Matt Harvey is the most enigmatic player to ever wear a Mets uniform. No matter, the Dark Knight will always live in the hearts of Mets fans.
Matt Harvey has given Mets fans many reasons to be angry with him. And lord knows, he has even more reasons to be angry with himself.
For it was eight years ago this July when Harvey took the mound to start the 2013 All-Star Game as the first pitcher ever to start the mid-season classic in his home ballpark.
Matt Harvey was at the top of his game back then, fearless, brash, and oh-so New York.
No one could have known then about the disappointment, physical pain, and how dark the night would become.
Matt Harvey: A Man So Much Younger Now
There were tears in Matt Harvey’s eyes last night at Citi Field when nearly all of the 8,035 fans gave him a standing ovation as he took the mound as a Baltimore Oriole to face his former team.
Harvey soaked it in for one last time, having to know that his days wearing a major league uniform are numbered, and if not for the pitching starved Orioles, he wouldn’t even have been here to make this start.
But Matt Harvey is so much younger now, and the brashness has been replaced with humility and an acute awareness of his surroundings, so much unlike the pattern of self-destruction he created during his last days with the Mets.
His words following the game spoke volumes about Matt Harvey’s journey through baseball, telling the New York Daily News at one point:
“I was holding back tears. I’m not going to lie about that. It was pretty hard holding them back. It reminded me of, really, a lot of the good memories.”
The words came easily for Matt Harvey last night, and they just tumbled out with a forthrightness that suggests a man who has reached a phase in his life where he can forgive himself while still being able to revel in all that baseball has given him…
“Obviously the last couple years [in New York] weren’t the way I wanted them to go,” Harvey said. “Between the injuries and, I think, me getting in my own way and causing some of those problems, I feel for them. I feel for the fans. Maybe I let them down.”
As we know, Matt Harvey is not the first ballplayer to have a wistfulness and sense of regret about his time in New York.
Who can forget the words spoken by Mickey Mantle following his days, and all those nights as the Toast Of The Town – “If I had known I was gonna live this long, I’d ‘a taken better care of myself”? – the inference being, of course, that Mantle, as good as he was, knew he could have been even better.
Closer to home for Mets fans are the shooting stars that propelled Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden through the atmosphere, only to crash and burn on the descent back to earth, infused with cocaine and alcohol.
There Are No Fairy Tales In Baseball
Almost fittingly, Matt Harvey was rocked for eight hits and seven runs, the most runs he’s surrendered this season, as his ERA soared to 4.81.
Tipping his cap as he exited with one out in the fifth inning, Harvey quickly made his way to the Oriole dugout, where he remained, head down with all those private thoughts swirling through his head.
Whatever is taken from last night, this much we can know. Matt Harvey (as seen in the video below), even while he has failed to make the transgression from a fire-balling thrower to a pitcher, he surely has come a long way as a person…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Sampson Thedawg I’m glad the fans cheered him on. Shows how classy we Mets are!
Cicilia Gilbert I would have said Roger McDowell was the hardest to understand. He did childish things that made many teammates hate him. I can’t understand his logic in doing that.
Steve Buono Harvey went Hollywood, running with a crowd he couldn’t keep pace with. The Dark Knights’ dark nights put him in the wrong lane. Yesterday we clapped for a while, then…proceeded to send him to the showers.
Joseph Povlosky I think Darryl Strawberry was honestly the most enigmatic player to wear the Mets uniform
Liam Hanrahan Not ALL Mets fans…
George Trost It was funny, I was listening to Casey Stern on MLB NETWORK the other day and he was commenting on how the Mets fans were going to roast Harvey. So wrong. Standing O. Loved it