OK. How's This? OK
Down the road, we might look back on what transpired Saturday and realize Matt Harvey did the Mets a favor.
The diva right-hander just made it 180 times easier for the Mets, ever aware of how their actions play on the streets, to do what they should have done, anyway, this coming offseason.
Yes, it’s time to start working on a Harvey trade.
Harvey dropped a cartoon-sized bomb on his employers Saturday, one that will produce consequences both short-term and long-term. In the dispute between Harvey’s agent Scott Boras and the Mets concerning the 26-year-old’s workload, Harvey sided decisively with his representative, refusing to say he would pitch beyond 180 innings this season and even offering that orthopedist James Andrews, who performed Harvey’s 2013 Tommy John surgery, told him personally of that hard, 180-innings threshold Boras first revealed on Friday (and which the Mets dispute).
“I hired Dr. Andrews to do my surgery, and I hired Scott, for a reason,” Harvey, who currently has 166¹/₃ innings pitched on the season, said before Bartolo Colon and the Mets blanked the Marlins, 7-0, at Marlins Park. “That’s to prolong my career and get in the best possible position moving forward.”
Hence the Mets have a crisis on their hands. General manager Sandy Alderson, who thought that he had the Harvey-innings situation under control, will meet with Harvey on Monday in Washington and seek resolution. At the moment, though, you wonder a) whether Harvey will suit up at all in the postseason, and b) how much that hinders the team’s chances, or even c) if this drama will sap the Mets of energy they need merely to qualify for the playoffs.
In crisis, the Mets must view opportunity. Until quite recently, too, most of the Mets’ fan base seemed enamored with Harvey and willfully blind to his dark side. On Saturday, Harvey couldn’t have showcased his dark side any more prominently. Burning a Mike Piazza jersey on the Citi Field grass would have been subtle by comparison.
But Harvey’s personality didn’t magically become a problem overnight. Few have embraced celebrity and its many trappings as quickly as did Harvey, and with that has arrived a high-maintenance personality.
Really, what’s most galling about Harvey’s change of heart — his 180, if you will — is that he led the revolt earlier this season against the Mets’ six-man starting rotation, a plan designed expressly to help manage the innings of Harvey and his fellow youngsters. Don’t hate on Boras for doing his job as player advocate. It’s Harvey who constructed the Tough Guy narrative, only to jettison it in crunch time.