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The time Matt Harvey threatened to kick Jon Rauch’s butt

Jun 19, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey pitches against the Chicago White Sox with a bloody nose during the first inning of their MLB Inter League baseball game at CitiField in New York Reuters

Fun story from Jeff Passan at Yahoo!. In the course of his Matt Harvey/Zack Wheeler feature he passes along a tale from last year when Matt Harvey was a rookie and Jon Rauch was a reliever for the Mets. It seems that Harvey was trying to take a nap in the clubhouse and Rauch tried to haze him by tossing a bucket of ice water on him. Passan:

[Harvey] bounded up and challenged Rauch to a fight. Right there. Right then. He gave up 7 inches, about 75 pounds and a gallon or so of bad ink. It didn’t matter that he was a rookie. Harvey would not be a joke. He would not be a punch line in Rauch’s re-telling. He would not let some mediocre clown play him.

Rauch backed away.

Great stuff. Of course it makes me wonder what would have happend if it was another player who challenged the veteran like that. One not as good as Harvey or as important to the Mets’ future. Or if Rauch wasn’t Rauch but was, instead, someone a bit more established and respected overall. Is Harvey a punk who can’t take a joke then? I’d think not as I feel like veterans hazing rookies in all sports is about as dumb as it gets and if I were Harvey I’d do the same thing, but I’m sure some would spin it that way if it were, I dunno, Jordany Valdespin.

None of which says anything about Harvey or Rauch or Passan or anyone here. Just an observation about how stories like this tend to come out in such a way as to serve a story. The Mets’ mastery of the Braves yesterday can be likened to someone getting off the matt and refusing to take any more crap, if one were so inclined. If one were also so inclined this story could later be viewed in another way at another time for another story. It all depends on how Harvey’s career goes.

  1. rickdobrydney - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    My respect for Harvey just increased a hundred-fold . That hazing crap is just that —-crap.

    • Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      I see your point sir. Rauch, here’s a suggestion. Let the rookie sleep.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Seriously, thirteen people hate Star Wars jokes?

      • Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        I doubt it. Probably more like one or two thumb harpies with multiple accounts pulling the same juvenile pranks they did yesterday. On one hand, go ahead and ignore them. On the other hand, I hope they keep it up and render these idiotic thumbs useless, forcing Craig and the factotums at NBC to confront how stupid they are and get rid of them entirely. The thumb harpies could ultimately be like Circling the Bases’ version of the sewers at the Oakland Coliseum.

      • stex52 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Well put OG. The thumbs on this site are useless. Of course, the harpies may not have opposable thumbs.

  2. thon - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Shocking that Andy Rooney Calcaterra finds no amusement in some old-fashioned pranking. The guy who talks to MLB players about eating kale doesn’t appreciate clubhouse culture, go figure.

    • yousharted - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Not to mention that this nerd that goes out of his way to let everyone know that he’s the smartest guy in the room spelled “mat” wrong in the context he was going for. Not only a smug tool who creates articles with info already having been posted by others on the web, but just not a very good writer at all. Go figure.

      • worldseriestiger - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        I don’t get it, if you think Calcaterra is a nerd, smug tool and poor writer, why are you not just reading, but commenting on Hardballtalk?

        Go somewhere else where they think that Harvey was wrong for getting upset and that hazing is considered a right of passage instead of juvenile behavior.

    • stex52 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Yeah, junior high locker room is the way to go. Why can’t Craig see that?

  3. historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    I would’ve done the same thing. That’s crap.

    • yousharted - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      What’s crap is you stating you’d act like a man, dork. You would have have been curled up in the fetal position like the little girl that you are.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Clearly, we haven’t met. Have a nice day.

      • ltzep75 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        Who is this guy?

        Here’s the link to Pro Football Talk:

        You’ll be right at home there.

      • paperlions - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        Have a nice day, indeed!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      So let me pose a situation:
      Runner on 1st…Left Handed batter and the infield is applying the Barry Bonds shift.
      Ground ball gets past the 1st baseman (who is playing shallow to defend against the bunt)…and it hits the runner advancing to 2nd.
      But the 2nd baseman is playing back (behind the 1st baseman in the gap).
      Out or not? I mean…the ball already cleared the infielder (1st Baseman).
      Yet…the ball hitting the runner impeded the 2nd Baseman’s chance to make a play.
      Seems like he’s out to me.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        Why do men always want to talk to you when you’re watching the game?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        It isn’t just when you are watching the game.
        It matters not…had you been listening on the radio (like a man) you would be able to respond while listening.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Shhhh. I don’t know where your favorite shirt is and if it’s in the laundry hamper, start a load yourself. Man, I would’ve pulled Porcello earlier.

  4. dondada10 - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    He hasn’t been around for long, but add this to a list of Harvey stories. Guy is intense.

    My favorite from this year was when he was hit with a line drive off his back. The trainer started to come out and Harvey shouted “Get the f*ck out of here!”

  5. mybrunoblog - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Making the rookies dress up in silly outfits or making them bring donuts or McDonald’s to the locker room is totally acceptable in my eyes. It’s fun and lets you know you are part of the team. Dumping ice water on my head while I’m taking a nap? Yeah, we’re gonna throw down I don’t care how big you are.
    Good for you Matt Harvey.

    • Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      I’m cool with the McDonald’s. Let’s start gumming up the rookie’s arteries at the outset of his career while distracting him from the real damage we’re doing with buckets of water. Incidentally, have I mentioned lately how good kale is for you?

    • abaird2012 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      But isn’t it bad form to nod off in the clubhouse?

  6. Panda Claus - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I’ve been hit with a bucket of ice water on a hot day while wide awake and that was brutal. Can’t imagine how much worse it would’ve been if I had been napping. Good move by Harvey.

  7. specialkindofstupid - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I agree that hazing is dumb. But Craig’s “what if” point is valid (even if Craig believes only “some” would spin the story this way). Such a scenario* would have turned into a circus and it would not have been viewed as an amusing Harvey anecdote (at least not for many years down the road).

    *If it had been David Wright (a respected, important veteran) hazing Harvey (a talented rookie, but still…a rookie), and Harvey challenged him to a fight.

  8. atltoarizona - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    People need to lighten up these days. Hazing has always been a part of the game, learn to have a little fun with it people.

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      There are different types of hazing. Like it or not this isn’t the 1960s and young guys will only take so much crap. Making rookies do a few errands and some lighthearted pranks seem fine to me. Dumping water on people’s heads or getting physical is way out of line.

    • stex52 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Physical hazing is bullying, that’s all. Leave it to the eighth graders. Or better yet, grow up.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Since I know you discount the thumbs, I have to *say* that I agree wholeheartedly on that and appreciate your comment.

        Dang, you make me work. Thumbing is easier…

  9. jfk69 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Rauch is now taking credit for lighting a fire in Harvey’s belly. I will still make the rook dress up like all the other rooks. Remember the sophomore jinx. Not too mention the Wilpon and Met curse.

  10. Jonny 5 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Let me just say, I love pranking as much as the next guy.I also enjoy being pranked, it can be fun most of the time. It helps build friendships and strengthen a team spirit. But if anyone throws a bucket of ice water on me while sleeping they will more than likely be assaulted before I have time to even think about it. I’m not trying to “act tough” or posture here. It’s just that a sleeping person shouldn’t be messed with in such a way as they will probably at least try to punch somebody’s lights out before they have time to think about it.

  11. realgone2 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM

  12. eaglescoony24 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Rauch was a douchebag in college as well.

  13. yahmule - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Some guys don’t like getting pranked. Some Dodgers put eye black on the sweat band of Kirk Gibson’s hat before his first pre season game. He didn’t notice it until he was out in left field. Nobody was making eye contact with him as he stormed off the field and nobody tried that again. Gibson went on to win NL MVP and a very pedestrian Dodger team won the World Series. Obviously team chemistry wasn’t affected adversely because Kirk Gibson didn’t like getting shown up on the field.

    I think players should roll with most of this stuff, but I can see an emotional reaction from someone right after they’ve been shocked awake by ice cold water and gales of laughter. I also believe, and I cannot emphasize this enough, if you throw a bucket of ice water on a sleeping man, you better at least consider the possibility you’re going to wind up in a fistfight.

  14. stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I don’t know that I am against hazing. I think if done correctly (in fun)…it can build camaraderie between teammates while also (not so subtly) making the young studs realize they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously. This in mind…you pour a bucket of cold water on me while I am sleeping and someone is getting their eye dotted. Which…can also build camaraderie in some cases.
    I would be very interested in hearing opinions of hazing from other people who actually played team sports. My guess…those that played team sports aren’t against hazing (for the most part).
    I could be wrong though. In fact…my HBT friends do a great job of often pointing this out to me!

    • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Let me ask you: how much shit are you willing to take from Joba Chamberlain in the name of team-building? That said, if I instinctively jumped up and found myself having started blindly at Yadi, I would apologize profoundly to Mr. Molina.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        I am not sure what this means.
        Seriously…Joba Chamberlain and the Yadier Molina reference. Please clarify.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        I’m talking about being hazed, Woodpecker. I wouldn’t take a bunch of crap from Joba or any other guy I didn’t have a lot of respect for — veteran or no. But, if Yadi hazed me by throwing cold water on me and I jumped up at him, I would be immediately sorry. :) He’s a tough dude. I put him at the top of my list of players most likely to cut you. lol

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Oh…I see. With you now. Yeah…Joba is a tool so I appreciate where you are coming from (in general). But I truly have a hard time believing a rookie can even have an opinion on Joba. I mean…they have been in the league for two minutes. Hazing happens primarily to rookies. How can you have a chip on your shoulder (to the point of disrespecting someone) when you are still incredibly wet behind the ears? Specifically…you don’t even know the person. I think it’s got more to do with Rookies who think they are the shit and anything remotely associated with hazing is somehow beneath them.
        Again…to qualify:
        I think Matt Harvey handled this perfectly. Cause’ I would have woke up swinging.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        I have a negative opinion of Joba and I’ve never played. BTW, I think I had that exact same interaction with my brother once. he he

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Col! Sure. But then again…I think you most likely know more about Joba Chamberlain then 98% of the Rookies. And I am only slightly exaggerating!

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Gee, thanks. lol BTW, I took that ESPN rules quiz. That was humbling.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        Rules quiz? Have you hacked into my computer? I took it (and have been discussing it with friends via email)…on and off throughout the day.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        My FB baseball buddies and I took it last night. Of course that Twins one was a trick question — Pssht, Morneau with a grand slam. he he How’d you do?

        (Cue all the Twinkies fans who want to remind me Morneau got one against the Tigers. /eye roll)

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        I missed the “balk” question…the “mound visit” question (stupid technicality as a result of the original visit being for R.A. Dickey)…and the “ball hitting the runner” question.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Wow, you’re good.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        If I had a dollar for every time I heard that…

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        I bet.

        Shhhh. We just scored!

  15. tanzkommandant - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    There’s no way Craig stands up to Rauch.

  16. turdfurgerson68 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I hate the hazing as well, but Passan’s hyperbole is bit over the top

    Just the facts…leave your spin at home Jeff.

  17. yousuxxors - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    I’m the same way when I wake up. don’t fuck with my sleep. my roommate in college dump water on me in my sleep once and I fucked him up.

  18. richyballgame - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I believe Craig missed the part where Harvey’s cell phone was actually ruined by the water being dumped on him. You break my stuff,I’d challenge you to a fight.

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