No pressure: Terry Collins compares Matt Harvey to Strasburg, Verlander

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Matt Harvey’s debut was fantastic. It easily stands as the most excitement Mets fans have had for a while, and stands as great hope for the future.

But jeez, Terry Collins: maybe you need to ease up on the pressure a bit?

“I’ve talked to scouts who think he is a three or a four [starter], let me tell you something, that’s No. 1 kind of stuff right there, that’s [Justin] Verlander, [Stephen] Strasburg stuff,’’ he said.

It may very well be awesome stuff. But man, even guys with the best stuff don’t become that good very often. And in a place like New York, people will remember that stuff and, if Harvey somehow doesn’t become a regular Cy Young candidate, folks are gonna think of him, unfairly, as a flop.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.