Will Harvey Day Ever Be The Same Again

An article by posted on March 26, 2014 0 Comments

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I find it amazing how almost half of the 8-12 emails I receive from readers everyday are regarding a player who may not even play one inning for the Mets this season, Matt Harvey.

Yesterday, Harvey and the Mets came to an “amicable resolution” as described by Scott Boras on how the righthander would proceed with his rehab. Both sides agreed that he would stay in New York when the team is at home and fly to Port St. Lucie when the Mets are on the road. In June, when presumably Harvey will be pitching from a mound again, Harvey will remain in Florida for the duration of his rehab.

Those first two months in which he splits his time did not come without any conditions. According to what David Wright told Joel Sherman of the NY Post, he advised his teammate he has to be “a supporting actor at Citi, not a star of the City; a dispenser of high fives, not a staple of Page Six.”

“It’s been my philosophy that I am an employee, not the employer,” Wright said. “The advice I gave him was to find common ground with the Mets. To definitely do what is best for him, but also not to lose sight that he is the employee, not the employer.”

I still find it oddly surprising that after so many years in the Mets organization, the team still has no apparent concept of what they have in Matt Harvey – other than his use as a promotional gimmick.

Some may say Harvey is too headstrong or cocky or egotistical, but I don’t see why that is such a bad thing in all honesty.

For almost 30 years we’ve been waiting to have a player whose swagger hearkened to the days of 1986 – and then when we finally get such a player it seems nobody knows what to do about it. They are all freaked out.

“Certain situations I feel strongly about and I may approach them a little bit differently,” Harvey told Newsday. “But I’m all about this team. I’m all about the New York Mets and I’m all about winning. I can preach that until I’m blue in the face.”

While some may find that attitude refreshing for a team that has mostly taken on the personality of a sponge these last five losing seasons, believe it or not I sense the majority are turned off by it.

My God, how can Harvey be so, so, so, so… insensitive to our shiny Mets image?!?! How dare he speak out like that…

Can you imagine how management and much of the fan base would react if they had a Keith Hernandez, Ray Knight or Wally Backman type on this team? I’m wondering if they’d even be able to handle it.

I recall an interview I did with Jeff Pearlman back in 2008, he of course is the author of The Bad Guys Won. At the time, I asked him if he could draw any comparisons between that Mets team and the one from 1986 and he responded to me:

“None. Zero. Those Mets had heart and soul and character. Also, fans really related with that team. There was a very strong bond. These Mets clearly don’t have that.”

Does Matt Harvey have a little too much character for these new Mets?

Does his cockiness simply rub some of you the wrong way?

If you want a team with that kind of 1986 bravado, I can assure you that you’ll likely need more players like Harvey.

I’m fearful by these recent events that have had the Mets trying to control Harvey on Twitter, keeping him from doing any types of interviews that weren’t in a group setting and coordinated by the team, and basically trying to dim the light on this shining star and put a muzzle on him.

I’m fearful that all of it will ultimately lead to his departure once his free agency approaches.

Given the already shaky relationship between the Mets and Scott Boras – who enjoys mocking the team for playing in a big-league market, but acting like a team from the Ozarks – is it that far-fetched to think Boras hasn’t had Harvey’s ear throughout all of these recent turn of events? “I told you so, Matt… What did I tell you about these guys… You belong with a team that appreciates you… A team that won’t hide you in a shower stall…”

I just hope we haven’t paved the way for Harvey’s exodus…

This has been a complete PR disaster in my opinion. Rather than embracing all the virtues of Matt Harvey and selling the fan base on his unbound enthusiasm and incredible swagger, they instead opted to hit the mute button. 

It’s funny how they didn’t seem to have a problem with Matt Harvey when he was putting 25% more fans in the seats during his starts which became an event in and of itself.

Too bad. Will it ever be the same again?

I’m sure the Mets think so. I’m sure they can’t wait until a year from now when buses and subway platforms will be plastered with giant-sized posters saying. “Get Your Opening Day Tickets For Harvey Day.”

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.