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Matt Harvey expresses frustration about how the Mets are handling his Tommy John rehab

Mar 18, 2014, 8:20 PM EST

matt harvey getty Getty Images

It’s impossible to summarize all the elements of this story from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, so you might as well just go read it.

The gist is that Matt Harvey wants to do his year-long rehab from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery at home in Manhattan and the Mets would rather him remain at their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Harvey is also upset that the Mets moved his locker this spring — “basically in a closet, I didn’t think that was right” — and the ace right-hander is confused about whom he’s allowed to speak to in the media and what he’s allowed to say.

It’s all-too-typical Mets drama. Here’s an excerpt from Martino’s story, which, again, is worth a full read:

About seven minutes into our conversation, Harvey and I noticed Mets PR man Jay Horwitz standing in front of us, glaring.

“He’s alright, Jay,” Harvey said. “Jay, he’s alright.”

“What?” I said to Horwitz.

“I’ll talk to you later,” Horwitz said to me.

“OK,” I said, but Horwitz did not move.

“He’s good, Jay,” Harvey said again. “He’s good. If somebody at the top needs to talk, I’ll talk to him.”

“You’re causing me some problems,” Horwitz said to me.

“OK,” I said, then turned back to Harvey.

“Are you writing something?” Horwitz said. “Can I –”

“Jay,” Harvey said. “If somebody needs to talk to the Players’ Association, I have a right to have him writing about me.”

Not wanting to make the situation any more awkward for Harvey, I turned off my recorder and wrapped up the conversation.

Hearing of the interview, Alderson sought out Harvey shortly thereafter.  “I talked with him to provide clarification,” Alderson later told me, explaining that they discussed the rehab process, and whether there was a team-imposed rule against sharing his thoughts with the public.

Harvey later met with a group of Mets reporters and said with a smile that his rehab itinerary is still under discussion. He had Tommy John surgery on October 22, 2013 and will miss the entire 2014 regular season.

  1. nsauser - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    LOLMets! I love this news about the dysfunctional Mets. Harvey strikes me as a prima donna and it’s likely that the Mets have made this bed.

    • paperlions - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Harvey strikes me as a guy that wants to be treated like a person and professional and that wants to be allowed to do his rehab like players with every other team do it.

      • jrob23 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        exactly. seems things like this always happen to the poorly run franchises in all the different sports. You rarely hear a well run organization like The Cardinals in baseball, or The Spurs in basketball or Seattle/SF/Steelers. Sure these franchises have their share of morons playing for them that get in trouble, but the franchises, for the most part treat their people with respect

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        I have to agree with paperlions, he sound like he just wants to do his rehab in a place he knows, where he’s comfortable.

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        I have to agree with paperlions, he sounds like he just wants to do his rehab in a place he knows, where he’s comfortable.

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        Yay! Double post >.<

      • nsauser - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        Trust me, Harvey will prove this out that he’s a prima donna. He doesn’t understand the game yet. Ever hear his ‘Qualcomm’ phone call to Dan Patrick?

    • indaburg - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      The one thing you got right is that the Mets are dysfunctional.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:22 AM

        Dysfunction is a matter of winning or losing. Win and stories like this, don’t become stories in the first place. It’s all a matter of win/loss record.

      • indaburg - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Not true. I think Old Gator has covered the most illustrious examples of dysfunctional teams that won.

      • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        Dysfunction generally disseminated downward from the top. Confusion and ineptitude reign in Wilpoonland.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        The Wilpons are dysfunctional morons for sure, but if this was a playoff team last year, how much play would this little spat get? Issues get magnified for teams that are perennial losers.

      • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Wel-l-l, by and large, yes. Then again, if you recall how much press the locker room brouhahas (Brouhaha? Hahahahaha) of the Oakland Green n’ Golds in the Charlie Oh! era, and especially during the Billy versus Reggie Borg era drew, there have been some spectacular exceptions to that rule.

  2. gothapotamus90210 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Harvey should’ve went all Jon Rauch on Horwitz.

  3. historiophiliac - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    I guess they were afraid he was about to break another Asian slur story or something.

  4. sportsnut101 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Why not rehab in nyc best rehab places in World right

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      The women he would meet in NY are probably hotter than the ones he would meet in Florida.

      • indaburg - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:38 PM

        I’m disappointed in you, pc.

      • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Me too. Come on down here after your ankle is feeling better. I will introduce you to some acrobatic SoBe Latinas who will make your crutches irrelevant.

      • chinahand11 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:59 AM

        Obviously you haven’t been to Ft. Lauderdale or Sarasota, sir. Ask a New Yorker, they will tell you where the pretty girls are.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:26 AM

        They are migratory. During the summer they flock north.

      • chinahand11 - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Now that is funny.

      • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:19 AM

        They are as indigenous as beavers.

  5. sdelmonte - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I don’t recall any other player recovering from Tommy John surgery talking to the press and insisting he would be back earlier than anyone thinks he should be. I think Harvey is a special talent, but that doesn’t mean he gets preferential treatment. Frankly, I think he shouldn’t even be talking to the media right now.

    • Kevin Gillman - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      So you don’t think any reporter would want to know how a pitching phenom is doing with his TJ recovery?

    • forsch31 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      One…rehabbing players talk all the time to the media (for the Cardinals, Motte, Garcia, and Wainwright all did the last few years). Usually, it’s a pretty normal story about where the player is and how he’s feeling; this one wasn’t, obviously.

      Two…this isn’t about Harvey thinking he’ll be back earlier than the doctors think; it’s about where Harvey is allowed to do his rehab, which is going to be months long. As the story notes, the player’s agreement with MLB gives the player the right to do it away from the spring training facility, and the Mets want him to stay in Florida and rehab there. Harvey wants to rehab in New York, which is where his team is going be during most of his rehab.

  6. yahmule - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Here’s a guy with ace level talent and an undeniable passion for the game and they’re jerking him around. Same old Mess.

  7. kingscourt25 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    @nymets4ever

  8. nymets4ever - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Well I love Harvey’s talent, but he hasn’t really done enough to warrant the type of special snowflake treatment he thinks he deserves. Toughen up buttercup, soak up some of that Florida sun and get your strength back, and we’ll hear from you in a year. 2014 isn’t about Matt Harvey, it’s about the 25 guys who will be going to battle every day wearing the blue and orange.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      This guy never disappoints. If there is a stuffy, pickle-up-your… opinion to be had, he will always have it. Any player ought to have some say in where and how he does rehab that could determine the rest of his career. This isn’t some special perq that a prima donna is asking for. About those 25 guys in mismatched Giants and Dodgers colors, I would not get my hopes up. It may seem like a real battle by September (not for the playoffs but to finish the season.)

    • jamaicanjasta - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      I’m sorry but Harvey is showing passion, the type the Mets have been missing for a while. I didn’t take that he thought it’s “all about him” to the contrary he just wants to get back on the field to help his team.

    • jrbdmb - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      So he wants to rehab with his teammates. How incredibly selfish of him. :(

      Or more accurately, what an incredible douche you are.

      • nymets4ever - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        In every other sport, injured rehabbing players keep their heads down and quietly get their work done without being seen or heard from, even veterans with 5x more experience and proven track record than Harvey. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my preference for Harvey to stay out of the spotlight and let the actual active Mets roster be the story for 2014. Dumba$$.

  9. shaggylocks - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    DAMN IT JAY LEAVE US ALONE I JUST WANT TO TALK TO THIS NICE REPORTER ABOUT QUALCOMM.

  10. disgracedfury - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Harvey is the problem with most great young players,they want to be stars before they accomplished anything like football which overhypes their players to failure and they never live up to football star expectations.

    Harvey who unlike basketball and football should know better as he played in the minors and should know you don’t just become a star right away even though it has happened it’s rare.

    • ochospantalones - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      This would be a lot less confusing if you just came out and said what you mean. I don’t have the slightest idea what “football which overhypes their players to failure and they never live up to football star expectations” means. You think players failing to live up to expectations is unique to football?

      As far as I can tell your point is that Harvey should shut up and do what the team says, unlike *those* people in those other sports which scare you.

      And not for nothing but most people wouldn’t say a guy who has a 2.39 career ERA in 237.2 innings has not accomplished anything yet. He was a star right away, until he got hurt.

  11. NatsLady - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    I’m sorry, but our guys rehabbed in Florida, under the supervision of specialists. It was hot and it was sometimes lonely and boring. But the LAST thing they needed to be doing was worrying about the team, the league, etc. FOCUS on your rehab. When you are not actually in therapy, rest, hang out on the beach, relax and let your body heal.

    Does Harvey want to travel with the team? I mean, what about the 50% of the time they are on the road? What if there is another pitcher or pitcher(s) in Floriday–do they also have to come to NY, and travel with the team and bring the trainers and rehab specialists with them?

    As for the size of his locker–puh-leeeze.

    • Old Gator - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Nothing goes with long, difficult, painful rehab like heat, loneliness and daydreams of home. Except maybe depression.

      • NatsLady - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        Sorry, but I’m without sympathy. The trainers and specialists in Florida are tasked with monitoring severe injuries, and (eventually) working with guys toward minor-league rehab appearances. They have very detailed protocols that are developed for each individual by specialists like Dr. Andrews.

        The staff in NY have 25+ relatively healthy guys with aches and pains, strains and pulls to deal with.

        Also, the LAST thing you want is a guy trying too hard, working too hard, coming back too soon. That way lies TJ again in two years.

      • Reflex - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:14 AM

        That has nothing to do with TJ again in two years. It may contribute to other injuries, but TJ is very specific and ‘coming back too fast’ is not a cause of it. They are not repairing his ligament, they are replacing it. It either will work or it will not.

      • grey5555 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:13 AM

        N booze

      • grey5555 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        How can they not allow him to speak at all? … harvey threatening to get the mlbpa invovled, i c this not ending well for the mets

      • Alex K - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        NatsLady, Have you read Dirk Hayhurst most recent book? I know it was about the Jays and not the Mets, but it didn’t seem like there was much of a plan with his rehab. The Nats may do it one way, but that is just their way. We can’t say that the Mets are going to follow a detailed protocol.

        Put yourself in the situation and tell me how happy you would be if forced to lived somewhere you weren’t happy with while doing long painful rehab. Especially if there were other options available that made you much more comfortable while following the exact same plan.

    • jrbdmb - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      So you really think the best Mets trainers / rehab specialists are going to be hanging out in backwater Florida all summer? I think Harvey will be better served being near the real training staff.

      • longtimefan1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:45 AM

        The rehab staff are in Florida – that’s their jobs. Players on the disabled list go to Florida for their rehab.

        The so-called “real training staff” should be tending to the needs of the active roster not a guy who may not pitch at all in the 2014 season.

        Florida is good enough for everyone but Matt Harvey who wants special treatment.

  12. chill1184 - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Why am I not surprise that one of the biggest scumbags (and also a race baiter) in the NY media (and there is a huge lot to choose from) Andy Martino “broke” this story. Strange parallel how Harvey is being treated by the media and when Carlos Beltran was playing, especially after the Veterans Hospital “controversy”. People are trying to paint Harvey as selfish like they did Beltran which is probably going to go the same way. However Martino got what he wanted page views for his attempt at starting a controversy.

    • longtimefan1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:37 AM

      Harvey is selfish. Beltran is not.

  13. President Charles Logan - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    Ya’ll never know what he’s going to be like when he comes back next year , he might not even resemble the guy we saw last season … but regardless.. the Mets are still and will remain insignificant for years , not matter how many of the little choo choo that could type attitudes are in the clubhouse this season.

  14. pmbryant - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Horwitz is such a turd. Really, the feel-good story about him asking for a job with the Mets as a kid and working his way to head of PR stopped warming hearts 30 years ago. The fact is, he’s TERRIBLE at his job, and the Mets have been a PR disaster under his watch for the 20 years. He should have been let go years ago and a real PR person brought in.

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:25 AM

      He’s an unabashed idiot. But the Mets have no accountability anyway, so he’s safe as can be.

  15. chiadam - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    What the hell are the Mets doing?

    • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Whatever it is, I don’t think Voltaire would agree that they’re tending their own garden.

  16. mtr75 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I am a fan of the most douchey organization in all of pro sports.

    • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Funny, I haven’t seen you at any Feesh games.

  17. anxovies - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Would I be pissed if I got hurt on the job and returned to find that they had cleaned out my desk, given it to somebody else, moved me to a broom closet and told me they were going to ship me out to another office 1,000 miles away from home? Yep.

    • brianc6234 - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      A lot of teams have training facilities in other locations from where they play. Maybe it’s where they play spring training. They work on a lot of their players there. It’s no big deal.

    • longtimefan1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      Well maybe if you expected no one to fill in for you for the year you couldn’t work and maybe if you didn’t sign a contract that involves a job with lots of traveling, and with a company whose experts in rehab are located in Florida.

  18. stercuilus65 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Harvey, what a drama queen.

  19. jrbdmb - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Sounds like Horwitz is the drama queen.

  20. brianc6234 - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    If he wasn’t so greedy and signed with the Angels instead of going to college he most likely wouldn’t have ruined his arm and would be pitching a few years in the majors by now. The Angels gave him a decent offer too. These guys need to stop thinking so much about the small money they get when they sign and go pro instead of going to college. College coaches overall don’t care about their future. They want to win now. That’s why Matt Harvey needed Tommy John surgery.

  21. longtimefan1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Matt Harvey is in love with self and his prime interest is self-promotion and being in the spotlight. The guy is a head case, will do anything to remain in the spotlight. Hanging with the team all season is all about retaining status in the clubhouse and with the media and public, that is the motivation at its source.

    Matt Harvey can fool the gullible through his sweet talking, calm demeanor, but there are also a whole bunch of people who see through the charade and recognize the underlying motivations as anything but altruistic.

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