Matt Harvey may be on the disabled list, but he’s still bringing the heat.
The New York Mets‘ ace right-hander is at odds with his team over the location of his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. Harvey wants to rehab in New York. The Mets want him to rehab in Port St. Lucie.
Harvey has fully embraced the lifestyle of a New York celebrity. He’s been seen attending Rangers hockey games, dating a supermodel, appearing on late-night talk shows, and enjoying other trappings of life in Manhattan. While reports suggest that Harvey’s intentions may be pure, it seems like he is looking for special treatment. Jeremy Hefner, also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, has apparently not made a similar request.
Harvey also reportedly feels that the Mets are trying to keep him from talking to the media and limiting his ability to use social media. The Mets need to figure this out — it’s not a big issue, but it will become a public relations nightmare in the crucible of the New York media. They had a similar conflict over an injury with Carlos Beltran in 2010, and that became a rather large black eye on the front office’s reputation.
As for Harvey, this conflict paints him as a man with an ego. Does he have an ego? Yes. does he deserve special treatment? Maybe. He’s the best pitcher the Mets have — elbow injury or not. The other names everyone is mentioning: Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, et al, have a world of potential, but they haven’t performed at the major league level the way Matt Harvey did in his first full season last year.
However, it’s not like he’s been dominating the league for 10 years, either. The longer this conflict lingers, the bigger a story — and distraction — it will become for the Mets and Harvey.