EAST POCATELLO, ID – Let me be as unambiguous as possible here: I don’t want to be seen as straddling the fence by any means. Wild Bill Hickok was infamously shot in the back dead by “Crooked Nose” Jack McCall, an act that earned McCall scorn as one of the all time cowards in history. Francesco Schettino was the Captain of the Italian Cruise ship that sank in 2012. Frankie wasn’t much for “women and children first,” or “the Captain goes down with his ship.” He bolted while thousands of passengers panicked trying to survive. This earned him not just a “coward’s” label, but a prison term as well. And of course, George Costanza smelled smoke at a children’s’ birthday party and promptly stampeded a room full of kids and women in his effort to save himself. Cowards, all.
When New York Mets Pitcher Matt Harvey came out of Sunday’s subway series finale against the Yankees, he may have taken cowardice to new heights. “Dark Knight?” The biggest swinging d**ck in the room? The bad-ass upon whose back his teammates were told to jump? Not close. What happened to the, “you’ll have to rip the ball from my cold dead hands mentality?”
When Mets manager Terry Collins took the unusual step of intentionally telling a national TV audience that Harvey was nearly done for the night, all pretense about Harvey’s fake and calculated persona was blown. Clearly Harvey’s mid-game desertion; his abandonment of his teammates had been negotiated beforehand by agent Scott Boras and Real Sandy Alderson. Someone apparently forgot to tell Collins about this back room deal. The manager was justifiably furious… mostly with the situation.
Collins followed orders and pulled Harvey after 5 brilliant innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Harvey? She went along with this me-first plan. Only Terry Glenn would have approved of such selfishness. This series could have been used to signal the arrival of the Mets as a contender after a decade of wandering the baseball wasteland as a laughingstock. Instead, we got more “Mets” stuff.
In joining the ranks of history’s biggest cowards, Harvey came out of the game-with his typical narcissistic flair. He rolled his eyes, feigned outrage and appeared disgusted as he was “told” he was done for the night.
The Dark Knight – protester of 6 man rotations and skipped starts and Jeter-esque aspirations as a man about town, was a coward on this night. His two-faced abandonment of his teammates was unconscionable. His phony outrage over his removal on full display. This was far from heroic. This was about a selfish diva suited better for a role on Real Housewives of Orange County than an anointment as this generation’s Seaver. Cowards are a dime a dozen. Harvey was supposed to be different-the new Franchise. Instead, he consulted with his agent. Great ones answer the bell, accept the challenge. Cowards? They make excuses. They feign indignation. They run to their agents. Keep running. All the way out of town.