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The Mets Are Holding Back Matt Harvey To Sell More Tickets

Illustration for article titled The Mets Are Holding Back Matt Harvey To Sell More Tickets

Let's argue about some stupid shit, because c'mon, that's the most fun thing about baseball. And the Mets will never let us down when it comes to providing the stupid shit.


The Mets have named Bartolo Colon their opening day starter, seemingly an odd choice for a team that's spent years hyping up its stable of young arms. Matt Harvey's back! But Colon, who is the team's fourth- or fifth-best healthy starter, will take the mound April 6 in Washington.

Manager Terry Collins admitted the decision wasn't his alone, and was pretty vague when asked to justify it. "We just thought this was the way to go," he offered.


Thing is, Harvey doesn't even get the start in the second game of the season. That'd be reigning rookie of the year Jacob deGrom. Harvey will finally get the ball on April 9th, the third game of the opening series against the Nationals. What could possibly be gained by holding back one of the best and most exciting hurlers in the game so long? The answer lies in the second time through the rotation.

After a series in Atlanta, the Mets return to Flushing to host the Phillies. DeGrom is scheduled to start that home opener, which figures to sell out anyway. The second home game, which usually would see a big drop-off in attendance, will instead become Matt Harvey Night. This is no accident, as GM Sandy Alderson came close to admitting today.

"Look, we take a lot of things into account," Alderson said. "I think the first and foremost is: Does any pitcher deserve to pitch in a game of that sort? And I think that was the primary focus. You're assuming people are more interested in seeing Harvey pitch than Jacob. That's probably true, but not something that I would acknowledge."

As for selling extra tickets for Day 2 being a secondary consideration, Alderson said: "There are lots of secondary considerations."

Ticket sales among those?

"Could be," Alderson said with a smile.

It's hard to get too upset at what's just good business. Let the Mets use their star attraction to sell they've got to sell more tickets; maybe they'll reinvest those profits in the team. (Ha! But really.) Still, there's a nonzero chance that the Mets' season comes down to one game, and they find themselves wishing their best pitcher had gotten one more start.

[ESPN New York]

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