Paul Lo Duca: The Mets Are Better Without Matt Harvey

Paul Lo Duca: The Mets Are Better Without Matt Harvey article feature image

The Highlights

  • The Mets designated Matt Harvey for assignment after he refused an assignment to the minor leagues.
  • When players pull stunts like Harvey has, teammates grow tired of the antics in the hurry.
  • The Mets are in the middle of a rough patch, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them rally around Harvey’s departure.

In a shocking development on Friday, the Mets asked Matt Harvey to go to the minor leagues, and he flat-out refused.

But let’s be honest: This news isn’t all that surprising to most Met fans. It’s the perfect example of giving a guy you’re invested in too long of a leash. Harvey has shown character issues time and time again.

A Year In the Making

Before the news broke Friday afternoon, I was on WFAN to talk Mets and the Kentucky Derby with Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno. I told them in my 17 years of professional baseball, I NEVER saw someone show up to the ballpark extremely late and then act like nothing was wrong. Harvey did exactly that almost a year ago to the day.

I mean, it takes two seconds to text someone. Before the season you get everyone’s numbers. Lie if you have to. Tell them you’re in traffic. Tell them something. This is telling me he either has no friends on the team or he doesn’t care. I find the latter more reasonable. Not only are you disrespecting your teammates and your coaches, but you’re disrespecting the fans as well.

The Dark Knight would have been gone right then and there if I was managing.


What people don’t realize is that when someone pulls stunts like Harvey has, his teammates get tired of answering questions about him. Eventually, you start to resent the person. How many more times do you want his teammates to forgive him while he doesn’t work on his craft? Based on raw talent, he’s a minor-leaguer.

The Mets sent Harvey, who sports a 7.00 ERA in 27 innings this year, to the bullpen at the end of April, and his body language has been terrible ever since.


When Terry Collins threw him out of the clubhouse last year, what changed? Nothing. And then a new manager gave him a fresh start. See, the Mets front office is full of dreamers — pipe dreamers, to be exact. Ever heard of David Wright? I went on SNY four years ago and said they should trade him. I got roasted by everyone. David is one of my closest friends, but he didn’t fit the direction the Mets were going. Now he’s damaged goods, yet the Mets are still hoping he can come back? Same with Harvey: They always took the “Don’t worry he’s going to be OK” approach. Everybody forgave him at the drop of a hat. There was no alpha dog in that clubhouse to get in his face that day. Now it’s different with some veterans around.

My gut is telling me the guy just doesn’t have the stones to pitch in New York. He’s running away and always has been. Some people can handle the pressure of the Big Apple, and some just can’t. Do you want to pitch in Miami where there are four media types at your locker after the game or in NYC where there are 40?

He’s been booed by Mets fans before and he hid. He’s been crowned the golden boy since the draft — probably his whole life, really. I’d be surprised if he knew how to react when he was knocked down. Even Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has fed his ego over the years.


How about this: Dillon Gee and John Maine both have more wins as a New York Met than Matt Harvey. But Harvey hasn’t been treated — at least until now — like a pitcher who is three games under .500 in his career. He’s obviously not a good teammate.

As a Mets fan, I’m tired of this bullcrap. Enough is enough. I spent parts of eight seasons in the minor leagues and was up and down more than 15 times. I almost hung ’em up at a Denny’s in Albuquerque. You’re not going to get any sympathy from me for an average pitcher who thinks his stool doesn’t stink.

Despite their current rough patch, the Mets (17-13) are off to a decent start. I think this will be good for the team going forward and wouldn’t be surprised to see them rally over the next few weeks.