By Matt Loughlin
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey returns to the club today as his three-game suspension has come to an end.
What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Let’s take this back to Sunday morning when the Mets announced that Harvey was suspended for failing to arrive at Citi Field on Saturday night. Miscommunication was cited as the reason as it was reported that Harvey was suffering from a migraine and either told a coach or responded to a coach’s text that he would not becoming to the stadium for Saturday’s game.
Since then there has been a lot of anonymous sources weighing in on the “he-said, he-said” story, including the New York Post’s Page Six reporting that Harvey was out until the wee hours Friday-night-into-Saturday-morning. The innuendo is clear but just what Harvey did besides stay out late (hardly an unfamiliar story for athletes) is unclear.
But with Harvey’s absence came concern from the Mets. So much concern that, according to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, executives dispatched a security crew on Saturday night to check on Harvey at his home. Which sounds okay on the face of it–athlete is missing, team is worried about his well-being–until you dig a bit deeper.
who texted whom? why a ban, not a fine? and interestingly, what was with mets' surprise visit to PJ-clad harvey? https://t.co/0QChZSwcuT
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 8, 2017
Why the high-level of concern? There were text messages exchanged so it didn’t appear as if Harvey, other than the migraine, was in significant distress or danger. And why so late in the evening? Do the Mets not trust Harvey? If so, how come?
Those are questions that may never be answered, at least not without the tag “anonymous sources” attached to the replies.
So what happens today when Harvey reports to Citi Field? Manager Terry Collins has said that Harvey can address the team as a group or speak with his teammates on an individual basis. Either way, some sort of mea culpa is needed but according to the Post’s Kevin Kernan, that is unlikely to occur. More drama.
https://t.co/9OkxxWAK0e My Column pic.twitter.com/2nKm0kU0Tq
— Kevin Kernan (@WheresKernan) May 9, 2017
In the end, the best thing that Harvey can do is pitch well. His next start is Friday and a good outing will go a long way to the beginning of the end of this story. But it will only be the first step.
Harvey is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of next season. His relationship with the Mets has always been uneasy with Mets fans and some team executives believing that Harvey has never had any intention of re-signing with the team. And now this latest episode in the saga.
What will the Mets do? What can they do? As Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News so eloquently states, it’s time to for the relationship to end. The problem is that Harvey has little to no value at this point because of his medical history. It’s not a matter of what the Mets might get, it’s a matter of what other team would take him.
So here we stand. A marriage that appeared at one time to be made in heaven has descended into a fiery inferno.
Stay tuned. This story has legs and there is surely more to come from this soap opera.