Could Matt Harvey Become A HIgh Maintenance Super Nova?

Could the New York Mets have a potential problem with Matt Harvey?

There are already signs of him being high maintenance … signs he enjoys the trappings of New York too much … signs he doesn’t handle injuries well … signs of being too sensitive … signs he knows he’s good and isn’t afraid to let you know.

HARVEY: No hiding there are questions (ESPN)

HARVEY: No hiding there are questions (ESPN)

Harvey has never pitched a complete season and is 12-10 lifetime. While we’re not talking about the second coming of Tom Seaver, Harvey seems to be caring himself with a sense of entitlement and a “you can’t touch me’’ aura.

The latest is his reported reluctance to want to undergo his rehab in Port St. Lucie, which the Mets prefer, and desire to work out in New York.

After Harvey threw for the first time Saturday, general manager Sandy Alderson backed off saying where the 24-year-old 2010 will rehab, but made clear his preference.

“As a general rule, our players rehab in Florida,’’ Alderson said Saturday. “But that’s not a decision we’re going to make or mandate [now]. When we get to the end of spring training we’ll see where he is, and I’m sure there will be discussion between now and then.’’

For somebody with 36 career starts, why should there even be discussion? If Port St. Lucie was good enough for David Wright and Pedro Martinez to rehab, it should be good enough for Harvey.

In fairness, we haven’t heard Harvey’s reasoning for his preference of New York, which leads to speculation, with little of it showing him in a good light.

Making this more touchy is this could go before the Players Association, as the collective bargaining agreement mandates a player can refuse his rehab in a spring training locale during the season for longer than 20 days.

“The CBA imposes limitations. Yeah,’’ Alderson said. “But in the past, for the most part, our players have been here and it’s been a good situation.’’

We know New York is Harvey’s home, has superior Italian food and a better nightlife than Port St. Lucie.

But, what’s the purpose here?

New York’s nightlife makes one wonder, as Harvey clearly enjoys the perks of being a star – even though that might be a premature characterization of his professional status. Harvey likes the clubs and openly spoke about his drinking in a Men’s Journal magazine piece.

“I’m young, I’m single,’’ he was quoted as saying. “I want to be in the mix. … I have a 48-hour rule. No drinking two days before a start. But, those other days? Yes, I’m gonna go out.’’

The bottom line: If you’re 24 and a high-profile figure, you shouldn’t need a rule about drinking. If he finds it necessary to have a rule, he shouldn’t be drinking in the first place.

Everybody these days has a phone with a camera. Harvey has already been caught several times in incidents of public displays of affection with his former supermodel girlfriend, Anne Vyalitsyna at Rangers and Knicks games, where he is gifted the tickets. More trappings.

He’s now seeing another model, Ashley Haas, which has his comments of wanting to be like Derek Jeter resurface. Of course, It is doubtful Harvey would have ever posed nude.

“That guy is the model,’’ he said. “I mean, first off, let’s just look at the women he’s dated. Obviously, he goes out – he’s meeting these girls somewhere – but you never hear about it. That’s where I want to be.’’

New York’s nightlife has burned out dozens of athletes. Look what it did for Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Imagine what Mickey Mantle would have been able to accomplish with a little less drinking and womanizing.

And, as for Jeter, he’s not the Teflon he’s made out to be. Stories of sending his conquests home with a gift basket of memorabilia and forcing houseguests to surrender their cell phones don’t portray him in a flattering light. Mom must be so proud.

Shortly after the magazine piece came out, Harvey complained about being misquoted and taken out of context. A reporter for a magazine profile records everything, so it is doubtful the quotes were manufactured. Backing off his comments shows a lack of accountability.

Harvey also got into it with WFAN talk-show host Joe Beningo, ripping him on Twitter and then deleting the post.

When it comes to fighting with a radio personality or the media in general, it is futile as it comes off as petty and unprofessional, plus, he’ll never have the last word.

The media isn’t as easy to bully as was former teammate Jon Rauch, whom Harvey forced out of town after challenging the former Mets reliever to a fight because he didn’t appreciate the rookie hazing, which included getting doused with water while sleeping on the trainer’s table.

If Harvey had a problem he could have confronted Rauch in private rather than making an uncomfortable clubhouse scene. That’s something somebody with a professional grasp on things would have done. Instead, he came off as behaving like Jordany Valdespin.

That’s not the only thing Harvey hasn’t handled well. Twice he wasn’t immediately forthcoming in disclosing injuries to the training staff, and arguably it led to his elbow surgery.

I want the best for Harvey. I want him to have a long and brilliant career. However, he has a long way to go, on and off the field. He hasn’t always shown good judgment and a case can be made it cost him this season.

He needs to reign himself in off the field, and that includes not making a big deal about where he rehabs. If reflects poorly on him and makes one wonder if this isn’t about carousing the bars with Haas and watching the Rangers.

If he maintains this course, instead of a franchise pitcher, he could end being a high maintenance super nova.

20 thoughts on “Could Matt Harvey Become A HIgh Maintenance Super Nova?

  1. As you say he is young and the brightest star on the team. So far I have no problems with him. All players will get perks and I am sure they get theirs.

    The 48 hr rule I am fine with. He us saying no alcohol 2 days before game. This allows the body to get rehirated. Did Mickey Mantle have that rule? Or Doc or Straw? He is smart enough to set limits.

    Can he be a problem child? Sure. He wants the good life. That needs to be controlled. David and Jeter do it.

  2. For someone who hasn’t done much yet in the ML, Harvey is already over his head. Having Boras as his agent is not going to help the Mets whenever they seek him out for an extension.
    In a couple of years, once Syndergaard and Wheeler and establish, it would make sense to listen what the offer would be for Harvey.

  3. I don’t see what the big deal is about him wanting to rehab in NY. It makes sense that he’d want to stay and do his rehab in NY. We are talking about pretty much the whole season here… not the typical rehab of just a couple weeks…and that’s a long time to be away from your team. The guy probably wants to be around his teammates and feel a part of the team. And yes, he has his friends and his life in NY..would probably rather live there for 6 months than by himself in Florida. The Mets have their reasons for wanting players to rehab in Florida…they have great facilities geared towards rehab down there and they don’t want rehabbing players to take time away from treatment rostered players might need in NY. But as of now, I don’t think Harvey is being a bad guy for wanting to be in NY. If the Mets push for him to go to PSL and he makes a huge stink about it then maybe that’ll be an issue…but as of now, I don’t think it is.

    As for the other stuff, he does seem to enjoy the attention that comes with being a star moreso than a guy like Wright does, who mostly keeps his private life out of the media. But everybody has a different personality. Some people have been wanting the Mets to add a guy with a star persona for years. Maybe things will change and it will become a problem down the line, but to this point if all he’s doing is kissing his girlfriend at Rangers and Knicks games, I don’t think it’s a problem

    • applesauce: Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it. He doesn’t have to stay in Florida the whole time. He can split the time. I understand the need to come home and should have mentioned it. However, when you’re that young in your career, why make an issue about it? Just get healthy. … As for his persona, I don’t care about who he dates or kissing his girlfriend. What I care about is everybody has a camera and some day he might get caught in a compromising position. Why temp it? Don’t forget, Harvey volunteered in a magazine piece he wanted to be like Jeter and dating a lot of women. He comes off as being on the prowl and bad things can happen that way.-JD

  4. This is a feelng I’ve had about him for awhile…he does, at times, come across as full of himself…he’s talented, no doubt,
    but a little humility seems to be needed here
    The NY vs PSL issue seems to confirm my suspecion that the partying is too important to him.

  5. He’s become a diva, full of himself, brash “look at me” who damn well better remember the Joe Charbonneaus, the Goodens, the others who simply did not have the perspective to police themselves. That’s not only a problem, it’s fate. But you know what? Let him win 200 games in this uniform and stay out of jail and rehab.

  6. John Delcos –


    “In fairness, we haven’t heard Harvey’s reasoning for his preference of New York, which leads to speculation, with little of it showing him in a good light.”

    Harvey did indeed inform the media why he wants to rehab in NY – it’s his home, it’s where he’s been rehabbing, and wants to be with teammates to be part of the conversation to help out.

    Translation – he wants to be in the spotlight, wants to party, wants to be with his teammates to retain his status as team ace – :the man on the pedestal – least he be usurped.

    Regarding his personality – high ego, seems to need and the attention and goes out of his way to get it. Diva, high maintenance, immature despite how selfless he tries to come off in his formal Mets on-air interviews – whereas what leaks to us all off the field, including what he says and does, and how he responds when he doesn’t like the backlash – makes it crystal clear he has his nose up in the air. Your article left out a whole bunch of things he’s done to contribute to his self-loving reputation.

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  8. How humorous for some to try to make a guy out as evil for wanting to spend his Summer in NYC rather than St Lucie Fl. Any of you who are so fast to criticize ever a spend a Summer down there. If you did, your response to Harvey would be he’s a smart guy. And then to criticize a 24 year old for enjoying the night life. Grow up …Do you think the other 24 guys do nothing but stop at Starbucks for a cup of coffee. Stop being jealous little couch potatoes.

  9. The only reason Matt Harvey’s behavior is an issue is because the Mets have gone at least two decades without a player in their prime who actively wants to be the man and be in the spotlight the way he does (No, Reyes inventing silly handshakes doesn’t count). How uncomfortable he’s making the Metsiverse is more a reflection of the state of the franchise than it is of him. Maybe if the Mets had a few more divas on the roster, we could all watch playoff baseball more than once per decade.

    I also wonder how much of this Harvey backlash lately is just preemptive sour grapes. In a few years, when he’s wearing the uniform of that team across town that embraces the star mentality, everybody can go, “Aaah, he was nothing but a pain in the butt anyway.”

  10. Wow, do you sound like a jealous, self-righteous oaf! He’s in his 20’s, he’s a star, he’s got an entire year to rehab, what do you care where he jogs, lifts weights, and throws a ball? Who are you to tell a man who is miles farther in his profession at his young age than you will ever be in yours, how to live his life? Why not just enjoy what you’ve got? Seems like a nice, tough kid who wants to be the best. Why do you feel the need to nitpick?

    • Marc: Not nitpicking. Just pointing out some of the things Harvey is doing that have derailed others in their careers. If you can’t see that then you’re missing the issue.-JD

      • I appreciate your response. Whose careers have posing nude, rehabbing with the major league team, and dating supermodels derailed? He doesn’t gamble, doesn’t do drugs, and works hard to master his craft. He’s got 12 months of rehab ahead of him. You can’t understand his desire to be with the team while he does that work?

        • Marc S: Thanks for your reply. What I am trying to say is Harvey’s behavior off the field – described as having “fun” by many, presumably by you also – can also be described as potentially reckless. No, there have been no reports of him doing drugs, assaulting women or getting a DUI, he does admit to drinking and partying. While there’s no crime in that, because Harvey feels the need to have a “two day” rule indicates partying is important to him. This was written with intent of showing Harvey tip-toes a line and is vulnerable for getting into trouble. I don’t care what he does until it hurts the team. Don’t forget, the magazine article I referenced had him being willing to open up on his desire to party. … As far as where he rehabs, he seems adamant on NY while the Mets want Port St. Lucie, where there’s limited distractions from him doing his work. The time can be split, which is what I see happening. I mentioned it because it has come off as Harvey, a young player dictating terms to his boss.-JD