Matt Harvey Turned Out To Be A Fraud, But We Should Have Known Better (Scott Boras, New York Mets, Innings Limits)


In a few hours, Matt Harvey will take the mound in Washington D.C. in the second game of a crucial set games between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. Some would say that Tuesday’s game is quite possibly the most important game that the much-ballyhooed “Dark Knight” will pitch in.

More importantly and perhaps more grating if you are a Mets fan, Tuesday night stands to be Harvey’s penultimate start during this regular season.

As it stands, Matt Harvey and his agent, Scott Boras have decided to take their ball and go home, claiming that Harvey has a hard inning limit of 180 after coming back from Tommy John Surgery. While you really can’t blame a man for thinking about his future and his earning potential in the future, you can’t help but think that quite frankly, Matt Harvey is full of crap.

Harvey is full of it because as the “Face of the Franchise”, Harvey has cultivated an image where he has walked around with a certain tough-guy, bulldog attitude. He has been renown for claiming that he always wants the ball and he caused a scene last year saying he wanted to come back early from surgery and rehab to pitch late in the season.

Harvey balked when the idea of a six-man rotation was presented earlier in the season as a method of keeping him fresh later in the year. All year long, the Diva Fireballer has claimed he wants to pitch in October and has made it a point to scoff when asked how his elbow was feeling.

All year long, Matt Harvey has scoffed at any idea of precaution toward his surgically repaired arm, bristling at the mention of missing starts and portraying himself as committed to the act of pitching for the organization as long as he can. Now however, in the heart of a pennant race, Harvey has turned on his word, cultivated image and his behavior and decided to pseudo-shut-himself-down with an out-of-nowhere hard innings limit.

The reality of it is that while Harvey is entitled to think about his health and his future, both physically and financially, the pitcher and his agent should have made this known at the beginning of the season. Had it been known there was a hard cap, things would have been handled different. Instead, we got Harvey acting like he was a superhero for 6 months before wilting when it mattered.

Any way you slice it, victories nonwithstanding, the Mets have a distraction on their hands when they generally can’t afford one. Regardless of the fact that Harvey has said he would pitch in October if the Mets make it, the situation creates tension when the focus should be on a final playoff push.

Furthermore, can we discuss that decision making? Harvey wants to shut it down during the season, but he wants to pitch during the playoffs. In essence, he doesn’t want to go through the difficultly of getting to the dance, but wants all the glory if they do well in the playoffs. What about the hard inning limit then, Matt? What happens then to all this “concern” over your physical health? It’s all fugazi.

Mets fans are a different breed. I’ll openly admit that. If there is one thing they can’t stand however, it’s a fake tough guy. Joel Sherman probably said it best on Harvey when he said, “When you’ve spent months as John Wayne and then suddenly you’re Barney Fife, it looks bad.” It’s no wonder that Harvey has a fanbase pissed at him.

Harvey was supposed to be “The Franchise” in New York. After Gooden and Seaver, he was supposed to be the guy. He was supposed to be the face, not of the Mets of the past six years, but rather of the “New” Mets, who would contend and challenge the Yankees for the back pages.

He threw that all away in 24 hours.

Still, shouldn’t we have seen this coming? We all got wrapped up in the persona, the “Dark Knight” shtick and the carefully-crafted image, complete with ESPN documentary. The honest truth however, is that no player in recent memory had taken to the trappings of fame in New York like Harvey has.

On multiple instances there have been rumblings about his enjoyment of the nightlife, his dating of models and his enjoyment and reveling in being “Matt Harvey, Superstar”. Hell, when he was rehabbing there was even debate over where Harvey was going to rehab, be it by himself or surrounded by the team.

Harvey has always been “Me-First”, but we all got snookered by the image, the persons and the results that we overlooked. Now, so close to relevancy and “taking back the city”, as the slogan goes, Harvey’s true nature got revealed and nobody likes it.

If anything, this only further cements what we already knew: Harvey was never going to be a lifer. He was always going to bolt when the time came. He was going to take the most money and leave Queens in the rear-view. Most likely, he’ll be a Yankee or a Red Sox.

He’ll get $250-300 million.

And he’ll laugh his way out of town because he doesn’t give a damn about anything else. He doesn’t care about anything except what “Being Matt Harvey” provides him. He doesn’t care about Queens, the Mets or the postseason anywhere near as much as the guy buying the ticket to see him pitch.

He proved that this week.

The signs were there all along.

The fanbase just didn’t want to see it.

They got snookered.

Because they wanted to “believe”.

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