Series Six-Pack: “I wanted to jump on the field and strangle them.”


It’s time for Series Six-Packs again, and we’re only two series late!  It’s the intense dedication that sets the web site apart from the rest.

Today, we speak with Danny Abriano of Rising Apple, who like must Mets fans and humans, has thoughts.

Matt Harvey breathes some more magic dust onto his pitching hand. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a greatest rivalry in sports than Padre-Killing Matt Harvey/Probably Dying Roy Halladay?

Matt Harvey is much more than a Padre killer. Everyone who watched him in the minors was stunned when he came to the majors last season and flashed stuff he had never flashed before being promoted. Most scouts were projecting Harvey as a #2 or #3 starter, but those same scouts have come to the conclusion that Harvey was simply bored with the minors/saving his bullets for when he reached the Mets. Having watched every one of his starts, I can say confidently that he has the potential to be a legitimate number one.

Whether or not he fulfills that potential is obviously an open question. Regarding Halladay, from our end it certainly appears as if he’s a shell of himself. The Mets, however, have a habit of stepping up against the more skilled pitchers while turning lesser pitchers into reincarnations of Cy Young when they face them. So, even if Halladay shows up tonight with the same diminished stuff he’s flashed recently, it wouldn’t surprise me if he stifled the Mets.

How intense do you get the battle for third place to get in the NL East? Express in terms of disappointment.

The more knowledgeable Mets fans realize that 2013 is likely a transition year. I predicted them to finish 80-82, and in third (ahead of the Phils). I believe the Mets have a chance to surprise some people. If that doesn’t happen, and they wind up with a win total in the low to mid 70’s, I’ll be a bit disappointed.

What would disappoint me much more than that, though, is if one of Zack Wheeler or Travis d’Arnaud plays terribly after being promoted. Those two are huge keys to the future, and their success matters more than wins and losses.

How satisfying does a win over the Marlins feel these days? Like beating up a child? Or like just ignoring a child, letting it develop feelings of inadequacy?

I despise the Marlins. My distaste for them grew during the final series of 2007 (when they knocked the Mets out of Playoff contention), was heightened when I attended a game in Florida in 2008 and had to listen to their know-nothing fans for three hours, and came to a head when the Marlins came back out on the field at Shea Stadium after beating the Mets in the final game at Shea in 2008.

I wanted to jump on the field and strangle them. So, beating them always feels great…kind of like throwing a freshman in a garbage pail when you’re a senior in high school.

Do the Mets, who are expected to be bad for a few years as they develop, have it better or worse than the Phillies, who seem to keep having advocates to their potential success but constantly fail?

Apr 7, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets left fielder Lucas Duda (21) chases the ball during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mets won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I’m obviously biased, but I try to be rational when discussing the Mets’ chances. I think those who are writing off the Mets for years to come simply aren’t properly analyzing the team. Yes, the outfield is a weakness. Aside from that, the Mets are pretty much average.

However, there’s a strong chance that by early 2014, the Mets’ starting rotation will consist of Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Dillon Gee (with Noah Syndergaard not far away). That rotation could be a force. The Mets also has close to $50 million coming off the books after this season, and it’s expected the team will address their outfield issues via free agency.

I view the Mets as a young team that’s not far away, while I see the Phillies as an older team who is about to see their window slam shut.

How much of a motivator is it to see the team you are about to play give up 25 runs to the Royals?

It’s obviously nice to see. I’m not as high on the Royals as most seem to be, but you have to take the hitter friendliness of CBP into account when discussing high run totals. It’s why I always cringe when the Mets travel to Philly or to the little league stadium in the Bronx, where check swings leave the park. Anything in the air has a chance to sail out, which makes me uneasy whenever the Mets are on defense.

Who, on the Mets, is the player least deserving of being stuck with the Mets?

There are lots of worse places to be than New York. With that said, I think the majority of the fans always need one whipping boy – someone they boo mercilessly. I only boo lack of effort, but I can’t say the same for most of my fellow fans.

So, whichever fringe player (Marlon Byrd, LaTroy Hawkins, etc.) falters first will technically be the least deserving player who’s stuck with the Mets. They’ll have venom hurled their way until they’re off the roster.