Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Broken finger sends James Loney to Rays’ disabled list

    May 25, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    james loney getty Getty Images

    Loney was hitting .275 with two homers and a .698 OPS in 30 games.

  2. John Farrell calls for an approved substance pitchers can use for a better grip

    May 25, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell surveys the field before his team takes on the Baltimore Orioles in an MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore

    He thinks it’s silly that guys are risking 8-10 game suspensions for doing something everyone does and everyone thinks is sensible.

  3. Travis Ishikawa designated for assignment by the Giants

    May 25, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    travis ishikawa getty Getty Images

    Ishikawa started (out of position in left field) for the Giants during last year’s World Series-winning playoff run.

  4. Yoenis Cespedes questions the Athletics’ personnel moves

    May 25, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes Getty Images

    “Don’t they want to win a championship?”

  5. A’s closer Sean Doolittle is ready to make his season debut

    May 25, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Sean Doolittle AP

    Doolittle is coming back from a partially torn rotator cuff.

  6. Josh Hamilton is starting in left field and batting fifth for the Rangers today

    May 25, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    Last time he started in left field and batted fifth for the Rangers? July 27, 2010.

  7. Ben Zobrist rejoins the A’s a month after knee surgery

    May 25, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Getty Images

    It might be too little too late for the A’s considering their 16-30 record.

  8. Mike Napoli continues to kill the Angels

    May 25, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Mike Napoli

    Mike Scioscia ran Mike Napoli out of Anaheim. Napoli has beaten the hell out of the Angels ever since.

  9. Royals shut down Danny Duffy with shoulder injury

    May 25, 2015, 10:41 AM EDT

    Danny Duffy Getty Images

    Initially the Royals planned to merely push back Duffy’s next start.

  10. Settling the Scores: Memorial Day Edition

    May 25, 2015, 8:10 AM EDT

    Memorial Day

    Do what you’d like this Memorial Day. Wave a flag. Protest a war. Get great deals at Mattress Wholesalers’ Crazy Memorial Day Sale. But remember that Memorial Day simultaneously is about none of those things and allows for all of those things.

  11. Sonny Gray takes liner off of ankle, but is expected to make his next start

    May 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sonny Gray Sonny Gray

    The struggling Athletics got a scare on Sunday when Sonny Gray was hit by a comebacker, but he’s expected to make his next start.

  12. Jose Reyes expected to rejoin the Blue Jays on Monday

    May 24, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes Jose Reyes

    Veteran shortstop Jose Reyes will return to the Blue Jays on Monday after dealing with a cracked rib.

  13. Video: Yankees induct Bernie Williams into Monument Park

    May 24, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Bernie Williams Getty Images

    Bernie Williams was honored with his induction into Monument Park at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

  14. Video: Justin Upton rips a grand slam to put the Padres up early

    May 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Justin Upton Getty Images

    Justin Upton knocked in six runs in his first two at-bats on Sunday against the Dodgers. Four of them came on a first-inning grand slam.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3948)
  2. R. Castillo (3621)
  3. D. Travis (3337)
  4. A. Pujols (3126)
  5. C. Crisp (3093)
  1. J. Reyes (3088)
  2. Y. Puig (3073)
  3. D. Wright (3045)
  4. B. Harper (3007)
  5. H. Ryu (2971)