“You’ll have to ask Matt.” – Sandy Alderson
CLEVELAND, OH – I was going to start off today’s column with some innocent comments about things I’ve observed about the Today Show lately but at about 3:35pm yesterday afternoon, while driving down I-77 South from Cleveland to Columbus, I nearly pulled a Willy Loman. I received one of my cockamamie Bleacher Report alerts that said Matt Harvey was getting an MRI today. I switched on MLB Network Radio and there it was in living color being discussed by Jim Duquette. Shocking, upsetting, disillusioning news that R.A. Dickey would never receive: Harvey’s Ulnar Collateral Ligament was said to be at least partially torn – usually a precursor to Tommy John Surgery. A press conference was scheduled for 4:00pm during which the imperious, yet unaccountable, real GM Sandy Alderson would hold court and speak in his typical cryptic tongue about Matt’s condition. I learned a few things from this press conference:
Apparently, Harvey’s forearm has been barking since Spring Training. Sandy went on to mention that Harvey had been proactively receiving some “preventive” treatments throughout the course of the season. When pressed to explain what “preventive treatment” was, Sandy mumbled something about Sinatra stealing his money. When pressed still further by another reporter who asked why today’s forearm pain necessitated a trip to a physician-whereas his “ongoing typical” pain had not (a very fair question IMO) Sandy did what he always does. He said…”you’ll have to ask Matt that question.” Never one to take responsibility for much of anything, Sandy was true to form today. He wanted the press, the fans, everyone-to believe that this organization-which has been so cautious, so painstakingly meticulous with pitch counts, innings limits, days off and so on with Harvey and all of their pitching prospects-was so cavalier about the arm maintenance of their Alpha Dog Ace, that it was Harvey’s decision alone to visit a doctor today. “You’ll have to ask Matt.”
You were supposed to be the adult in the room, Sandy. When Harvey was struck by a vicious line drive on his kneecap at the end of his last good start – the shutout of Colorado at CitiField – Sandy should have shut him down then. How many pitchers have ruined their arms when a lower body injury prevented them from driving from their legs, putting an enormous strain on their arms? My feeling is that from this point forward – 3 starts – were the worst 3 of his brilliant season. His command was off. His velocity was down. He somehow lost his “out” pitch. That was obvious over his last 3 starts. Sandy and the Wilpons, however, always desperate to milk every last dollar out of their fans, stayed dead silent. They would do NOTHING to hurt the potential “gate” for every remaining Harvey start this season.
The Wilpons are lying felons – the jury’s been back on that for some time now. But Sandy was a Marine; a military guy who’d served his country and carried himself with distinction throughout his career. Back in 2010, Sandy declared that the Madoff crap would NOT hinder his ability to run the Mets. We know definitely what an outright lie that was. But now, the desperation brought about by Madoff, by the Wilpons’ $900M debt-load, is impacting the careers of young Mets players – their health compromised by the shortsighted decisions made by corrupt, desperate owners needing every penny and predictably not caring even about the health of their players. Yet again, we must ask: Sandy, don’t you have any shame at all?
Back to Columbus, Ohio. Sunday meant another ballpark trip; this time to Progressive Field in Cleveland. Good game made more interesting (probably only for me) by the starting pitching match-up, a delicious duel featuring a couple of former Mets 1st round draft picks. Mike “The Mad Hand-Licker” Pelfrey vs. Scott “Mr. Leiter Told Me Not To Touch The Radio” Kazmir. So it came full circle, in the only way a Metsian Tragedy can; with Duquette, the nominal GM who dealt Kazmir (we know it was Jeffy Wilpon) from the Mets for Victor “Rick Peterson Can Fix You In Ten Minutes” Zambrano, delivering the crushing news about Harvey.
Ailing Angry Ward, tomorrow.