PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Mets general manager Sandy Alderson did not deny ticket-selling considerations played a role in the team deciding not to start Matt Harvey in the home opener on April 13.
Harvey is scheduled to pitch on April 14 against the Phillies. Jacob deGrom will start the already sold-out home opener.
"Look, we take a lot of things into account," Alderson said on Tuesday. "I think the first and foremost is does any pitcher deserve to pitch in a game of that sort. That's the primary focus. And you're assuming people are more interested in seeing Harvey pitch than Jacob. That's probably true. But not something I would acknowledge."
The second home game of the season is usually much less well attended than the first. In 2014, attendance dropped more than 13,000 in the second game. In 2013, with Harvey starting, it dropped nearly 19,000. In 2012, though, attendance dropped only about 2,500 from Opening Day to the second game.
With Harvey pitching, the Mets should see a significant increase -- perhaps even a second sellout.
"There are lots of secondary considerations," Alderson said.
Asked if ticket sales were one of them, he said: "Could be."