FLUSHING, NY-Compared to most people on MTM, I have been a Mets fan for all of about two seconds. Curtis Granderson is batting below the Mendoza line as a leadoff batter but, thankfully for The Grandy Man, there is a hot-button topic surrounding the team bothering the fan base that I find a little puzzling. Listen to sports-talk radio or tune in to SNY and other baseball channels and much time is being spent on the demise of one Matt Harvey–and today I’ll weigh in on the issue.
What is Matt Harvey to this point in his five-year MLB career? Four games over .500 for his Senior Circuit career as the self-proclaimed ace of the pitching staff after his arrival as some sort of franchise savior that the hype of only a seventh overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft can bring. The right-hander’s rise up the minor league ranks was hardly meteoric as his record in Mets affiliates in Binghamton (AA) and Buffalo (AAA) was exactly four games over .500–see a trend here? Check out his expanded numbers for yourself at BaseballReference.com and you’ll see the same pedestrian stats and lack of accomplishments preventing him from being the Kershaw or Scherzer he thinks.
My argument deals with the false canonization of this guy. Sure, he had/has the “good stuff” you hear scouts say of many a hurler that passes through an organization only to see two-thirds of them spend a career as a minor-leaguer. The numbers don’t lie or does the full body resume. Harvey never passed the eye test as far as I was concerned in thoughts of witnessing something special on the mound. I now smell what I smell as the numbers and arrow are starting to point downward. He’s as much a myth as Sid Finch.
And yes, he arrived full of bravado to Flushing as a Connecticut Yankee in King Jeffy’s court. Fans, media, and management ate this up in a cocky town that swallowed up the likes of Ed Whitson, Jason Bay, et. al–those who shied away from the biggest stage in North America. We liked the hospital picture where he flipped his elbow surgery “the bird”.
We’ve heard excuses for his rough start this year which include said recovery/progress from Tommy John surgery, quitting chew (“dipping”), and the venereal disease or whatever the PR Dept. call blood in the urine these days. Thankfully the Mets pitching staff is deep enough to carry Harvey up until his arbitration eligible 2017 season where he gets a hefty raise that makes him tradable and marketable before hitting free agency two years thereafter. Super smarmy agent Scott Boras will orchestrate the scenario like only he can so don’t let the door hit you or your client in the fanny on the way out.
I like a little hockey player in my baseball players (see Noah Syndergaard– “meet me at 60 feet 6 inches” ). Until Zack Wheeler returns to push Harvey, it would serve the “ace” well to not sulk when fielders fail or the team doesn’t hit in his support. Man up and take your lumps like a professional. Don’t reinvent yourself. Just work harder and grab that ball the next time out and have confidence in yourself and team. What I’m saying is it’s between the ears after the World Series ended with him wanting the ball and not delivering. Contrary to reports, Matt Harvey is who he is…a four games over .500 pitcher and that’s that!