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Bob Klapisch blames the Mets and posing nude for Matt Harvey’s injury

Aug 27, 2013, 10:33 AM EST

Matt Harvey Naked

It’s Bob Klapisch who, after spending a bit of time yesterday afternoon on Twitter playing armchair orthopedic surgeon, decided that the Mets are to blame for not seeing the alleged warning signs leading to Matt Harvey‘s diagnosis:

There are a million questions trailing in his wake, starting with the Mets’ passive response to the lingering forearm tightness Harvey had been experiencing since July. Warrior that he is, Harvey downplayed the discomfort, telling his bosses it was nothing unusual, nothing more than the cost of doing business with nuclear heat. But given the Mets’ abysmal record of managing injuries, why weren’t they proactive when it was clear Harvey wasn’t improving? … the Mets should’ve taken control of the situation and not waited until late Sunday when Harvey’s pain finally became acute.

All pitchers get some soreness. Harvey is a young kid who didn’t think it was a big deal and there was nothing objective the Mets could see that would suggest injury.  Blaming the Mets by going back, as Klapisch does, to some of their medical misdiagnosis a few years ago smacks of scapegoating and a failure to appreciate that there simply are injuries that happen despite everyone doing the right thing. And no, putting a baseball player in an MRI tube every time he’s sore is not the right thing.

Of course my favorite part of this column is when Klapisch mentions Harvey posing nude in ESPN the Magazine a couple of months ago:

Already he’s big and brash and gutsy enough to pose in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. It wasn’t the smartest decision he’ll ever make, but it told you plenty about the kid’s self-confidence.

You’ll recall that Klapisch wrote a hand-wringing, unintentionally hilarious  “Harvey shouldn’t want to be known as the naked pitcher” column at the time. Here he seems to lump in the posing nude with Harvey’s toughness and self confidence. A toughness and self confidence he now blames for Harvey not speaking up about his sore arm.

Which just goes to show: when a columnist decides on a meme, be it “the Mets’ doctors suck” or “posing nude is a horrible thing to do,” they will take every opportunity to shoehorn developments into those memes as a means of saying “see, I told you so.” And about 97.5% of the time it is utter baloney.

  1. chill1184 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Call it in the blame thread

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Don’t be stealing my thunder :)

    • michaelle123 - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      what Marcus implied I didn’t know that a stay at home mom able to get paid $4252 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you read
      …???? http://miniurl.com/dyRW

    • jfk69 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      You can plainly see in the picture he was having trouble with the serving tray.

  2. pensman29 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Do u think these guys flex when they r getting there pictures taken?

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      OF COURSE they do. The whole point is to highlight your athleticism.

    • mybrunoblog - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      I bet they pump up with some dumbells or push ups. At least when I think that I feel better about myself.

  3. brazcubas - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Of course it’s the Mets fault, they had him going out there every fifth game throwing the ball 90+ mph, what did they expect?

    If they only had him wave from the dugout, or they benched him every time he threw more than 75mph, his UCL would still be fine.

    Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson.

  4. charlutes - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Here’s an idea, stop being a tabloid journalist and go back to writing about sports, instead of churning out nothing but morality lessons and dissing other crappy journalists.

    • bronsonshore - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Yes, please. This is now the only type of article Craig writes and it’s insufferable

      “Klapisch blames posing nude for Matt Harvey’s injury”??? No, Craig, that’s not at all what Klapisch wrote in the article.

      Craig’s MO is to read an column, write a post tearing the columnist apart for some throw-away line, and then write a headline that completely distorts the intent of the columnist. The worst example of this is when he claimed the NY Daily News compared A-Rod’s sins to those of Whitey Bulger’s. Of course, that’s not the comparison the Daily News was making at all: they were merely comparing the FBIs desire to get Bulger with MLBs desire to get A-Rod, which was a perfectly apt analogy given Bud’s actions.

      Craig constantly bemoans “false narratives” in sports, but then he goes and deliberately distorts the words of others in order to support his own false narratives about the media.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      The reasons a star pitcher gets hurt is about sports and is a legitimate matter for discussion. When someone comes to that discussion peddling nonsense, the nonsense deserves to be pointed out lest it persuade others that the nonsense is in fact truth.

      The idea that the Mets should have or could have done something other than what they did with Matt Harvey to prevent this injury is hindsight at best, nonsense at worse, and Klapisch would have you believe otherwise. The idea that Harvey’s injury is a function of his regrettable self-confidence that was all too sadly on display when he posed nude (and yes, that is part of Klapisch’s argument, not a throwaway line) is also nonsense.

      If you don’t like it when I point out people’s nonsense you shouldn’t read this blog. I’ve been doing this since the thing launched in 2009.

      • bronsonshore - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        “The idea that Harvey’s injury is a function of his regrettable self-confidence that was all too sadly on display when he posed nude (and yes, that is part of Klapisch’s argument, not a throwaway line) is also nonsense. ”

        So then, what Klapisch was actually saying was that both Harvey’s injury and his decision to pose nude were results of his self-confidence. This statement (which may or may not be defensible) is COMPLETELY different that “Klapisch blames posing nude for Matt Harvey’s injury”. Your headline is dishonest link bait.

  5. rickdobrydney - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    All in all, though, you have to believe that Harvey feels kind of silly for posing for that dumb pic.

    • Liam - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      If I looked like that, I would not feel silly about making sure people were aware that I looked like that.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        So, now I’m judging other players for their poor self-confidence, as they don’t have enough to pose like Harvey…I mean, if that’s some kind of self-confidence signal. Feel free to lord your confidence over rick there.

        The funny thing about all this is how oblivious dudes seem to the whole conversation about body image and self-confidence that women have already had about posing nude (or nearly nude). Amusing.

  6. Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    So, Klapisch the genius, why weren’t you pounding the keys and warning the Mutts when Harvey was complaining of forearm tightness since July? Couldn’t you tell that something was drastically wrong? Didn’t the impending disaster just scream in your face? In the words of the immortal (though dead) Charlton Heston, where were you?

  7. proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    The curse of the Body Issue. It got Bautista and now it got Harvey.

    • ptfu - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I hope Gary Player’s life insurance is paid up.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        The curse only affects baseball players.

    • nbjays - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Worse than the Home Run Derby Curse.

    • fissels - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      It’s the curse of having Bill Maher as part owner

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Is that like Donald Trump’s curse of being born to an orangutan?

  8. hammyofdoom - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Funny, I never thought of him as “The Naked Pitcher” even after that ESPN The Magazine article had been brought up a billion times by people like him who try and create worry to fuel headlines.

    I don’t mind media in general, but there are a few key people I’ve run across looking up Boston or NY related baseball news that really get me. It’s crap like this, or the Buccholz story last year with his esophageal bleed “He drove to Connecticut from Boston when he couldn’t fly across the nation?! what is this?!” that really drive me up a wall.

    Stop with the guessing media people, it doesn’t suit you. How about something well-researched and thought provoking? No? But….please?

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    In all fairness, it it difficult to say that the Mets’ medical people deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point.

  10. alexo0 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I’m pretty sure Klapisch went to bed crying yesterday after hearing about the injury.

    • chill1184 - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      No most of the NY media is happy that Harvey is on the shelf for a year. They hate that Alderson is rebuildingthe team the right way

  11. historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    His arm looks just fine to me there. You know, that picture is growing on me. I mean, it’s not water splashing Stanton or anything, but hello.

    • nbjays - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      You know you just want to help him out by taking that heavy room service tray out of his hands… don’t deny it. :-)

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        No, I’ll wait til he puts it down, thanks.

  12. cohnjusack - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Klap is an idiot.

    Here’s an example. At the end of the 2008 season, he put out the “Klappy Awards”, his choices for season ending awards. He added a couple, among them “Biggest Surprise”. His winner? Troy Glaus!

    Glaus 2008: 151 games, posted .856 OPS
    Glaus 2007: 115 games, posted .839 OPS
    Glaus 2006: 151 games, posted .868 OPS
    Glaus 2005: 149 games, posted .885 OPS

    Yes, his “Klappy” for “Most Surprising Player” was arguably the least surprising player in baseball.

    • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      In fairness, that kind of consistency is pretty surprising.

  13. bravojawja - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    The guy I feel badly for in all this is Jeremy Hefner. Why aren’t the Mets being blamed for his torn MCL? Where is the wailing and gnashing of the teeth?

    I guess a guy’s gotta get naked to get any attention around here.

  14. byjiminy - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    “And no, putting a baseball player in an MRI tube every time he’s sore is not the right thing.”

    Why not?

    MRIs are harmless, and while expensive in the real world, the cost is nothing compared to the benefits of preventing one UCL tear.

    If I owned or managed a baseball team, I would buy an MRI machine and use it regularly. Specifically, every time a pitcher’s arm got sore.

    If Harvey had had an MRI a month or two ago, it probably would have revealed a ligament strain. Strains heal. Tears don’t. You see the ligament is starting to fray and shut him down, and chances are good he’s fine next year. Obviously I don’t know for sure what would have happened in Harvey’s case, but do this enough times and you’ll prevent at least one major injury.

    It seems pretty clear that Harvey’s arm was sore for a couple months, then suddenly got worse and they checked it out. Sounds quite possible that it was weakened and finally tore, doesn’t it? Why on Earth would you not want to know about a vulnerability like that in advance, before your best player has to be shelved for a year and a half?

    MRI’s don’t even use X-rays; you can have all you want. They don’t cost that much used. Alternatively, you could buy a lab, or a share in a lab, and the whole thing is a profitable investment.

    But for Pete’s sake, why wait two months until a guy’s ligament tears all the way through, if you don’t have to! You wouldn’t drive a car for two months if smoke was coming from the engine, or the brakes screeched. You don’t wait two months while a dark spot that’s probably just a freckle grows and grows. You don’t wait to see if the small leak in your roof will get bigger. You check it out.

    If there is a diagnostic test that could alert you to a preventable injury, or a problem that could conceivably get worse if you ignore it, and there’s a harmless way to get more information before it’s too late, you’re an idiot not to do it. The Mets, their fans, and Harvey himself are all screwed because this test was not done. And for what? What would the downside have been to checking it out with an MRI?

    • boonert - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Exactly what medical school did you graduate from if you don’t mind me asking? MRI’s are harmless? Are you sure? I work in medical imaging and I have performed MRIs before and I can tell you that, while it’s true that they don’t use radiation, they aren’t totally harmless. Exposing your body to strong magnetic fields for long periods of time over and over may in fact be very harmful. Ask a Radiologist- they’ll tell you. 20 years from now we might be seeing people with cancer from all the MRIs.

      And then you can blame the Mets for that.

      • byjiminy - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Are you serious? “20 years from now we might be seeing people with cancer” vs. preventing a torn ligament? You don’t give one example of harm caused by MRI’s. Yet you’re fine with tearing your body apart unnecessarily?

      • byjiminy - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        So test them all, monthly if you have to. Wouldn’t that be worth it to prevent tearing a player’s arm apart?

      • byjiminy - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Since people seemed to assume there might be something to this guy’s MRI fears, here’s what you find when you google “health risk mri”

        http://www.healthcentral.com/encyclopedia/408/218.html

        Basically there are two risks from MRI’s, and they both involve pieces of metal: the strong magnetic fields can yank on metal objects near your body, or in your body. I’m not finding anything else. If someone else does, please post it.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      And there’s also the notion that every ballplayer has aches and pains, almost always.

  15. bobklapisch - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Craig: the point of my column was that Harvey’s arm troubles were chronic and beyond what pitchers usually experience. Forearm tightness/tenderness that lingers for over a month is not the norm. What would’ve been wrong about the Mets taking a closer look with an MRI?

  16. byjiminy - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    p.s. I just read the Klapisch article and it seems pretty sensible to me. His brief, throwaway mention of the magazine shoot just said that Harvey appears brash and confident, and macho players should not be trusted to diagnose their own injuries because there’s a chance they’ll refuse to complain, preferring to tough it out and play. I’d have to agree with that.

    The rest of the article said, if you’ve got lingering tightness that won’t go away, what’s the downside of checking it out? I agree with that too.

    Not sure what merited this derisive, distorted characterization.I found it sober and sensible, and agreed with everything he said.

    If “there there was nothing objective the Mets could see that would suggest injury” perhaps that’s because they didn’t look. You can’t see ligaments with the naked eye; you have to use an MRI machine.

  17. fissels - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Why does everyone always have to place blame? Bad stuff happens even when it’s nobody’s fault.

    • chill1184 - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Because the media hasnt been able do any negative pieces on the Mets in awhile. So with their star pitcher on the shelf (who they hope is traded away anyway) they go hog wild. Bob’s article is the first of many

      • yahmule - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Kick ‘em while their down. And yeah, Bob’s just first in on the dogpile.

    • byjiminy - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Yest bad stuff happens when it’s nobody’s fault. That happens all the time. I would include most sports injuries in that category.

      But some sports injuries ARE preventable. If you have a frayed ligament, for example, you should rest it until it heals, not stress it over and over for two months until it tears. It’s hard to tell regular soreness from a strain that requires rest. But it’s not impossible.

      An MRI won’t catch every strain that warns of a weakened ligament. But it will catch some of them.

      The thing that’s galling about it is the disproportionate allocation of resources. If you’ve got an asset worth easily $100 million, you should take care of it.

      If you have a Lamborghini, you don’t park it unlocked on the street in a bad neighborhoos, or race it in a smash-up derby.

      Not doing safe, readily available tests to diagnose lingering tightness is reckless and irresponsible. It’s like if your car is overheating, refusing to check water level in the radiator, or driving without checking the oil.

      If you drive for the hottest period without ever checking the oil, even though smoke is coming form the engine for two months, that’s not bad stuff happening when it’s nobody’s fault. That’s being irresponsible, and risking a valuable asset in a way that causes preventable damage.

      That’s what the Mets did with Harvey. When his arm was hurting, they skipped one start, and that’s it. That’s like letting your car cool down, then going back to driving it, even while it keeps overheating. Just do the damn test.

      The MRI may not have caught the ligament strain in progress. But it may have. We’ll never know.

  18. richarddansky - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    If only Yasiel Puig played the game the right way, Harvey would not have gotten injured.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      It’s A-Rod’s fault! If he had’t made all that bad press and ruined the whole season, Harvey wouldn’t have felt pressure to pose for the Body Issue and everything would’ve been fine. I’m pretty sure he forced Larry off of Twitter and drove Todd Helton to drink too. He’s a monster.

  19. randygnyc - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    It’s the curse of Willie Randolph. If I was the Mets, I’d be looking to correct that Karmic disaster ASAP.

  20. brownsfan33 - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Craig –

    Did you read the linked article carefully? No where does Klapisch ‘blame’ the injury on Harvey’s posing for ESPN The Magazine. He simply says that the Mets should have been more cautious when Harvey reported lingering forearm tightness (which often precedes UCL tears) and that Harvey’s alleged brashness (this is where Klapisch cites the nude pose for evidence of said brashness) may have led to him underplaying the situation. He did NOT blame the injury on that, no did he seem to be saying anything outrageous.

    To so blatantly misrepresent a writer’s article is borderline unprofessional. I know you like to make most of your posts about how other writers are stupid, but it seems that single-minded agenda taking over this blog at the expense of balanced sports discussion. It seems this blog is becoming more about what other baseball writers are writing than it is about actual baseball.

  21. bbk1000 - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Any real fan of the Mets knows these two things.

    1. The Mets doctors suck.
    2. Posing naked was about the dumbest thing Harvey could do.

    Combine the nakedness of Harvey with the suck factor of the Mets team doctors and Harvey ends up with a partial tear in the ulnar collateral ligament.

    Very easy folks….

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