Unlike dozens of other Mets fans today, I am not unhappy with the Mets, Terry Collins or Matt Harvey about the way last nights game was handled. Sure it was a miserable game to watch and you never want to give away a nationally televised game to the Yankees. But in reality, it was just a game and the Mets are still the odds on favorites to win the National League East.
There’s something else that I just can’t get out of my mind. Matt Harvey is trying to be everything to everyone and it needs to stop.
When Scott Boras first came forward to discuss Harvey’s innings limit it was major news. It’s rare to see an agents name in the news when that player is still several years away from free agency. Still, what was said was said and Harvey made things worse by agreeing with his agent.
What can’t happen if you’re Gotham’s Dark Knight is to have your cake and eat it too. In front of the cameras, Harvey is trying to say the right things (since the early mis-step). He’s talking about wanting the ball and wanting to win. After last nights game he said “…the last thing I ever want to do, especially in a close game like that, is come out.” He continued by saying that the last thing he wants to do is not pitch.
So here are the facts. Harvey and his agent have stated that he will not move past his innings limit. The Mets have agreed for the most part in principal to this concept. Then why is Harvey getting up there and making statements like this? The fact is, there is something more important than winning right now. That’s his health. No one would fault him for saying that. But he’s not. He’s trying to demand the ball in front of the cameras and then hide behind his agent when the lights go out.
Harvey just can’t have it both ways. Either he wants to pitch or he doesn’t feel up to pitching. There is no middle ground.
From my perspective this is a non-story. Imagine if the Mets had won last night’s game. Would Harvey’s five innings even be a topic for discussion? I tend to think it wouldn’t be.
Here’s what I know. When the playoffs start, Collins needs to tell the media and Matt Harvey, that he is going to hand him the ball every few days and that he expects him to give it his all and pitch like it’s all on the line. If Harvey says he can’t do that, then that needs to be stated. Unless that is the case, I expect an unrestricted Harvey to take the mound against the Dodgers. If last night is a preview of what the National League Divisional Series will look like then Harvey might as well stay home.
It’s not about what Harvey is doing. It’s about the way Harvey is trying to spin this situation and it needs to stop.