Santa Monica, CA—In the world of Mets baseball, this qualifies as an emergency. This is “there’s a flood in the basement and the pilot light is out” type of emergency. Sadly, The “Dark Knight” is no more. Even more disturbing and sad is that the “Dark Knight” really never existed at all.
The tough guy facade that Matt Harvey‘s shown the world since debuting with the Mets in 2012 was just that. A facade. There is nothing heroic about anything that Harvey’s done in his brief career. 24 career wins at 26 years old doesn’t really scream out dominance or greatness. For comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at a couple of other young pitchers of similar age.
Clayton Kershaw at 26, had three (3!) Cy Young awards to his credit, and owned 98 career wins. Madison Bumgarner? He’s 5 months younger than Harvey, has 83 career wins, and oh by the way…3 World Series titles; including in 2014 when he essentially carried the Giants to a Championship by himself.
My point here is that while Harvey shows enormous potential and was spectacular for 4 and a half months in 2013, he’s accomplished very little. What he has shown, is a propensity towards selfishness. There were minor flare-ups that hinted at self-obsession; social media activities that made us raise our eyebrows. But nothing like this.
When Harvey’s agent Scott Boras opened his mouth last week about limiting the pitcher’s innings this season, all hell rightfully broke loose. After Harvey’s latest mediocre start last Wednesday, he was suffering from “dehydration” so “severe” that he had to stay behind while his teammates flew down to Miami. Again-showing he’s not part of the Mets team, but only a part of Team Harvey. Boras is trying to force the Mets’ hand. Trying to put the onus on the Mets to pull Harvey from the rotation and adhere absolutely to an arbitrary innings limit of 180 for the season. In 3 years when Harvey is a free agent, this overly cautious approach they believe, will pay off big.
Make no mistake, Boras doesn’t open his mouth without Harvey’s approval and maybe even his urging. The hypocrisy shown by Harvey is enormous-like his unwarranted ego. He thought by having Boras do his bidding, he could project as the naive and earnest star, desperate to be out there for his team, innings limits and doctor recommendations be damned. It was all phony. Rolling his eyes at 6 man rotations, and skipped starts, he played the role of tough guy who was being forced to back off a bit. Harvey cares only about himself and his fledgling legacy
He has etched his legacy in stone now. In the middle of the team’s first playoff run in nearly a decade, the “Dark Nut” decided he was bigger than his team and put his narcissism on full display. Now 2nd fiddle to the brilliance of Jacob deGrom, Harvey’s been alternately good and mediocre as the season’s progressed.
When the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon to close at the trade deadline, Drew Storen‘s role was usurped. Storen’s first move wasn’t to talk about how this acquisition would help his team’s fortunes. Storen’s first comments spoke of how he intended to speak to his agent asap. Harvey is the Mets’ Storen. Looking for a reason why the Nats perennially underachieve? Look no further than paycheck players playing for themselves-like Storen. This is Matt Harvey, unmasked.