Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Scouting of Matt Harvey

Every time Omar lagged on their trip up the mountain, Jeff Wilpon would admonish him and tell him to hurry up.

"I'd appreciate it if you told me where we were going," said Omar.

"I told you," said Wilpon. "Scouting."

"Scouting what? Douglas firs? Sparrows? Moss?"

"I'm glad you're paying attention to your surroundings," said Wilpon. "But no, what we're here to see is just up by this ridge." They hiked up a little further and reached a stunning vista.

"What a stunning vista," gasped Wilpon. "Makes you happy the great shoemaker made you. And this. And shoes."

"Nice stuff. So we're scouting mountains?"

"Damnit Omar, listen. Don't you hear anything unusual?"

Reluctantly, Omar stopped and listened. He heard birds and a breeze swishing through... and, okay, now he was hearing something unusual. A semi-rhythmic thwap somewhere in the distance.

"What is that?" Wilpon was ready with the binoculars.

"Who is this kid? Does he live up here?"

"Matt Harvey, and no idea."

"Matt who?"

"Doesn't matter. We're drafting him with our first pick."

"Him? What about Kvasnicka? I've been scouting that guy for- damn that's an easy delivery. He's commanding it too. He's that same rock four times in a row now."

"You should see him bend sliders around the side of the mountain."

"Does he know you've been watching him?"

"Omar, I'm not sure this kid knows the rules of baseball. What I do know is that he is a Met. He's more Met than you or me. Now we just have to make it official."

"Did you look at my Kvas report?"

"Omar if you say that name one more time I will Kvasnicka your face."

"Understood boss. Any idea about Harvey's signing demands."

"Money is unimportant to him. A mil should do it."

Two weeks later, somewhere in New Jersey, Bud Selig took the stage at the MLB draft and announced:
"With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2010 draft, the New York Mets select Matt Harvey from the mountains of North Carolina."

"Harvey can hit any rock within a 130 ft radius of where he is standing. He's got that hard slider, and he's working on a change to keep hitters honest," said Peter Gammons with his instanalysis. "The only question is how he'll react to living among other humans for long stretches of time."

"I've been to mountains," John Kruk chimed in. "Believe me, if you can survive there, you can survive on a baseball team. Believe me, the kid's going to be just fine."

"The Mets are going out of their way to make this kid feel at home," said Gammons. "Reyes baked him blueberry muffins, Bay is showing him his favorite dance move, and Francouer- get this- has spent all day on the phone with the demon that torments him, just so the demon won't have time to bug the new kid."

"That's really something," said Krukky. "Francouer is streaky on the field, but he's a good clubhouse guy day-in day-out."

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