Fact: Matt Harvey is rehabbing his Tommy John repaired right elbow.
Fact: the rehab will take a long time, most likely all summer.
Fact: Port St. Lucie, Florida is dreary and kind of deserted in summertime.
Fact: the New York Rangers do not play hockey in Port St. Lucie.
Fact: very, very few supermodels tend to hang around Port St. Lucie.
Fact: Matt Harvey likes to go to Rangers games, usually in the company of a supermodel.
Fact: Matt Harvey wants to rehab in New York, not Port St. Lucie. This is “fact,” because he’s said so since before the beginning of spring training.
Speculation: the absence of the Rangers and supermodels in Port St. Lucie is largely fuelling Harvey’s desire to workout up North.
Back in February, Harvey told Mike Francesa he wants to rehab “around the team,” so he can get more familiar with the NL hitters hell be facing come April, 2015. OK, fine. If that’s the story he wants to tell, have at it. But Mets management – famously rabbit-eared about their “message” – has seen fit to try and limit Harvey speaking about what’s on his mind, wishing him to refrain from one-on-one interviews and only have him speak to a gaggle of sportswriters at once. When word got out that Matt Harvey was having a conversation with the Daily News’ Andy Martino about his desire to go back to New York, PR guru Jay Horwitz hustled in to break it up. Matt Harvey, clearly annoyed, stuck up for himself.
There are more than a few fans who feel Harvey is in the wrong here, who feel that he hasn’t earned his stripes yet, who think he’s a cocky kid popping off where he has no right to. One has to wonder what team they’ve been watching. For ages, we fans have bemoaned the lack of bravado – “swagger,” if you will — on the meek Mets. We pine for the big bad Metsies of ’86, who said they were gonna beat you, then went out and did just that. Some of us look to emulate Yankee teams of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, teams that knew in their bones that they would win in the end, even if it meant going up against the winningest regular season team in MLB history.
The Mets haven’t had a player with Matt Harvey’s level of confidence since Jose Reyes sprinted to Florida after the 2011 season. And they’re trying to muzzle it? The front office cannot possibly be so blind as to miss the Tom Seaver-esque quality Harvey brings to both the mound and the clubhouse. The more cynical of us see Harvey bolting Queens at his first opportunity. True, he doesn’t hit free agency until 2019, but some of us – your intrepid columnist included – are dreading the day he turns down the Mets’ “final” offer and takes his talents to the team he rooted for as a kid: the Yankees.
For some reason, Mets management seems to want to hasten the process.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley