Matt Harvey
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

A dark day in court for the Dark Knight.

There was a time when Matt Harvey was viewed as one of the up-and-coming stars in Major League Baseball. He burst onto the scene with the New York Mets and became the darling of the city, appearing in the 2013 All-Star Game and finishing in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.

But injuries and off-field issues derailed his career. He has bounced around since being traded to Cincinnati in 2018.

Tuesday, he was in a courtroom instead of on a pitching mound. Harvey was called as a witness in the Eric Kay trial surrounding the death of former Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Harvey’s testimony was powerful, to the point and didn’t pull many punches. He opened up about his cocaine use, the use of drugs in big league clubhouses and how easy it is to get drugs if you want them.

From the start, Harvey indicated he would have invoked his fifth amendment rights if he hadn’t been given immunity. But, with that immunity, he was willing to speak openly — even, admittedly, at the potential cost of his baseball career.


The questions specific to the Skaggs investigation surrounded oxycodone, or “oxy.” Harvey said he and Skaggs talked about drug use early in Spring Training in 2019, both to get through/back from injuries or partying.

Harvey said Skaggs gave him oxy for the first time that season. He took it, but told the court he didn’t like how it felt. But, when asked if it was common for players to use oxycodone and tylenol, Harvey easily answered “yes.”

When asked where he got his Percocet, Harvey said one of his sources was a hockey player (who he did not name in court). But Harvey said he would use drugs in the clubhouse and even the dugout.

According to Harvey’s tesimony, Skaggs told him he crushed and snorted oxy in the clubhouse bathroom.

Harvey said he shared Percocets with Skaggs, giving him a few pills at a time. Though Harvey said he gave Skaggs some pills, Kay was Skaggs’ usual source.

In all, Harvey’s testimony spoke to how easy it was/is to get and use drugs in and around a big league clubhouse. And how comfortable players are speaking with each other about their drug use and drugs of choice.

Former Angel CJ Cron was set to testify after Harvey on Tuesday.

 

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.