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Matt Harvey has had a very educational day

Sep 18, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

Matt Harvey Naked

Here’s a fun little inside baseball media secret: players occasionally make themselves available for interviews in exchange for being allowed to talk about some marketing initiative or product they’re shilling or what have you.

It happens more than you might know. While, on some level, yes, you can view it as a quid pro quo, it’s a pretty harmless one usually. The player will sit and answer all of the questions you have for them and be a total pro about it. Then they’ll usually get a minute or two to talk about whatever it is they’re promoting. It’s not terribly different than an actor going on a late night talk show to talk about their new movie, an author talking about a book or what have you. Sure, it’s not as direct — we watch the actor because they’re actors so we expect them to talk about movies — but it’s still a matter of commerce. As long as everyone’s being up front about it and the people doing the interviews don’t become blatant shills themselves it doesn’t bother me.  And normally the athlete understands the competing needs and is good about being smooth about it all.

I did one of these with Matt Cain on HBT Extra a couple of years ago. It was an awful interview because Matt Cain wasn’t all that interesting and I wasn’t too good an interviewer, but I talked to him about baseball and he talked to me about some whatever the hell it was I can’t even remember and we all lived to fight another day.

Today Matt Harvey was making those rounds. While a lot of media outlets can and do ignore ballplayers on promotional interviews, Matt Harvey is in the news this week with his Tommy John-or-not-Tommy John decision, so he he was a much more tempting target. And one of the biggest names in the business had him on his show: Dan Patrick. The appearance did not go well, however, as Harvey actively resisted legitimate baseball questions and kept trying to steer things back to the product he was promoting in a rather hamfisted manner. It didn’t make him look that great:

Really, you can practically hear the publicist in his ear telling him to pitch the product.

Since that interview aired this morning Harvey has been raked over the coals.  Which normally would make me smirk a bit, but today made me nervous. For you see: I was scheduled to interview Harvey myself at 2:30pm. And I’m nowhere near as good as Dan Patrick at cutting through the baloney, so I feared it would be a train wreck. How could I sit there and let him not talk about baseball? How would I actually say the words “Tommy John” or “rehab” without having to deal with the kind of silliness he pulled on Patrick.

Ultimately it didn’t matter.  For one thing, Harvey apparently told that publicist to pound sand. While talking to Jim Rome later in the day he apologized for his behavior on the Patrick show. Then he took to Twitter to apologize as well:

Then: a technical glitch caused me to miss my interview window with Harvey, keeping me from asking him about how that Patrick thing went but also preventing some awkward transitions between his elbow and the stuff he was promoting. I will note that we could hear him talking to some other interviewer and he was talking about baseball and elbows and all of the things we really care about.

For what it’s worth, the thing he’s pitching is something to do with Qualcomm’s Fantasking initiative, which does, I dunno, something, to encourage fans to watch games while using their smart phones and tablets and generally being ultra-plugged in all the time.

Given how swiftly and adeptly fans took to digital platforms to excoriate Harvey for his blatant shilling on the Patrick show this morning, however, I feel like there isn’t much need to encourage fans to mutlitask when it comes to watching Matt Harvey. They’re fiercely good at it already.

  1. senioreditor2 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    I listened to his interview this morning….he came off looking like an idiot.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      True. But good to see he figured that out on the same day. Learning curve.

    • ilovegspot - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      don’t you mean, sounding like an idiot?

  2. mz1394 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Went almost as bad as Alonzo Mourning/Jim Rome

    • davidpom50 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      But far better than Jim Rome/Jim Everett

      • koufaxmitzvah - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        That’s Chris Everett.

        And, speaking as a Gaucho, one of the greatest moments in television history.

      • davidpom50 - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        As a fellow gaucho, I agree completely.

        But I’m gonna keep calling him Jim… just in case he’s in earshot.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Nothing has EVER gone better than Rome/Everett.

        Rome was even sporting a Brady perm for crying out loud.

  3. rickdobrydney - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Matt Harvey better stick to baseball—–exclusively —- too much, too young, too fast ——

  4. El Bravo - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    In my opinion you used “or what have you” two too many times. But I digress. Love ya Craigy.

  5. buddypuddy - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Kudos to Dan Patrick for blasting the guy for five minutes afterwards.

  6. historiophiliac - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    That picture is awfully small and there’s a lot of black marks on the page. If you got rid of some of that inky stuff, you could make the picture bigger for us. Please.

    • indaburg - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Page 100 in the Body Issue. Not that I’ve looked.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        I mentioned the Body Issue in class one night and the kids had never heard of it. One of the girls looked up Giancarlo Stanton’s pic on her phone then, and said: Oh, my. I think they’ve decided I’m a dirty old lady now. lol

      • indaburg - Sep 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Ha! Too funny. I ended up subscribing inadvertently to ESPN Insider magazine. I joined the 30 day online trial for access to the website and as I am wont to do (and as they hope you’ll do), I forgot to cancel the trial. With the online trial comes the magazine, and with the magazine, comes the Body Issue. It actually took a couple of months before I looked at it (but note, I didn’t toss it like the other issues…) I’ve been busy. It’s very good get-thine-ass-to-the-gym motivation.

  7. Alex K - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    I love the look on Dan’s face after he lets Harvey start with the pitch. He looks so annoyed.

  8. moogro - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    He was great as the man on the street interviewing New Yorkers on Letterman, I think.

    • km9000 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      As someone who was a big fan of Letterman in the old days, I only wish his show still did great bits like the Harvey one (which was Fallon).

  9. aceshigh11 - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Would’ve been great if his Twitter response had been:

    “Been an exhausting couple of days. Apologies to @dpshow and @Qualcomm…

    Qualcomm…an amazing company for which everybody should be grateful. FANTASTING! FANTASTING!

    But really…sorry for being an idiot. I’m just soooo tired…QUALCOMM!”

    Okay…more than 140 characters, but still funny.

  10. aceshigh11 - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    http://images.ftw.usatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dp1.gif

  11. koufaxmitzvah - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Corporations are not people, my friends.

    For if they were, we would have kicked them all in the nuts many times already, enough to have stopped their rampant reproduction.

    I didn’t hear the interview, but Qualcomm and the rest of them can go suck it.

  12. killabri - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    “That was a Qualbomb.” “TAKE THAT FRITZY!!!” I lost it. Poor Fritzy (the talent booker) is gonna get all kinds of grief for something that isn’t even his fault.

    As Patrick says, you ask any subject out of courtesy in the pre-interview whether or not a topic is off limits and if it’s a topic you want to ask about, then you make the decision to go forward or not. When someone bullshits your producer about this and then proceeds to not talk about the one topic people want to hear about on a live radio show, however, it goes sideways in a hurry. Patrick did the only thing he could, which was to let him get in his plug and get him off the air ASAP. Everyone involved came off looking bad there, unfortunately.

    I am sure Matt Harvey will learn many lessons from this that will help him in his media relations, but I really hope he learns this one – that was the worst pitch for a product I think I’ve ever heard. If you’re gonna insist on pitching something, know what you’re endorsing, man!!

  13. davidpom50 - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Apparently, Harvey will be back on DP’s show tomorrow.

  14. indaburg - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    The fact that Harvey recognized his mistake so quickly and earnestly–he’s alright in my book.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Yeah, *that’s* why.

      • indaburg - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Lol. Yeah. That’s totally it.

    • cur68 - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Uh huh. Sure. Wait till LukeScottsBedsideManner sees this….
      There will be a hurling of pig spears at Matt Harvey

      • indaburg - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Harvey looks like he provides an ample target on the backside. ;-)

  15. yahmule - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Dan Patrick is foiled in his attempts to talk about sports on his show. I can relate to his situation. Every time I’ve ever tuned into the Dan Patrick show to hear about sports, I’ve mainly just heard him talking about how great it is to be Dan Patrick.

    • Glenn - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Being Dan Patrick is better than being yahmule.

  16. fordmandalay - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Personally, I don’t think the appearance could have gone better for Dan – it turned yet another standard interview with another boring jock into a really funny episode, and a truly memorable show that everyone will talk of and laugh about for years.

  17. ilovegspot - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    He better wake up and get that TOmmy John surgery real quick.

  18. mrpinkca - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    What’s so strange about this is that he’s promoting Qualcomm. Never in my life have I heard anybody say “I was going to buy an iPhone, but then I discovered that they don’t use Qualcomm processors, so I’m getting something else.” And I have spent my entire life in the silicon valley.

    I’m genuinely at a loss for why they need a MLB pitcher to be their spokesperson, or why they need to be promoted on a sports talk radio show.

  19. nobody78 - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    “Today we’re honoring and supporting Qualcomm.”

  20. Glenn - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Matt Harvey is a kid. All my early 20′s screw-ups were off the grid. He could be missing out on some big money with his injury and you can’t blame him for grabbing endorsement money. He is a nice kid from a strong family background and he learned early to own up to mistakes and move on. He proved that in this case. I think that the crop of major league young stars we have right now are a classy bunch. I thought Bryce Harper was going to be the next coming of Andy Dick, but he has been pretty solid, too.

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