Already at the young age of 26, Matt (“The Brat”) Harvey is at a critical turning point in his career not only with the Mets, but in New York City as well. What has unfolded over the last week and continues to confuse and alarm Metland moving forward towards the Playoffs leaves everyone gasping for breath and thinking…..”You can’t make this stuff up”.
Here’s a quick recap. Throughout all of the previous year while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, Harvey hounded and cajoled the Mets to pitch in September, well before the normal recovery time. They wisely refused telling him in so many words….”Shut up and do your work”. This year in the beginning of Spring Training, the Mets brass (GM Sandy Alderson and field manager Terry Collins) got together and came up with a soft number of 180-185 innings for Harvey to pitch before they would turn their stallion stud loose next year.
Then as the Mets playoff possibilities emerged, they decided to skip one or two of his starts to save the innings for October. Harvey balks loudly in the media saying repeatedly “I am ready to pitch not only now but in October and beyond”. Later (much later) he recants agreeing to go along with a six man rotation the Mets can easily afford. So far so good, right? The man’s a bulldog and just what is needed in a Ace.
Not so fast. This week, his agent Scott Boras (the Donald Trump of player agents) comes out swinging and says that Harvey (based on his surgeon’s recommendations) will only pitch 180 innings this year. With 162 already in the books, this leaves open the chance that Harvey will start only three more games ending his season before October even begins. For his part, Harvey announced in a crowded dugout press conference that he is inclined to agree and shut himself down to protect the future of his career (read $$$).
Now mind you, this is the same Matt (The Brat) Harvey who seized every opportunity in the two years prior to this latest episode to thrust himself into the New York media spotlight (the photos above speak for themselves) saying at one point – paraphrasing – “My goal in life is to have more girls than Jeter”. Say what?
For a time, this was all entertaining and it reinforced his persona as the big man in town, something the Mets sorely needed as they fight for space on the back page with the Yankees. But first of all, Harvey can’t (and will never) even hold Derek Jeter’s jockstrap on or off the field in New York. Secondly, his career won-lost record in the Majors is a rather pedestrian 24-17. And he’s won the same number of games this year as 42 year old Bartolo Colon………
What the Mets should do (and they shouldn’t wait) is say “Okay big boy (emphasis on boy) , we agree with you……….180 is your limit this year and after that WE shut YOU down!” After all, it’s not like they are hurting for starting pitching. Plus, this would actually solve the problem of whom to move to the bullpen for the playoffs. DeGrom, Syndegaard, Colon/Niese, and Matz sounds more than good enough for me………..in October and beyond.