $50million more in salaries go away after the 2013 season. That’s the fact, Jack and the banks will eat that up.

              No, the Mets may owe a lot of money, but they are worth a lot more and they may noot look like (to fans) that they are operating correctly, but to the banks and investors, they have shwon fiscal responsibility through trying times.

              • TJ
                October 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm

                Bingo, you nailed it. All this speculation and articles about the wilpons financial moves, this is just piecemeal baloney. They have too much debt and poor cash flow due to the debt and a weak team, BUT THE OWN A BILLION DOLLAR TV STATION THSAT MAKES A TON OF MONEY AS WELL AS A LARGE MARKET MLB TEAM WORTH A MINIMUM OD $1.5 BIL. We know about the Santana/Bay money going away in 2014, along with the arrival of more help from the farm, but I do not accept this penny-pinching BS with regard to 2013. Spend some of thsat TV money, fill the holes with decent MLB-caliber players, and give the paying and loyal fans a decent team to watch while the kids progress. We don’t need a signing of Hamilton or even Bourn to be satisfied. Find a catching upgrsde, a closer o deepen the entire pen, a CF/leadoff type and a RH power OF bat and play ball. By the way, glad to hear you are doing better.

    • kjs
      October 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Mack, didn’t you write that Wright was so pissed at Wilpon that he’s gone no matter what. Also, the NYT had a long article today on the Wilpon’s finance issues, which are still a disaster.

      • Mack Ade
        October 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm


        Actually, I wrote that about Wilpon and Wright a number of times and I still believe they haven’t talked to each other since then. He never was pissed. He was, and remains hurt, but, word is his agent has been given permission to meet and discuss an extension with Sandy Alderson.

        Regarding the Mets debt, that’s not going away, but the Bay and Santana contract is and there is no better way to start off your 2014 payroll than with a $30mil combined commitment to Wright and Dickey. You can (if you chose to) easily still bring in your overall payroll at around $100mil and continue to pay down debt.

        This team would heal on the field, and a team of Wright, Dickey, Harvey, Wheeler, Davis, Tejada, Murphy, Niese, Gee, Mejia, Familia, Edgin, Carson, Duda, Nieuwenhuis is not a bad start…

  8. Charles
    October 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I liked the post Phlavy. Only thing is…this team doesn’t need a “face”. It needs better players. I don’t know anyone from the Oakland A’s right now, but I’d trade the entire Mets 25 man roster for them right now and be happy. I want the Mets to win. Whoever is on the Mets doesn’t matter, the record does.

  9. Dan Stack
    October 7, 2012 at 12:53 am

    We need producers and winners plain and simple. It’s astonishing to think the A’s have gotten this far with the so-called talent they have. Who is exactly is the face of the A’s. Coco Crisp? Perhaps its Cespedes.

    • Chris F
      October 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

      It’s Billy Beane!

      • David Groveman
        October 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

        *DING DING DING*

        Actually the better answer is that OAKLAND is not New York and doesn’t NEED the “Face” to sell tickets because they have a different breed of fan.

  10. October 7, 2012 at 10:05 am

    David, in spite of “Money Ball” there are some intangibles to sports teams and marketing and having a “face” for the team matters, as does character guys who may not produce as much as others, but bring a positive impact on the morale of a team.

    I knew one of the security guards at Shea who, in the early 80’s, saw some unseemly things by certain ball players.

    One can only imagine what careers Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry may have had if influences took them in a different direction.

    Don’t devalue the impact of the ‘clean cut’ ballplayers on younger, and perhaps, more talented players.
    Don’t dismiss lightly the negative impact of a star player, who lives life on the edge, may have upon young, impressionable kids with a lot of money in their pockets in New York City.

    • October 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      I just wanted to explain why I liked the article. 🙂

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