Matt Harvey Just Changed The Script

Matt Harvey during spring training, 2015. Photo: Stephen Guilbert

My quick reaction to Matt Harvey's proclamation that he knows about the 180 IP limit and non-commitment to surpassing that mark is as follows:

Matt Harvey just changed the script. In any good drama we have a hero, a hero's ally and a villain--the character challenging the hero along their journey and the force the hero must overcome. Up until this point, our heroic Mets have dealt with their villains both in friendly and evil forms--be it the Nationals, injuries, bad umpiring, poor bullpen management, bad middle relief, or spinal stenosis. Most recently, the plot in New York City has been, "The Mets are going to make the playoffs despite" just a couple of things, mainly "a late surge by a healthy Washington Nationals team" as the predicate in that sentence. It could also be despite no 7th inning option out of the bullpen or despite questionable bullpen usage by manager Terry Collins or certainly despite injuries to star slugger Lucas Duda.

All of these plots assumed that the Mets would overcome these obstacles and defeat these villains along with star pitcher Matt Harvey. They assumed that The Dark Knight would be the force against the villain. Now, the script has changed and the talk around baseball now is that the Mets will have to succeed despite Matt Harvey. Matt Harvey, in an eight minute interview, turned himself into the villain.

My personal thoughts on the matter are pretty simple--it is up to him. It Matt Harvey does not feel like Matt Harvey is healthy enough to pitch much longer this season, Matt Harvey should not pitch much longer this season. No matter how poorly he went about this situation (throwing his doctor and agent under the bus, stringing the Mets along, deceiving Sandy Alderson and Mets fans), the choice is his. The evidence on TJS recovery and innings limits (also, why are we even talking about innings limits?) is so inconclusive that a pitcher who really wanted to pitch a full season would, assuming he feels good enough to. Harvey has said he does. So will he?

All I know at this moment is that the hero has lived long enough to become the villain. The Mets might need to find a way to win despite Matt Harvey, not because of Matt Harvey. Talk about a plot twist.



bob gregory said...

If Harvey has it in his head that he is risking his health, then he will consciously or subconsciously pitch that way.
Too often when athletes perform in a way that they are trying to protect themselves from injury, they end up causing themselves injuries.

Not worth the risk.
Deal with it... move on.
Waiting so long into the season to improve the offense has in part led the Mets and Harvey into this situation.
If the offense was improved going into the season or earlier in the season the 6 game lead could easily have been much larger. A playoff spot could be guaranteed earlier and.more rest could have been fit into Harvey's season earlier.

Harvey is not a bad guy in this situation. He is young, smart, and following the advice of medical experts ( as he should).

This is not a typical pitch limit situation. Harvey is recovering from serious surgery.

Mack Ade said...

I agree with Bob but I also believe that the off season would be a good time to quietly market Harvey around the league in hopes of filling two major holes.

I don't see (hear) anything in what Harvey says that speaks of being a long term Met.

However, I do understand his concern with his health.

Follow your doctors Harvey and do what you feel is the best thing to do for your career.

Just don't be surprised if the Mets don't do the same thing.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I don't disagree with either of you but what I'm saying is that, fair or not, deserved or not, Matt Harvey is now the villain in New York. You can still do what's best for yourself and go about it a better way than Harvey/Boras just did.

jd said...

I said it mid-season, I will say it again. Harvey to the Dodgers for Urias and Seager. Doable?

bob gregory said...

If Dodgers would find that acceptable.....
Mets would have to consider.

Mack Ade said...

Harvey wants to play hardball?


Pitch him as a ROOGY 12 times for the 12 innings he has left

Anonymous said...

trade him to Boston for Benintendi, Espinoza, Devers and Dubon

Steve from Norfolk said...

First, Bob,

The Mets have led the division almost the entire season. How is the possibility of the postseason a surprise?

For the rest of it:

Harvey had 17 months between surgery and his first game. Most pitchers average 12 months. That extra 5 months of rehab and rest should have SOME effect on the innings he can safely pitch. Innings is an inconsistent measure anyway. You can throw 10 pitches/inning, or 30 pitches/inning. This all sounds like more Boras bullshit anyway. I say trade him for a big bat and a SS this winter and be done with the drama. He's only going to be here three more years. I bet we could get Longoria or whoever else we want, plus a couple more All-Stars for him.


Love your ROOGY idea!

Steve from Norfolk said...

If we keep The Brown Knight (you can guess what the color is for-hint: initials are BS) starting, use him up this month and let him watch the postseason. I'll bet Matz would LOVE to take his place. DeGrom is our ace this year, anyway.

Robb said...

Im not trading him anywhere he'd want to go unless I get overpaid. you only trade aces if you can afford him and the mets can afford him, especially wiht three years of control. considering how much has been made of his innings limit this bothers me immensely.

I dont think the dodgers could make that trade from a marketing point of view, they think thats david wright and fernando vaenzuela. and tv ratings matter.

and that redsox trade isnt enough. you start with xander and betts.

alderson gets more then a kings ransom here if they trade him and a pound of flesh.

too be honest they arent trading him.

Steve from Norfolk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve from Norfolk said...

The Wilpons have gotten rid of more for less(i.e. most of the 1986 team). Don't forget where Dwight Gooden went after he was allowed to leave the Mets. That's the team Matt wants to play for anyway. I don't believe a word of this, or we would have let him start his season in mid- May or June, not just be hearing about it.


Let's see if Seattle will trade King Felix for him. Matt would just LOVE Seattle.

bob gregory said...

Almost the entire season??

Imagine if the Mets filled out a lineup of major league caliber hitters all year long.....

And leading by 1,2,3,4,5 games it not the same as leading by 10+ games...
When it comes to resting pitchers.

Also....resting Harvey, even if the Mets were shoe-ins for the playoffs for an extended period of time is the organization's control.
Not a 24? 25? Yr old pitcher.

The only thing that should really matters here is the medical experts recommendations.

bob gregory said...

What happened to all the people that insisted under no circumstances or only extreme circumstances should any of the young ace pitchers be even considered as part of any trade??

It's starting to seem like Yankee world is invading Metland with the drastic swings of who stinks or is Babe Ruth - like with each day or game that passes.

Harvey is still every bit a dominant pitcher as he has been all along.
The Mets should only consider trading him if it improves the major league roster now and the next 3-5 years.

bob gregory said...

7th inning problem solver??

Call up Gee?

Stubby said...

Let's look at this logically for a moment. Harvey knows that, if he is on a 180 innings cap, then he's not pitching in the post-season. Tell me one player who has ever played the game who wants to make it to the post-season and not play in it. So he's not shutting down. At worst, he's bluffing. At best, he's legitimately concerned about his health Nothing I read from Harvey was an ultimatum. In fact, he led with "I'm going to always play". Knowing the press, they wanted an answer on something he'd rather not talk about publicly and I actually thought he walked the line rather well. He didn't refuse to pitch however the Mets pitch him. He didn't say anything bad about the team. But he also offered support for the people whose job it is to look after his best interests. While the Mets certainly don't want to destroy Harvey's career, its also fair to say that they have a number of priorities and goals they're juggling.

And all of it means nothing. Its a molehill the press wants you to scream at like a mountain because the papers aren't happy unless everybody else is miserable. They love stirring up the mud. I'm still looking at a first place team. In September. That's the ball I choose to keep my eye on. And I'll predict that nothing will come of this. The Mets will huddle with Dr. Andrews and they'll come to an agreement and Harvey will likely exceed his 180 innings and pitch in the playoffs and (hopefully) Series. The papers are creating a controversy where none exists. Of course, if he's already hurt and just not being honest about it, you shut him down. End of story.

You know people were always divided on whether Batman (the original Dark Knight) was a good guy or a bad guy (in the comics, anyway). I'm still going to see the good guy until he truly proves otherwise. So far, he hasn't.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Let him pitch his 16 innings, and let him sit on the bench and rot in the postseason and see how much he bitches. Matz can take his place nicely. He has NOT pitched as well as DeGrom or Syndegaard.

Steve from Norfolk said...


They have not had all of this hitting, bud they HAVE led the division most of the year.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Bob G

Yes, bring up Gee. He has pitched very well of late.

Gary Seagren said...

I sure am glad we all here at Macks Mets have something important to talk about instead of boring stuff like the economy and global warming for example ..LOL. The thing is NO ONE KNOWS what is best so their ALL winging it here. Listened to an interview Leo Mazzone had with Steve Sommers on CBS radio which was very interesting (google it they have some good stuff in there) for his insight into this innings limit nonsense. Beyond that the media created frenzy here was expected so the ball is in Harvey's court and I don't believe for a second he'd shut himself down before our season end's as that would be disastrous PR for him and the team. I would think on the trade front the Dodgers would love to add him to their duo but not sure what the best return from them would be. Love Betts and Bogaerts but would the Sox do it. Last but not least Bart's been a beast lately so we better sign him up for next year pronto!!!!

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