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. A’s will have six months to play the “what if” game

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:44 AM EDT

    Jonny Gomes, Sam Fuld Jonny Gomes, Sam Fuld

    In-game losses left the A’s undermanned in defeat.

  2. Video: Salvador Perez walks off Royals in Wild Card Game

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:29 AM EDT

    salvador perez getty Getty Images

    In case you missed it, here is the replay of Salvador Perez’s walkoff hit from Tuesday night’s AL Wild Card Game …

  3. Small ball prevails … in a 9-8 game

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT

    Wild Card Game - Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals Getty Images

    You get a bunt and you get a bunt and you get a bunt!

  4. Royals complete thrilling comeback to defeat A’s in the American League Wild Card Game

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:10 AM EDT

    eric hosmer getty Getty Images

    Salvador Perez was held hitless in his first five at-bats of Tuesday’s American League Wild Card Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, but he smacked a walkoff RBI single down the left-field line in the 12th inning to give the Royals a 9-8 victory over the A’s.

  5. Coco Crisp exits Wild Card Game with hamstring injury

    Oct 1, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT

    coco crisp getty Getty Images

    A’s center fielder Coco Crisp was removed from Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game before the bottom of the 11th inning with an apparent hamstring injury.

  6. Royals tie AL Wild Card Game in bottom of the ninth

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:49 PM EDT

    jarrod dyson getty Getty Images

    We’ve got a brand new ballgame in Kansas City.

  7. Hyun-Jin Ryu will test his injured left shoulder with a simulated game Wednesday

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:53 PM EDT

    ryu getty Getty Images

    Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will test his injured shoulder in a simulated game Wednesday. He’s hoping to start Game 3 of the NLDS in St. Louis.

  8. Brandon Moss slugs three-run shot, A’s jump back on top

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT

    brandon moss getty Getty Images

    Oakland opened the floodgates on the Royals in the sixth inning.

  9. Video: Eric Hosmer hits go-ahead RBI single, Royals lead Athletics in AL Wild Card Game

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    hosmer getty Getty Images

    Watch the host Royals take the lead in Tuesday’s American League Wild Card Game against the visiting A’s on this RBI bloop single from Eric Hosmer in the bottom of the third inning …

  10. Geovany Soto leaves Wild Card game with thumb injury

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    Geovany Soto Athletics AP

    Derek Norris came off the bench to replace him.

  11. Matt Shoemaker throws another bullpen session, has “no doubt” he can pitch in ALDS

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    matt shoemaker getty Getty Images

    Angels starter Matt Shoemaker hasn’t pitched in a game since September 15 due to a left oblique strain, but he is making steady progress behind the scenes and expects to be available for the ALDS.

  12. Braves hitting coach Greg Walker has resigned

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT

    braves logo

    Braves hitting coach Greg Walker officially stepped down on Tuesday evening, as announced on the club’s Twitter feed.

  13. Travis Ishikawa will be Giants’ left fielder in Wild Card game

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    ishikawa_travis AP

    Ishikawa is 31 years old and has started a grand total of three career games in the outfield.

  14. Clay Buchholz undergoes surgery on right knee

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

    clay buchholz getty Getty Images

    Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz underwent surgery Tuesday to correct a right meniscus injury that bothered him off and on throughout the 2014 season. He should have a fairly normal winter.

  15. Clayton Kershaw “likely” to pitch on short rest if needed

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw AP

    Kershaw and Greinke four times in five games?

  16. Cubs expect Javier Baez to be their Opening Day second baseman despite rookie struggles

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    javier baez Getty Images

    Javier Baez hit just .169 with 95 strikeouts in 52 games as a 21-year-old rookie.

  17. Josh Hamilton declares himself ready for the ALDS

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

    josh hamilton getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton has played in just one game since September 4 due to shoulder, chest, and rib cage injuries, but the 33-year-old outfielder took batting practice, threw some long toss, and ran the bases on Tuesday afternoon and has declared himself ready for the ALDS, which begins on Thursday.

  18. The Cardinals have the Best Fans In Baseball

    Sep 30, 2014, 5:29 PM EDT

    old TV

    It’s all about how you define the term “best,” of course.

  19. Dee Gordon cleared to play for Dodgers after hip injury

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Dee Gordon AP

    Gordon led the NL in steals and triples this season.

Featured video

Do Royals or A's have the edge tonight?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Jeter (3306)
  2. C. Kershaw (2470)
  3. R. Martin (2397)
  4. A. Rodriguez (2040)
  5. J. Altuve (1921)
  1. D. Gordon (1870)
  2. J. Hamilton (1812)
  3. I. Suzuki (1685)
  4. D. Ortiz (1674)
  5. E. Volquez (1606)