Mets Blogger Roundtable: Matt Harvey Bullpen Reactions
After yet another poor start and a still somehow indignant from Matt Harvey was finally demoted to the bullpen by Mickey Callaway, Dave Eiland, and the entire Mets organization. Harvey’s performance and subsequent behavior has elicited much reaction from Mets fans everywhere, and so, in the latest edition of the Mets Blogger Roundtable, we present our reactions to the Mets decision:
They are complicated. Matt’s bravado made it difficult to feel sorry for him when he was essentially wasting his one incredible season and the first half of another great season being supported by a rather poor offense. As he’s been gradually humbled, and sounding grateful at just the slightest whiff of human decency towards his general direction, I’ve liked him more, which in turn makes me feel like an ass. He’s now in the bullpen, which might work since the bullpen is where the cool kids hang out now, so hooray? I don’t know. I want him to succeed and to be content with his success since he is wearing a New York Mets uniform and has not specifically harmed me in any personal way.
Oh also if he doesn’t curse out the media that would be super.
In a piece for Gotham Baseball, Mark likened Harvey to Frank Sinatra in calling the move to the bullpen Harvey’s “Maggio Moment.”
Harvey shouldn’t look at being moved to the bullpen as a demotion. He should embrace it. That being said I do not know if a bullpen role will fix the issue of his fastball speed being so close to his changeup. Harvey is still pitching with ego and needs to adjust. As for the recent encounter with the reporter, what kind of response do people expect? His off the field attitude has been the same as his on the field play.
A starting pitcher who hasn’t been altogether healthy nor very good for the past two years is sent to the bullpen. By any other name, this would be a non-event.
I hope Harvey makes the most of the opportunity to regain his confidence, his rhythm, his stuff, whatever it is he still has within him. He was a great starting pitcher. I hope he’s a good reliever or, should circumstances conspire, starter again.
Matt gave us hope when we had little. I’d like to show a little faith in him now. Good luck, No. 33.
We can point to Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, and a myriad of other pitchers and go, they figured it out, why can’t he? Hell, Bartolo Colon is still somehow effective throwing fastballs slower than Harvey used to throw change-ups.
The difference between Harvey and these pitchers is they had a gradual dip in stuff. They were able to process things and come out the other side. Now, that process wasn’t always pretty. CC dealt with alcohol problems, which may or may not be related. Colon went to Germany for a procedure, and he had a steroids suspension. Really, we forget there is an ugly process to seeing a once great pitcher try to figure out how to be great again without him no longer having that great stuff.
We’re seeing that with Harvey now, and maybe that process is accelerated because unlike everyone else, he almost literally lost his stuff completely overnight. Really, he walked off the mound in Game 5 of the World Series, and he was never able to truly pitch again after that.
As a fan, I’ve come to accept the guy who was THE REASON why you believed the Mets could turn things around and become winners again is done. In a sense, he’s like David Wright. He left it all on the field in that World Series, and he’s now looked at as the guy holding everything back.
Typically, you feel sympathy for those guys, but with Harvey cursing out reporters and acting above everyone, it’s understandable why people are experiencing some schadenfreude with his downfall. Personally, I hope it’s part of the process we’ve seen with other great pitchers and not an ugly side of his personality.
In addition to hoping Harvey figure things out and becomes that great pitcher again, I really do hope you visit the sites of the people who take the time to participate in these Roundtables. Fortunately, Mark and Metstradmus provided links to their work. You can click on those links or the links provided next to each contributor’s name.