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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mike Lupica: Time for Mets ace Matt Harvey to grow up

Dude, share the Increlex.

One of these days, Matt Harvey needs to remember — and that probably means before he hurts his arm again — that his job is to be a star young baseball pitcher, not some sort of needy celebrity who acts as if he gets the bends when he is out of the spotlight for very long.

Understand something: The Mets need Harvey a lot more than he needs them, as long as he comes all the way back from Tommy John surgery and pitches for them the way Stephen Strasburg is now pitching for the Washington Nationals, a team in the NL East that treats the Mets like they’re a farm team.

...There is just no point to this. If you are a Mets fan, do you really need to hear that Harvey is throwing the ball 90 miles per hour these days, and putting it where he wants to, which means he is throwing for real? Maybe if he could come riding over the hill like the First Army in a real division race, and a real wild-card race, and be the hero of September, you could start to wrap your mind around him moving up the timetable of his return.

Only there is no real division race, not now, certainly not after what the Nationals have been doing to the Mets over the past couple of weeks. The Mets aren’t going to get a wild-card, either. So we are talking about 2015 already. Maybe the conversation has really been about 2015 since Harvey got hurt last summer.

Give him all benefits of the doubt here. Harvey, in so many ways, feels like Mets fans, the ones who still care and the ones who still come to Citi Field: There is a baseball season going on and he is desperate to be a part of it. There is a baseball season going on and he doesn’t want to sit the whole thing out. That is why he pretty much does everything besides hire a skywriter to tell the world he is fired up and ready to go.

But Terry Collins, who may or may not get to manage Harvey next season, is absolutely right to tell Harvey to back off. It is a polite way of telling the kid to shut up and pitch. Next season. And to get over himself while this season plays out.

Repoz Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4772803)
We all know that taking too long to come back from an injury is incredibly evil, but I was a bit surprised to learn that it is also very wrong to try to come back from an injury too quickly.
   2. BDC Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4772806)
My gosh, there is far less soap opera in a season of Downton Abbey than in this one column.
   3. formerly dp Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4772811)
Yeah, I don't get this drama: Harvey wants to come back, the Mets want him to cool his jets. Maybe I'm being charitable in thinking that Harvey won't do anything that contradicts his doctor's advice, but if he's progressing so rapidly that he feels he's ready to pitch now, that seems like a good thing to me. But I don't have a column to write...
   4. JRVJ Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4772815)
2, but not as Stately......
   5. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4772820)
Baseball fans: Time for Mike Lupica to go away
   6. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4772821)
He's right. Mets fans have no interest in how Harvey is progressing. Which is why Lupica wrote a whole column about it.
   7. TerpNats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4772823)
The Mets need Harvey a lot more than he needs them, as long as he comes all the way back from Tommy John surgery and pitches for them the way Stephen Strasburg is now pitching for the Washington Nationals
He'd be even better off if he pitches the way Doug Fister is now pitching for the Nats. (Strasburg hasn't been that bad, actually, just not the Walter Johnson of the 21st century, which is what everyone in D.C. thought he'd be.)
   8. NattyBoh Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4772921)
Mike Lupica wants to be Bill Madden when he grows up.
   9. madvillain Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4773105)
One of these days, Matt Harvey needs to remember — and that probably means before he hurts his arm again — that his job is to be a star young baseball pitcher, not some sort of needy celebrity who acts as if he gets the bends when he is out of the spotlight for very long.


oh the irony is almost too much too bear.
   10. Lars6788 Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4773155)
I get the sense that Harvey is going to say and do what he feels and in a way needs to be reigned in at times.

It hardly makes him a bad guy but he's kind of a distraction in a season where he doesn't need to rush back and be the center of attention.
   11. TJ Posted: August 17, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4773183)
Am I the only one who finds it ridiculous that Mike Lupica is telling anyone they should grow up?
   12. The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4773195)
I get the sense that Harvey is going to say and do what he feels and in a way needs to be reigned in at times.
Anyone who posts here knows that!

Oh, you mean "Harvey" the Mets' pitcher...


Am I the only one who finds it ridiculous that Mike Lupica is telling anyone they should grow up?
He does mean mentally, not vertically.

But seriously, ladies and germs... this is a symptom of the weird tension between a team not wanting to tell a player "what to do with his body", and the fact that the team "owns" that body (as we usually, in a rare moment of blunt figurative speech, phrase it) and that said body is a multimillion dollar asset. The Mets feel they can't order Harvey not to throw... but they really, really, really, really don't want him to.

I don't really think there is a "solution" here. Harvey is the guy with the leverage in the situation. The main hammer a team has against a player is playing time, but obviously you can't bench someone who isn't playing anyway. Nor will they bench Matt Harvey when he's healthy. Nor do they even want to risk him being perfectly healthy and pitching, yet unhappy with them. All they can do is what they're doing, which is give increasingly unsubtle hints about what they'd prefer him to do.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4773238)
This is how the media and talk radio follows sports.
   14. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4773744)
But Terry Collins...is absolutely right to tell Harvey to back off.


"Hey, Collins, I'm a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit! And James Stewart is my best friend! So stuff it...!"

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