By: Monte Perez
It is the first week of September and the New York Mets are in first place. Through July 24, the Mets played 97 games, they were last in the N.L in runs per game (3.4) and last in team batting average (.233). Since late July, the Mets have played 37 games, they are first in the N.L in runs per game (6.1) and team batting average (.274). They are now fifth in the league in home runs as well. Since July 25, they have hit 64 home runs… that is the most in the N.L.
The Mets are clicking on all cylinders, and their young players…Wilmer Flores (16 home runs), Michael Conforto (.550 slugging percentage) and Travis d’Arnaud (batting .290) are all contributing. Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy should be back in the lineup this week. For once, the Mets are taking up the back pages in New York, for their play on the field. All is right with Mets Nation…Wait… MATT HARVEY is shutting down? Whaaaaaaatttt??!!
Super-agent Scott Boras announced through the media this weekend, that he is concerned with his client’s health and that he needs to meet with the Mets and discuss Harvey’s immediate future. Boras wants Harvey to shut down after 180 innings. Did Boras stay at a Holiday Inn express last night or is he now a doctor? Why is an agent telling a team and a player what they should do? Harvey has shown no signs of wearing down since his surgery, if anything he has been better as of late. Before his last start, since the Mets have been in first place, Harvey has an ERA of .132. Boras is playing judge, jury and executioner. What is even more disturbing about this story is that Boras represents six Washington National players. Do you think it is in his best interest for Washington to make the playoffs instead of the New York Mets? Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Danny Espinosa, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg all work for Boras.
This Harvey situation is like an onion, the more you peel off the layers, the more it stinks. Something is not right in Metsville. Boras says, the Mets knew about Harvey’s pitch limit since the spring. If that is the case, why has Harvey been starting consistently? He has missed an occasional start here and there, but the Mets should have been pitching him once every two weeks. If Harvey knew about his pitch limit, why was he against a six-man rotation, why does he get visibly angry when he is being taken out of a game? If the Mets knew about this they shouldn’t have pitched Harvey the first two months. This whole innings limit thing is ridiculous anyway. It is not about innings pitched, it should be about total pitch count. I have seen Harvey and Jacob dEgrom throw 11 pitch innings; how does that count the same as a 30 pitch inning?
Harvey’s nickname is the Dark Knight, but after watching his press conference this weekend, he looks more like a passive Bruce Wayne. How is Harvey going to shut this down in the middle of a pennant race? How can his teammates look at him ad have any respect for him, how can the fans? It is a shame Curt Schilling is not on ESPN, I would love to get his take on the situation. Schilling basically risked his career and helped the Red Sox defeat the Yankees in the post-season with a bad ankle, bloody sock and all. Great pitchers want the ball come playoff time!
I am all for any athlete making as much money as he can. I am even for athletes who take the money and go to a lesser teams, just for a payday. What bothers me about this situation is Harvey has had no side effects after the surgery. The Mets have skipped starts, and have rested him. He is pitching better than ever, and because his agent brings up other clients, they are now going to leave the Mets out to dry. I understand he is worrying about his financial future, but he has no pain, no significant side effects. This has been poor planning from the start. Boras who is supposed to be a man of detail, never had any plans if the Mets made the playoffs. This should have been brought up by doctors in May.
So now, the question is: where do the Mets go from here? Bartolo Colon has been pitching like he is 25 years old. He is 42 and has gone 25 straight innings without letting up a run. Steven Matz pitched well yesterday and dEgrom is fourth in the N.L in ERA. The Mets are going to be fine next year as well, when Zach Wheeler comes back to their staff.
Harvey, who used to be a pit-bull, has turned into a chihuahua. If the Mets were out of the playoffs, I would say shut him down. But they haven’t won a world series since 1986. No one knows what the future holds, they may never be this good again. There is a quote from the 1985 movie Vision Quest, Louden Swain, a wrestler, played by Matthew Modine says, “But all I ever settled for is that we’re born to live and then to die, and… we got to do it alone, each in his own way. And I guess that’s why we got to love those people who go after it like there’s no tomorrow. ‘Cause when you get right down to it – there isn’t.”
ARE YOU LISTENING BRUCE WAYNE? AKA MATT HARVEY… WE WANT THE DARK KNIGHT BACK!
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