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. Carlos Ruiz rejoins Phillies after concussion

    Jul 23, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Carlos Ruiz Carlos Ruiz

    Ruiz hit poorly on a minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A, going 3-for-17 (.176) with three strikeouts and one walk in five games, but he’s avoided any post-concussion symptoms and the Phillies are convinced he’s ready to return.

  2. Cameron Maybin suspended for 25 games for amphetamines

    Jul 23, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

    cameron maybin getty Getty Images

    I’m guessing this is not a prank by the Padres minor leaguers.

  3. Kelly Johnson goes on Yankees’ disabled list with groin injury

    Jul 23, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT

    Kelly Johnson Yankees Getty Images

    Kelly Johnson isn’t as needed in the Yankees’ lineup following the trade for Chase Headley and now he won’t be available at all for a while, as the utility man has been placed on the disabled list with a strained groin.

  4. Nationals place Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list

    Jul 23, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals

    As expected Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been placed on the disabled list after injuring his hamstring during last night’s game.

  5. The dizzying intellect of Tom Glavine

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Braves v Yankees X Getty Images

    Tom Glavine crafted his Hall of Fame career with plenty of skill and wit.

  6. Jeff Francoeur, now an outfielder/pitcher, gets call up to Padres

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    jeff francoeur getty Getty Images

    After back-to-back terrible seasons Jeff Francoeur’s chances of returning to the majors looked so bleak that last month he decided to take up pitching at Triple-A for the Padres’ affiliate, but now San Diego is actually calling him up and presumably he’ll mostly serve as an outfielder.

  7. Meanwhile, in the comic books

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 11.37.06 AM

    Remembering when the Avengers played baseball in the Astrodome

  8. Tim Lincecum saves it for utterly spent Giants

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Tim Lincecum Getty Images

    The Giants’ 9-6 victory over the Phillies lasted 14 innings, involved 16 pitchers throwing 507 times to the plate, took five hours and 46 minutes, included more cramping than a track meet for septuagenarians and it finally ended 7 minutes before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning at Citizens Bank Park when Tim Lincecum really and truly recorded his first career save.

  9. Jacob deGrom continues to be ridiculous

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.13.15 AM AP

    The converted shortstop is on a roll.

  10. Marlins interested in Jim Johnson (again)

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jim Johnson A's AP

    Oakland’s move to acquire Johnson and his $10 million salary from Baltimore never made a ton of sense this offseason and it’s worked out much worse than expected, as he almost immediately lost the closer gig and has a 6.25 ERA with 23 walks in 40 innings.

  11. L.J. Hoes hit a homer for his mom last night

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.11.04 AM Getty Images

    Jeez, Mrs. Hoes. You should’ve asked sooner!

  12. Phillies drawing lots of interest in Antonio Bastardo

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    While we wait to see if the Phillies will end up trading aces Cole Hamels and/or Cliff Lee, it sounds likely that reliever Antonio Bastardo will be moved before July 31.

  13. Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:28 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 9.19.46 AM Getty Images

    One of baseball’s top analysts advocates for one of the dumber ideas you’ll hear in a long while.

  14. Ryan Zimmerman leaves Nats game with a strained hamstring

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 7.41.45 AM AP

    Zimmerman has missed 44 games this year. He’s about to miss more.

  15. Chase Headley plays the hero in his first game in pinstripes

    Jul 23, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.41.58 AM AP

    Off the plane a half hour before game time, the hero by midnight.

Featured video

Teams searching for trade deadline impact
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Street (3694)
  2. C. Lee (2876)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (2632)
  4. H. Ramirez (2560)
  5. Y. Puig (2407)
  1. C. Headley (2356)
  2. T. Walker (2354)
  3. B. Belt (2162)
  4. M. Trout (2156)
  5. D. Price (2134)