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. Jose Abreu sticks up for manager Robin Ventura

    May 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Robin Ventura Robin Ventura

    White Sox manager Robin Ventura has taken some heat for the team’s slow start, but first baseman Jose Abreu stuck up for him.

  2. Jean Segura was hit in the head by a Pedro Strop fastball

    May 3, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Jean Segura Jean Segura

    Jean Segura was hit in the head by a pitch attempting to bunt. Thankfully, he appears to be okay.

  3. The Cardinals walk off winners against the Pirates for the third game in a row

    May 3, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Kolten Wong Kolten Wong

    The Cardinals won again in walk-off fashion and now own baseball’s best record.

  4. Tyler Lyons gets the next shot at replacing Adam Wainwright in Cardinals’ starting rotation

    May 3, 2015, 5:14 PM EDT

    tyler lyons getty Getty Images

    Lyons has served as a spot starter and long reliever for the Cardinals at various points over the last two seasons. He owns an ugly 4.62 ERA in 89 2/3 career major league innings, but his 1.216 career WHIP and 7.9 career K/9 aren’t too bad-looking.

  5. White Sox sign Tyler Colvin to minor league deal

    May 3, 2015, 4:28 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.09.00 PM Getty Images

    Colvin opted out of his minor league deal with the Marlins at the end of spring training after failing to make the Opening Day roster and spent a month looking for a new gig.

  6. Video: Trevor Plouffe slugs first career grand slam

    May 3, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    plouffe getty Getty Images

    That was the first career grand slam for Plouffe. The 28-year-old third baseman also homered in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the visiting White Sox and now has five home runs on the young season.

  7. Cubs claim Anthony Varvaro off waivers from Red Sox

    May 3, 2015, 2:53 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.22.45 PM Getty Images

    Varvaro was designated for assignment by Boston on April 29 after struggling badly in three straight relief appearances. He was very good in 2014 with the Braves …

  8. Adam Eaton out third straight day with illness

    May 3, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    adam eaton getty Getty Images

    He was actually sent back to Chicago on Saturday while the team finishes up a four-game series at Minnesota’s Target Field.

  9. Jordan Walden lands on disabled list with biceps injury

    May 3, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    walden getty Getty Images

    Walden felt discomfort in his right arm while warming up on Saturday afternoon. He told reporters after Saturday’s game that he’s not concerned, but it’s a scary situation for the Cardinals given how well the 27-year-old setup man pitched in April.

  10. Matt Moore set to face live hitters for the first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 9.55.47 AM Getty Images

    Moore is scheduled throw around 20 pitches to his Tampa Bay teammates before their series finale on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles.

  11. Michael Bourn back in Indians’ lineup on Sunday

    May 3, 2015, 11:43 AM EDT

    bourn getty Getty Images

    Veteran outfielder Michael Bourn was held out of the Indians’ starting lineup on Saturday with what was called a cervical strain. That sounded like a pretty serious injury, but all appears to be fine …

  12. Rays place outfielder Desmond Jennings on 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee

    May 3, 2015, 10:51 AM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 9.21.28 AM Getty Images

    It was a very disappointing April for Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who hit .222/.306/.238 in 18 games. And now his May is off to a rough start too.

  13. Video: Jake Marisnick climbs Tal’s Hill, makes great grab

    May 3, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.02.46 AM Getty Images

    Marisnick is also getting it done at the plate for the Astros, who are on a nine-game winning streak and have opened a six-game lead over the Angels in the American League West standings.

  14. Another game ended on a batted ball hitting a runner

    May 3, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT

    howie kendrick getty Getty Images

    First it was the Giants beating the Angels when Kole Calhoun’s hard grounder to the right side of the infield struck Taylor Featherston. A few hours later, the Dodgers won in similar fashion …

  15. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    May 3, 2015, 8:32 AM EDT

    cardinals getty Getty Images

    For the second consecutive day, the Cardinals took down the visiting Pirates on an extra-inning walkoff.

  16. FOX Sports San Diego has been doing a good job with their “Keys to the Game”

    May 2, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Justin Upton, Bud Black Justin Upton, Bud Black

    Are those “Keys to the Game” segments getting stale? FOX Sports San Diego put a fresh spin on it.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4224)
  2. A. Rendon (3346)
  3. A. Colome (3195)
  4. J. Lowrie (3079)
  5. C. Gomez (2958)
  1. D. Jennings (2846)
  2. A. Ottavino (2748)
  3. D. Span (2743)
  4. J. Marisnick (2711)
  5. D. Wright (2683)