Matt Harvey is pitching today, and with this event comes the question: Is he more interested in being a New York media darling or a Mets’ star?
It seems that way..
Like everybody else, I was enamored with the possibility of what Harvey could bring to the Mets and whether he could help them become a viable franchise again.
HARVEY: On his throne. (ESPN)
The operative word is “help,’’ because not one player can do it by himself, which I say because Harvey seems to be separating himself from the “common folk,’’ who are his teammates.
However, he comes off as someone not interested in the collaborative effort – that he knows best – but who rather marches to his own beat. So be it when you have the track record to back it up, but he has only 12 victories in the major leagues.
He is “potential over proven commodity,’’ which makes his threat for people to judge him by his pitching and not his off-the-field life laughable.
That’s hard to do because Harvey throws his off-the-field life into our faces on a regular basis, whether it be posing nude for ESPN; arguing with the front office where to do his rehab; letting himself be photographed in public kissing models or taking them to see the Rangers; or disregarding the perception of being seen at a Yankees game to watch Derek Jeter.
That didn’t go over well with management and some of his teammates, but he doesn’t care. He also doesn’t acknowledge his own recklessness of trying to pitch through obvious pain and not reporting the discomfort in his forearm could have contributed to his elbow injury.
Apparently, making that start in the All-Star Game was more important than anything else.
Take a look at his smirk in the accompanying photograph. Who, but somebody with a huge ego would allow himself to be photographed that way?
No, we don’t see the effort behind-the-scenes of his workouts and conditioning, but we do hear about his off-the-field exploits of wanting to bed as many women as Jeter and his clubbing and drinking.
Good for him. Joe Namath, Walt Frazier and Mickey Mantle were New York media icons, but had the accomplishments to back it up. Harvey has won 12 games.
In the end, the nightlife killed Mantle and destroyed the playing careers of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. It is also part of why the Mets didn’t bring back Jose Reyes.
However, Harvey is young and walks with the attitude “it won’t happen to me.’’
But, it can. The questions are “when’’ and “where.’’ Will it be in Queens or the Bronx as a Yankee? Crosstown, it seems, is where he really wants to be.
At least, that’s the perception, not that he wants to be a star with the Mets, who by the way, are his employers who have the right to judge him.
Sure, I’m all for honoring Harvey’s diva-like demand to judge him on his pitching. OK, then just shut up and pitch and don’t distract us with the other stuff.