Mickey Callaway was generous when he said, “we failed Matt Harvey.’’ In actuality, Harvey failed himself, with help from the Mets. Sometimes, when a pitcher loses his fastball, or a slugger’s bat slows down, the end can be delayed by his track record, or his popularity in the clubhouse, or the goodwill garnered within the organization.
Because of their histories, you root for some players. You have empathy and compassion for them.
Maybe only Harvey’s family and agent have empathy for him. I can’t imagine anybody pleased Harvey’s career was derailed by injuries, including two season-ending surgeries.
However, it is the way Harvey carried himself and alienated his teammates, how he made himself bigger than the team, how he made everything about him, that has him alone and without any emotional support in his darkest professional hour.
Perhaps that, more than his injuries, is what makes this a modern-day Greek Tragedy. It’s difficult to show compassion for somebody who showed little for anybody else.
Harvey’s selfishness was never more transparent than it was when he bullied former manager Terry Collins into giving him the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. I don’t know how any of Harvey’s teammates that night can condone Harvey’s actions that night.
What happened the night he traveled two hours from San Diego to Los Angeles for a restaurant opening the night before a game, was not advisable although not technically wrong. However, Harvey’s penchant for enjoying the nightlife has already run him afoul with the Mets’ front office and teammates.
Why – other than selfishness – would Harvey chase fates? That GM Sandy Alderson sounded resigned Harvey would do such a thing spoke volumes. Alderson didn’t have to say he was fed up with Harvey. It was implied.
Harvey wasn’t worth the energy to get angry about any longer.
In previous years the Mets bent over backward to placate Harvey, and a case could be made they enabled his boorish behavior by not standing up to him.
It took a while, but it is about time.