So the Daily News came out with some dumb ass article this morning that once again has Matt Harvey smack in the middle of media controversy. To be honest, the article sucks and is very convoluted and long winded, but here’s the excerpts that get you the gist of everything:
“The biggest part is wanting to stay with the team. To learn the league. To learn Travis (d’Arnaud). To learn how to bond with the other starting pitchers, and the guys in the clubhouse, and the David Wrights who I plan on playing with….
“It’s just the fact that I have been not allowed to talk to anybody, and that every tweet or Instagram I send is, do not write. My locker — me and (Jeremy Hefner, also rehabbing) was basically in a closet. I didn’t think that was right. I don’t know exactly who was in charge of the situation….
“I have worked so hard to get to the point where I was, and all of a sudden I get hurt, and it’s ‘you’ve got to stay in Florida. You’ve got to disappear from New York, you’ve got to do this.’ I took pride in living in New York, and being a New Yorker. I live there all year round. It’s a place I love being.”
[Andy Martino’s account]
About seven minutes into our conversation, Harvey and I noticed Mets PR man Jay Horwitz standing in front of us, glaring.
“He’s alright, Jay,” Harvey said. “Jay, he’s alright.”
“What?” I said to Horwitz.
“I’ll talk to you later,” Horwitz said to me.
“OK,” I said, but Horwitz did not move.
“He’s good, Jay,” Harvey said again. “He’s good. If somebody at the top needs to talk, I’ll talk to him.”
“You’re causing me some problems,” Horwitz said to me.
“OK,” I said, then turned back to Harvey.
“Are you writing something?” Horwitz said. “Can I –”
“Jay,” Harvey said. “If somebody needs to talk to the Players’ Association, I have a right to have him writing about me.”
Not wanting to make the situation any more awkward for Harvey, I turned off my recorder and wrapped up the conversation.
Hearing of the interview, Alderson sought out Harvey shortly thereafter. “I talked with him to provide clarification,” Alderson later told me, explaining that they discussed the rehab process, and whether there was a team-imposed rule against sharing his thoughts with the public. “My recommendation is to manage doing interviews in a way that doesn’t interfere with his day-to-day-activities,” Alderson said. So, is the team’s official position to discourage Harvey from conducting one-one-one interviews? Alderson said that his preference was for Harvey to speak only to a larger group in order to save time, but “It’s up to him to manage.”
Now a couple things. 1) Port St. Lucie fucking sucks. Its the worst place on earth. When you realize the “best” thing to happen to PSL is Mets fucking spring training baseball, that captures the essence of how much it sucks. 2) I’m not one of these people that think athletes should be complete robots. You’re allowed to have a personal life, you’re allowed to fuck chicks, and you should be allowed to live and rehab where you want as long as you do it right.
All that being said – Matt Harvey just doesn’t seem to get it. There’s a reason why this sort of controversy is following him around. He’s made enough of these sort of comments that now he has a reputation. Last year he made some bonehead comments and had his high profile girlfriend and stirred up drama and now these reporters have their angle and they see a bullseye. They have their media rhetoric to try to drum up clicks and views and eyeballs. This “story” is completely blown out of proportion but now all the headlines are “Is a rift developing between Matt Harvey and the Mets?” “Matt Harvey Clashes With Mets.” And so on and so forth. He’s known as a big mouth now. Not because he necessarily did anything “wrong.” But because he acted like he was just a normal dude off the street that can always speak his mind and always do what he wants. He’s not. Hopefully he’s the ace of a big market professional baseball team. You have to give up a lot of freedom if you want that high profile spot. You don’t get to Tweet or Instagram whatever you want without any backlash. You don’t get to decide everything about your rehab without input from the people who are cutting your checks. I don’t see why it would be a big issue to rehab up in New York, but I don’t know the details. Maybe it is. And more importantly you shouldn’t be talking to the media about that. You should be talking to the team. Bottom line is Matt Harvey has caused enough media controversy – whether truly deserved, or not – in the past year or so that his team has instituted certain policies about how and when he can talk to the media. That is flat out a problem.
PS – Dude. We’re really complaining about twitter and where your locker is? Pick your battles, guy.
PPS – Matt Cerrone had this to say about the locker controversy:
“Yes, it’s typical that a player out for the season will have his locker moved, just like Jeremy Hefner’s locker was moved. It’s how clubhouse people arrange the set up. That’s not the point, though. The point is that Harvey didn’t know this was standard operating procedure and was unhappy about it, as he explained on record to Martino. It speaks to a lack of communication between the front office, media department and their most popular star, and it speaks to a young player with a big ego, tremendous talent, a short resume and a long road to recovery.”
Kinda sums it up nicely. How both sides aren’t handling this well. All I will say is that should the Mets really have to hold Harvey’s hand through every situation – explain to him the inner workings of locker placement and all this kind of minor shit – in fear that he might throw a tantrum? Thats ridiculous if thats where we’re at with Matt Harvey.