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Terry Collins to Matt Harvey: “Back off”

Aug 14, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

Matt Harvey AP AP

While the Mets have downplayed the possibility at every turn, Matt Harvey has repeatedly said that he would like to pitch in the majors this season. It’s an understandable sentiment from a competitive athlete, even one less than one year removed from Tommy John surgery, but Mets manager Terry Collins told Harvey via phone today to tap the brakes.

Harvey, who recently began throwing off a mound, told ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday that he’s already “throwing into the low- to mid-90s” with “pretty much no effort” and reiterated that he wants to pitch in the majors this year. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Collins made it clear to Harvey that he will not see game action this season. He also told him that he didn’t appreciate him doing the radio interview while the Mets were in the middle of a game.

“He wants to try to get back here to help,” Collins said about Harvey. “And I explained to him, ‘I understand that. But … you have got to understand the big picture. And the big picture is 2015. So back off.’

“Now, unless I’m standing next to him, I can’t control it. You guys think I can. I can’t. It’s impossible. This guy will hire somebody to go throw with him. That’s the way he is. That’s just how he is. I just said, ‘You’ve got to be smart about this. And, by the way, stop doing radio shows during the ballgame telling everybody you’re throwing 95 mph. That isn’t going to help us up here.’

“He gets it. He said, ‘Yeah, I just wanted to let them know I’m fine.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but there’s a phraseology you could use to say, hey, look, I’m doing fine and I’m making progress.'”

It’s a little weird to hear this kind of talk from Collins and not Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, but this is the deal with Harvey. He’s headstrong and marches to the beat of his own drummer and sometimes it will put him at odds with the team, much like his decision to rehab in New York at the start of the year as opposed to Florida. You have to take the good with the bad/drama. It will be a lot easier to take if he comes back healthy and picks up where he left off last year.

  1. mybrunoblog - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I understand Harvey is a competitive athlete but how smart is he? Dude, look at the standings. Your team is going nowhere. Rest. Take it slow. 2015 will be here before you know it.

    • renaado - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Exactly, Collins only made the kind of statement “back off” to his pitcher cause he certainly cares for his health. I understand Harvey’s feelin that he wants to play for em, it really shows how the team is important to him and the current record doesn’t matter just as long he gives them just a little chance of winning. Still, there’s always the 2015 season… Harvey needs to rest and be ready for next year.

  2. sdelmonte - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Like I said yesterday, there will be Harvey drama.

    And across town, Tanaka drama with a different goal. But possibly the same results.

  3. dannymac17 - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Funny enough, thats what Terry told me when I told him I wanted to pitch in the majors this season.

    Then he said how did you get into my house.

    The nerve.

  4. fraudguy - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    “…Mets manager Terry Collins told Harvey via phone today to tap the breaks.”

    Maybe “them’s the breaks”, or “to tap the brakes”, or read and not trust your spell checker…

    • sdbunting - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Commas inside quotation marks, friend. This here’s the States. /copyedit

  5. lennaykekua - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    No one care

  6. bbk1000 - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    Is that a quote from a Tarzan film?

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Lol! Perhaps it is bbk. But Tarzan be right. No one care.

  7. mrznyc - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    What Harvey cares about is deGrom and Snydergard are getting too much press. As for his concern for the team – He can do the math and knows there is no help that can save this season for this team.

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