Mets, SNY Look For Doubleheader Audience Boost With Ps Harvey, Wheeler Starting
SportsNet N.Y. is "on pace for the lowest Mets ratings in its eight-season history, stuck with a team out of contention earlier than any other in that span, and suddenly has been gifted with a marquee attraction" in Ps Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler starting in today's doubleheader, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. SNY's Ron Darling said of Wheeler, who is making his MLB debut, "I think this team, fan base, organization, and maybe a little bit the announcers, need a jolt of excitement, and he provides that." No matter "what the young pitchers do over the next 3 1/2 months, it is unlikely to lift the Mets into playoff contention." That "presents an ongoing challenge for SNY's announcers, who are trying to tell it like it is while trying to keep viewers interested." Darling said that the SNY team "spoke last week about not over-talking through Wheeler's first start, letting the game breathe and giving fans a chance to 'watch and enjoy, or not enjoy, whatever the case may be'" (NEWSDAY, 6/18). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the "emphasis on Wheeler’s first start puts the Mets in an unaccustomed spotlight" and "puts the organization in a precarious position." While it is "just one start, whatever result Wheeler produces will immediately be totally blown out of proportion." WFAN-AM and SNY broadcasters "should maintain a balance," as they "will be the first line of analysis" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/18).