New York Mets: Four bold predictions for the 2017 season 3
Jun 28, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) looks to pitch as rain comes down during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and his smugness have turned the New York fans off. Now, he must find his way back into their good graces. 

Once on top of the baseball universe, New York Mets star Matt Harvey is now at a critical point in his career where the tables have turned. He’s in now need of a Dark Knight with shining armor to rescue him from the treacherous and harsh realities of Gotham City.

As the world watched and the sellout crowd at Citi Field cheered him on, Harvey was three outs away from spearheading one of the biggest wins of the last three decades for the Mets. Eight shutout innings, nine strikeouts and just five baserunners – this was on its way to becoming one of the most memorable performances in franchise history, especially if they had found a way to win the next two games.

But since then, it has all come crashing down for Harvey, who desperately desires fancying himself as Derek Jeter, but instead can look in the mirror and see a resemblance of Johnny Manziel.

Jeter is an iconic five-time champion who’s about to get his number retired by the most successful franchise in sports history. To say he did it the right way would be cliche, but there’s simply no other way to put it. Did he ever so much as get a parking ticket?

It wasn’t easy being a superstar in New York while bearing the responsibility of maintaining a pristine reputation. But he did it. And to be quite honest, comparing someone to Derek Jeter is incredibly unfair. His career was a fairy-tale that had undergone flawless reification.

Though Harvey wasn’t on the cusp of being the second-coming of the Yankees captain, he was approaching prestigious territory. His stuff was electric. He became must-see TV. Heck, he had a day named after him that satiated the taste buds of all Mets fans starving for something to cheer about.

Just think about how different NY baseball would be if Eric Hosmer‘s double to left hung in the air a tad bit longer or if Lucas Duda‘s throw home was on target. Could the Mets have gone to Kansas City and beaten the Royals? Absolutely.

Momentum is only as strong as your next starting pitcher. Harvey gave them momentum and the Royals were beginning to sweat. Unfortunately for Terry Collins and crew, the night ended with one team going back to KC and it wasn’t them.

Injuries are the worst and most significant variable in sports. You just can’t predict them. And Harvey’s 2016 campaign ended abruptly as thoracic outlet syndrome forced him to have season-ending surgery. In 17 starts, he finished 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA.

New year, new Matt Harvey? Well, not so fast. He’s begun this season 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA. The same pitcher who had a K/9 average of 8.6 the last three years combined has seen that number precipitously diminish to just 5.1. Harvey doesn’t induce the same level of intimidation to oppose hitters as he once did.

And when you’re struggling to this degree, the last thing you need is any off the field distractions… Welp.

Reports surfaced Wednesday that Harvey’s weekend troubles were a result of supermodel Adriana Lima with her ex-boyfriend Julian Edelman. Soap opera much?

This development was any comedians bestfriend. There was now more ammunition to the “grow the hell up, Matt” jokes. But for the Mets, it was one of their worst nightmares. A pitcher who once stood as the face of the franchise was now at the mercy of a super model and an NFL wide receiver.

It’s unacceptable. Harvey now has to decide how much he values his MLB career. And it actually works out for the Mets because his value is at an all-time low, which makes it incumbent upon him to prove himself to GM’s, scouts and executives if he has his sights set on a corralling a lucrative deal when he hits the open market.

They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. But you best not find yourself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons because you’ll find out quickly the combination of the fans and the media can be cannibalistic.

Fret not, all isn’t lost. Matt Harvey can still right the ship and respond to a devastating moment in his life with a thunderous statement.

He’s experienced the euphoria of being heralded as the man. He’s also reaped the unfavorable harvest of his poor decision-making. Whatever happens next won’t be about Adriana Lima, migraines or arm injuries. We’ll learn if Matt Harvey is able to escape the biggest jam of his baseball career.

Content provider, producer and on air talent at ESPN Radio in Syracuse (@ESPNSyracuse). Disc Jockey for @TKClassicRock. Play by play announcer. Live and breathe sports - for better or for worse. Aspirations are that of becoming the greatest.