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Wooten backing former Tar Heel Harvey in WS

KANSAS CITY -- Former Brewers reliever Rob Wooten always tunes into the postseason, but this World Series will have a personal bent. One of Wooten's college teammates is Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.

Harvey arrived at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2007, when Wooten was already established with the team as an ace reliever. Wooten and the Tar Heels were coming off back-to-back appearances in the College World Series.

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"We knew he could help us, but he hadn't been there those previous two years, and he might not have taken it as seriously as we were during those fall practices," said Wooten. "I think he thought he was going to come in and breeze right through college. It didn't work that way at the beginning. I think he got humbled pretty quick. But he put his head down and he got to work.

"I love Matt. He's an All-Star and he's going to win a Cy Young Award someday, and now he's pitching Game 1 of the World Series. I'm definitely going to be watching."

Before he arrived at Chapel Hill, Harvey had turned down $1 million after the Angels made him a third-round pick, opting instead to boost his stock in college. He went seventh overall to the Mets in the 2010 MLB Draft.

Wooten, meanwhile, went in the 13th round to the Brewers in 2008, and he made it to the Majors in each of the past three seasons. He pitched in 40 games in 2014, but he made only four appearances in '15, and is now a free agent for the first time.

Wooten and his wife, Katie, have two children, including a 7-week-old baby boy, Winston Thomas.

"I'm a free agent, so that's a different experience," said Wooten, who said his agent had already fielded some interest. "We'll just be patient and see what happens."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
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