Now that the man known as The Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, has backed up the 180-innings claim, there’s only one way out for the New York Mets.
Friends and baseball pundits were gaga over the power arm of Stephen Strasburg at the time and I was drawing comparisons of Harvey to the 1980’s version of Roger Clemens. I fell in love, man crush style, and New York Mets fans followed suit quickly.
2013 was an exciting year for Harvey and the Mets. Harvey started the MLB All-Star game in the Mets home stadium, Citi-Field, rewarding the hometown fans. All was going well for Harvey until the unfortunate injury that befalls a lot of power pitchers nowadays, leading to the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
The future looked bleak for a moment in 2014 until Jacob deGrom came along and won the National League Rookie of the Year. 2015 all of a sudden had hope and promise. Even more so when Harvey showed up to a spring training game firing fastballs in the high 90’s. It was such a big deal that the first bit of controversy for the Mets fans as to question, “Why isn’t Matt Harvey the opening day pitcher?” Looking back, it kind of looks like the Mets executives made the right call on throwing Bartolo Colon.
Now it’s September, and after 166.1 innings pitched, Matt Harvey, agent Scott Boras, the Mets front office and the world’s most famous doctor, James Andrews, are creating unnecessary headlines for something that should have been thought about and planned out long before the Mets were sitting five games in front of the reeling Washington nationals for first place in the NL East. Mets fans deserve better than this petty squabbling and mismanagement. Look at how long it took them to decide to acquire a bat such as Yoenis Cespedes and all the positive things it has done for the Mets hitters in the lineup.
Boras is front and center at the top of this controversy by having to remind the Mets about the “doctor’s orders” of a 180 innings limit. The Mets brass says it will continue to pitch Harvey because they worked with the doctors all year long.
They skipped one of Harvey’s starts in which Logan Verrett came up pretty big for the Mets.
Now Matt Harvey has done the unthinkable and put his health and his career before his team’s chances of winning its first division title since 2006, and possibly winning its first World Series since 1986. Let’s be honest, head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano, gets diagnosed with leukemia in September of 2012 and takes a leave of absence from the team in order to get healthy. Is that the same as a healthy pitcher quitting on his team with two months left to play in the season?
But it is an example of someone listening to their doctors and getting healthy for the long term. That’s what Harvey is doing here. But Harvey is doing it for the money he may get in 2017 with Boras as his agent, not for the preservation of his life. And therein lies the problem.
Mets fans and human beings would completely understand if this was a life threatening situation. This is not. This is about winning and doing so for the first time in over 25 years.
So Matt Harvey, there is only one way out of this. You need to work it out with your doctors and discuss the ramifications of pushing your innings limit up from 180 to 200 innings. Let the Mets skip another start or two until they clinch the NL East. You need to address the fans, the agent, the doctor’s and the Mets brass by saying “just give me the ball. I’m pitching until I’m dead.”
If you do this, you will reach the legendary status that it seems you so desperately crave while making money. It’s not a gamble, like sitting down at 180 innings will be. Be there for your teammates, for David Wright, for pitching coach Dan Warthen, for everyone who has tweeted, “Happy Harvey Day” and dubbed you “The Dark Knight.” If you do this everyone will remember you as the super hero of the Mets. Hell, I would even go a step further and make such an announcement with Mets super fan, Jim Breuer on one of his video recaps.
If you decide to stick to the current plan of sitting at 180 innings while leaving your teammates high and dry in their most desperate time of need, then you sir will be looked at as a primadonna who may be damaged goods not worth the contract you and your agent will be asking for.
The Mets let another fan favorite, Jose Reyes, walk after a season he won a batting title and they certainly have enough pitching to survive life without you. Good luck to you Matt Harvey, and we all hope that you become the hero, the warrior, the legend that we all know you were destined to become.
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