Keith Hernandez and Walt Frazier dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to do some promotional work and discuss their former teams, the New York Mets and New York Knicks, respectively.
Hernandez was asked specifically about Matt Harvey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and will reportedly be limited to 180 innings this season. He is currently at 166.1 innings with several weeks left in the season.
Should the Mets or Harvey be criticized for this?
“He’s going to pitch tonight,” Hernandez said on Gio and Jones, referring to the Mets’ game against the Nationals. “He’s pitching a big ball game. That’s the most important thing. We’ll see. They haven’t made a decision yet on what they’re going to do. I’m not inside and privy to what’s going on between the agent and Met management. It’s a big game for him to pitch tonight. That’s the most important thing right now.”
The Mets (76-61), who beat the Nationals 8-5 on Monday, have a five-game lead over Washington (71-66) in the NL East.
Hernandez, a former first baseman, was a five-time All-Star, a two-time Word Series champion, an 11-time Gold Glove winner and an NL batting champion. He was asked what’s more important for a pitcher: innings pitched or pitches thrown?
“I don’t know what to tell you guys, all right?” the 61-year-old Hernandez said. “It’s just a very serious surgery. He’s one year off of surgery. The Mets, I don’t think, figured in the beginning of the year that they were going to make the playoffs, and all of a sudden they made the moves at the trading deadline and the four players they have picked up have made the difference and they’re out in front. For now, I guess they got caught with their pants down. They got to worry about postseason innings. I’m not getting involved in this. That’s between Matt and the Mets. I’m very much excited about tonight’s game. It’s a very big game.”
Frazier, meanwhile, was asked about Kristaps Porzingins. Both Frazier and Porzingis were top-five draft picks for the Knicks – albeit 48 years apart. What are realistic expectations for the 20-year-old Latvian?
“I was like a deer in the headlights coming to New York City, and I didn’t know what to do,” said Frazier, 70. “This guy (was drafted at 19) and he’s supposed to be the savior, so there’s much more pressure on him than when I came. But I like the way he’s handled it. Obviously he’s a project because they list him at 235 and that’s probably soaking wet, so he’s got to gain weight. He obviously has to get stronger, but watching him during the summer league, I think he has some very good skills.”
Frazier was also asked about Carmelo Anthony’s rift with Phil Jackson and Knicks management following the draft. Anthony, 31, reportedly wanted the Knicks to draft someone who could help the franchise sooner than Porzingis, who will likely need several years to develop, but Anthony later softened his stance.
Was there actually a rift?
“Early on, there seemed to be,” Frazier said, “but I think they’ve resolved that now. Melo is saying all the right things, so he seems to be a team player and he’s ready to start his season.”