RAY RAMIREZ RETIREMENT VILLAGE, HELL –Matt Harvey is in jeopardy of missing his Opening Day start this Sunday against the World Champion Kansas City Royals. Why? Who knows? The Mets aren’t saying-and that includes Manager Terry Collins and General Manager Real Sandy Alderson.
The Mets were quick yesterday to diffuse and refute any potential arm or elbow ailment that would have doubtless put all of the Happy Harvey Days on ice for the season. Despite the greatness of Jacob DeGrom, the unbridled talent and upside of Noah Syndergaard and the presence of a living, breathing superstar in Yoenis Cespedes; none are Matt Harvey. The Dark Knight is the most electrifying and charismatic figure in MLB today-possibly in all of sports. “Fearless” is often cited when descriptions of Harvey are solicited.
So what gives? There have been several reports speculating about what a “non-baseball” illness actually is, and why this malady has suddenly become the talk of the town. For added emphasis – if not clarity – the Team’s “higher ups” have also been quick to label this problem as “non-ortho.” So no shoulder, elbow, knee injury that they’ll ‘fess up to at this stage of the game.
Harvey has always been the contrarian – a euphemism of great utility when a guy has a history of being a pain in the ass. He’s always the one Mets player who’s beholden not just to his own agenda, but to that of his agent, Scott Boras. And if this lone wolf act gets in the way of team “harmony” well then, too f’n bad.
Last October while the rest of his teammates were engaged in a mandatory workout held at CitiField prior to the franchise’s first postseason game in nearly a decade, Harvey was AWOL. And then he wasn’t, until he was. Seems Harvey had an hours long delay in one of the East River crossings that prevented him from being with teammates at this workout.
The Innings limit that Boras dropped on Alderson’s lap last summer left little doubt that Harvey was his own guy and the other 24 players could fend for themselves. Hiding like a small child behind Boras’ leg confirmed Met fans’ fears. The Harvey “brand” would take a back seat to nothing or no one. This is why athletes hire Boras in the first place.
“He called in sick this morning, and reported that he had ‘a symptom’ that Mets medical people felt warranted further medical attention.” This was the official statement of Sandy at his most transparent. I posed this thought to WebMD, Wikipedia, and other reliable medical sources. How many illnesses carry with them just a single symptom? There aren’t many.
Yet here were the stumbling, mumbling Mets trying to ease fears by making things appear more uncertain rather than making one definitive statement along the lines of, “Matt’s been under the weather with flu-like symptoms and needs several days away to recover.”
The Angel of Death, known here as Mets trainer Ray Ramirez, has been dispatched to help. What could go wrong?
Matt Harvey broke Twitter yesterday. Does he break Met fans’ hearts today? Or are things – for once – exactly how they seem in Metville?
When will we see the Dark Knight again?
I don’t know the answer to those questions but I do know that an Angry Knight will be here tomorrow in the form of Angry Ward. Tune in. And comment below.