Mets Aren’t Doing Themselves Any Favors Antagonizing Matt Harvey

13 Harvey nosebleedFact: 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

18 comments for “Mets Aren’t Doing Themselves Any Favors Antagonizing Matt Harvey

  1. Patrick Albanesius
    March 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you Charlie! I don’t understand the thinking by the Mets. The player is supposed to be allowed the choice of rehab locations. Harvey wants to do it in New York as a motivator. If he think Rangers games and hot women will fall out of the sky if he’s not top dog, then he’s kidding himself. But he’s smart enough to know otherwise. New York is a great motivator if you have huge aspirations, just ask Jay Z. Harvey will be just fine rehabbing in NY. The whole Yankee thing is a story for another day.

  2. 3doza33
    March 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I really don’t think the rangers and supermodels are the reason Harvey wants to be with the team!!! He is a team player and a leader and wants to be with his teammates to help them any way he can and learn as much as he can in the process! He is a winner and we should be thankful he’s on our team! It always ticked me off that Santana was never around to help our pitchers when he was on the DL! He was getting paid $20 mill a year and would have been a great teacher for our young pitchers coming up, especially Niese for example! People need to realize this! Harvey is what I want all my players to be like!

  3. March 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I echo the above. No matter what his personality may be, why antagonize him? The “anonymous” leaks or statements must also end. The NY Mets must become an organization that players can be lured to join, outside of the base salary. NY gives wonderful opportunities for endorsements and career leads after baseball.

    I hope Matt Harvey stays off Page Six and takes these few special years and gives his entire focus. I do understand the Mets desire to keep him out of the spotlight. We have been burned by the city life and this kid is something special, but…man, do it behind closed doors and communicate professionally with him.

    Thanks for a good article.

  4. Chris F
    March 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Another example of the Mets tripping over their own feet. The total ineptitude this team has shown over the years seems to defy explanation. Yet, we see it every year.

    The Mets play in the biggest media market in the USA. Harvey is a media draw with a huge fan base in NY, who might show up to get a glimpse of him tossing a bull pen before a game. The Mets FO operates like this is Tampa Bay or Kansas City. Its friggin NYC — they need to embrace it and drive the media, not be the constant loser that the media can pull apart. (It starts with long time media “pro” Jay Horwitz who has long outlived any utility and should be canned). I junior Communications major at City College could run the media operation better than anyone in the organization.

    But lets hear what Harvey said. He wants to travel with the team. He wants to be first in the dugout to high five someone coming in after a home run, he wants to spend the season interacting with d’Arnaud and the staff he is #1 on. Regardless of Ranger games or Vicorias Secret Angels on both arms, this guy is a full on gamer that we want more of, not less. The absolute stone cold deafness of the Wilpons and Alderson and company to reality is shocking, except for the fact weve seen this year after year.

    However, for us fans dying to have someone like Harvey to be a reason to believe, the beatings will continue until morale improves. Well played Sandy, well played. Another feather in your cap of “people skills”.

    • Metsense
      March 21, 2014 at 8:28 am

      http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2014/03/8542065/ex-met-his-old-teams-propensity-smear
      I agree that the Mets are awful in public relations and the head, Horowitz, should be held accountable for all the media foul ups. Interesting quote.Turner said. “I’ve been there for three years. All I can do is say if I was running an organization, in charge of it, I would look at all my players as assets, and want to build them up. So even if I didn’t want them to be on my team, they would have value. But for some reason, I don’t know, that’s not the thought process over there.”
      Full link to article is above.

      • Chris F
        March 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

        I know Metsense.

        I have a lot of disdain for Horwitz. The loveable flubbable grandpa schtick fails to recognize what an important role he should be playing. This whole Harvey thing right now started because he interrupted Harvey talking with someone from NY (Sherman? Rubin? cant recall) and made a kerfuffle right there.

        I watched the Granderson introduction with horror. Instead of being ready with a nicely pressed and folded and unbuttoned jersey to slide over Grandy, he had a fully buttoned up jersey on a dry cleaning hangar and needed a ton of fumbling around to get it on Grandy. Welcome to the Mets.

        Beltran, Reyes, Dickey, Turner all guys that got kicked in the a$$ on the way out of Flushing. The Alderson team “people skills” failure is really maddening.

  5. Name
    March 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    “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”

    I guess i’m in that minority. It’s pretty clear to me that Harvey isn’t exactly your model “team-first” player a la Wright and often doesn’t say the right things to the media, which isn’t to say is all bad because if one doesn’t have that personal drive and desire, one won’t get very far. I wish he would find the right balance between diva and team player soon, or he will become a (bigger) distraction.

  6. since68
    March 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    The issue here is not where he rehabs or when he pitches again, it’s about debating these thing in the media. his approach is immature and selfish. I,m not sure if this is personality or upbringing, either way it’s wrong.

    The Mets screw a lot of things up, and the FO also doesn’t know when to shut up. In this case the Mets are not at fault.

  7. March 20, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    What we don’t know is that the Mets and Harvey probably had discussions about this before he had his interview. The FO is in denial. Harvey can’t have an interview one on one? How stupid and childish is that? They’re trying to put a lid on a kid who wants to be here in NY. I’m sure the team can find plenty of rehab facilities that can cater to their needs for privacy. Enough already!

  8. LongTimeFan
    March 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Oh my gosh – the employer is antagonizing the King Harvey The Great.

    Matt Harvey needs to grow up, he’s beyond selfish. What he’s doing isn’t for the good of the team – is for the good of Matt Harvey who is obsessed with being front and center, on pedestal on field and off.

    What he fears is that the likes of Wheeler, Syndergaard and others will succeed in 2014 without him and won’t need his self-imposed Mr. Know It All leadership. Hanging around the team as if active player, allows Harvey to interject his presence and advice, keeping his desire for pedestal intact. We already see Wheeler trying to counter, asserting himself wanting the 2014 and 2015 opening Day starts, and saying he likes the spotlight, but does seek attention the way Matt Harvey does.

    For those of you who have the wool pulled over your eyes by Harvey and his motivations – you’re being hoodwinked by a guy with a range of public personas who turns and off with switch.

    • March 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

      OK, then. Since they’re treating him like Grant did Seaver in ’77, then don’t be surprised when we get stuck with the same result…

      • Metsense
        March 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        I always thought when Groucho asked on “You Bet Your Life” – who is buried in Grant’s Tomb, the right answer was Tom Seaver.

  9. LongTimeFan
    March 21, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Meant to say Wheeler said he likes the spotlight but that he doesn’t seek attention the way Harvey does.

  10. Bruce in Forest Hills
    March 21, 2014 at 1:25 am

    With the possible (possible) exception of the hour they traded Carlos Beltran for Zach Wheeler, there is no evidence the current Met front office knows how to do its job. However, we have plenty of evidence that Matt Harvey knows how to do his.

    • March 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

      The Dickey trade looks pretty good, too.

      • Bruce in Forest Hills
        March 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Maybe. But it’s funny how little we’ve heard about Travis D’Arnaud this spring. And Noah Syndergaard has not pitched a game in the majors. So it’s still too soon to tell.

  11. Chris F
    March 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I’m on and off watching the cards play the the Nats this morning as I do other things, and the announcers said something that floored me and thought it fit in a bit under this thread: the Cards as of today have already sold 2.7 million tickets for 2014. Can you imagine?

    • Metsense
      March 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Winning baseball, solid ownership, having a plan will do that. The Cardinals know what they are doing. It must have been agonizing for the fan base to see Pujols leave but management stuck to their plan. This can happen at Citifield if they take this window of opportunity with Syndergaard, Harvey and Wheeler in the next 4-6 years. I see a bright future as long as the Wilpon’s don’t screw it up.

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