05.23.14

If The Mets Are Playing Meaningless Baseball By July, Will It Really Be Matt Harvey’s Fault?

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:47 pm by

Of rehabbing Mets starter Matt Harvey’s penchant for bird flipping, model-dating, inflammatory tweeting and front-office contradicting, CBS New York’s Jason Keidel declares of the photogenic righty, “if he has an ounce of sense in his skull he will snap a lid on his mouth.”   So there we have it, the biggest problem facing these 2014 Mets isn’t ownership’s destitution, David Wright’s feeble power production, a gasoline-pouring bullpen or the manager’s curious handling of Juan Lagares.  Rather, it’s Matt Harvey, who at last look, wasn’t even eligible to pitch poorly.

Do your slicing on the mound. We don’t need to hear from you now, particularly that you think you can start six or seven games this year, when you need to wait until next year. Unless Harvey got his medical degree during the offseason, he shouldn’t go all James Andrews on us. The recovery time is what it is, even if the repaired arm is more magical than the others.

It’s too cliché to say that all stars and All-Stars are fueled by hubris, that their outsized egos are essential to their success.

Just ask Dwight Gooden. Despite his personal problems, Gooden was refreshingly modest on the stage. We can fly down memory lane and find ample, humble heroes, from Greg Maddux to Sandy Koufax to Lou Gehrig to Roberto Clemente. Mike Trout, already crowned the next Mickey Mantle, still speaks in the humble, small-town colloquialisms that make the sport so charming.

Mere mortals — and Harvey is all too human — must wait a year to 18 months to return from Tommy John. And his spastic case of machismo isn’t appealing, encouraging or refreshing.

He may not be Gooden on the field — or off, hopefully. But he’s strolling down the spiritual path.

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