You can’t soar with the eagles in the morning if you’re hooting with the owls at night. That’s a phrase once given to my high-school basketball team by our coach after a sluggish Saturday morning practice. Apparently the phrase extends to the following afternoon, if your name is Matt Harvey.
After a Friday night of partying, followed by a round of golf the next morning, Matt Harvey failed to show up for the Mets’ 3:00 PM check-in ahead of their Saturday game with the Marlins. The no-show resulted in a three-game suspension for Harvey, costing him roughly $82,000 in salary.
The Dark Knight took accountability for his actions in a presser today, and appears remorseful for his latest gaffe.
To clarify, it was Harvey who was on the verge of tears, not his teammates. It was taken as genuine and heartfelt. https://t.co/bugRXJ0EGd
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) May 9, 2017
The apology is a step in the right direction for Harvey, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee the Dark Knight will go back to protecting New York from the fiery bats of the villainous Washington Nationals. The apology does at least help us set the odds around Harvey’s future with the Mets, though.
Odds Matt Harvey is on the Mets roster on the final day of 2017 season: 1/3
New York has the pieces to get back to the playoffs, but needs to get healthy. Starting in Harvey’s place on Sunday, Adam Wilk (five earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched) proved the Mets’ pitching depth is already being squeezed thin due to injuries to Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo. Harvey may not be enjoying a great start to the 2017 season (5.14 ERA), either, but his potential is vital to the team ascending the NL standings.
Odds Matt Harvey is sent to the minors during the 2017 season: 5/2
If Syndergaard and Matz were both healthy, Harvey would already be in the minors. His struggles on the mound are one thing, but getting drunk the night before a game and failing to show up the next day is means for finding your way off a team, especially if your record isn’t squeaky-clean.
Harvey has less than five years service time in the majors, so the Mets could send him down without his permission. A trip to the minors would therefore extend Harvey’s wait to become a free agent, as well.
While the demotion would certainly send a message to the troubled pitcher, it seems the suspension and resulting public apology may be enough to incite some maturity in Harvey.
Odds Matt Harvey is on an MLB roster other than the Mets on 2018 Opening Day: 4/1
Harvey is currently scheduled to become a free agent in the fall of 2018. It would take another incident of this nature for New York to completely give up on Harvey and release him from team control. His history of injuries and not-so-encouraging performances on the mound over the last year have severely harmed his trade value, as well.
The Mets will ride this one out, hoping Harvey not only matures but also rediscovers his 2015 form.
Over/Under on starts for Matt Harvey in the 2017 regular season: 26.5
I added that “regular season” stipulation as a joke. (Prove me wrong, Mets!)
Barring injury, Harvey should make the rest of his scheduled starts. As I’ve made clear, neither side wants this situation to linger. “Barring injury” is a huge qualifier, though. Harvey’s never made 30 starts in a season. Just ’cause the Mets need him now more than ever doesn’t mean his body will hold up. If the world worked that way, Prince would still be alive and ghostwriting hits for pop stars. Instead, our journey to the Trump-ocalypse will be scored by gems like this.
Odds the Mets suspend Matt Harvey again during the 2017 regular season: 5/1
For all his past drama — showing up late, sparring with the front-office, etc. — this is the first time Harvey has been suspended by the team. Whether he challenges the suspension or not (more on this below), he recognizes that he’s at fault and should be on his best behavior for the rest of the season. Unless, y’know, the Mets piss him off by sending him to the minors (addressed above).
Odds Matt Harvey files a grievance challenging his suspension: 4/5
Original reports were that Harvey would challenge his suspension, and he’s never been hesitant to go to war with the organization in the past. (Recall his public spat with the front-office in 2015 about his innings limit.) In today’s presser, the contrite pitcher said filing a grievance wasn’t on his mind, but also didn’t rule it out. All his “team-first” rhetoric will likely die down, especially if the Mets fall out of the Wild Card race. Chances are that he’ll eventually come for his coin (about $82,000, according to the NY Post).
Odds Matt Harvey gets into a physical altercation with a Mets teammate or coach in 2017: 999/1
If he does, he’ll be dressed as Batman and no one will know it’s him. Except that we all will, because his nickname is the Dark Knight and we’re not nearly as oblivious as literally everyone in Gotham City.
But seriously, Harvey’s foibles are negligence-based, not anger-based. The only fighting he’ll be doing is the courtroom kind if/when he challenges his suspension.