A Major League Baseball player showing up to the stadium in, well, let’s just say less than optimal condition, is not unheard of. Athletes are human, and late nights – or just overly fun days – affect them just as much as the next person.
But to now show up to the stadium at all? That’s almost unheard of – and that, more than anything, is why the Mets suspended Matt Harvey without pay for three days.
“This is such an unusual thing for guys to not show up to the ballpark,” former Mets general manager and current MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There have been guys who have been – I’ll call them derelicts in the game – that ran hard off the field, but they showed up and posted every day regardless. That’s always been something that’s an understanding. So for him not to show up is pretty egregious in the mind of a front-office executive, even if you don’t know exactly all of the details behind it.”
Harvey did not show up to the ballpark Saturday – reportedly due to a migraine – and was suspended for his start Sunday. Adam Wilk replaced him and allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 and 2/3 innings in a 7-0 loss to the Marlins.
The Mets’ message was clear: Harvey’s absence was not okay.
“Oh, there’s no doubt,” Duquette said. “They could have hidden this. They could have done this more behind the scenes. They could have bumped him a start and said whatever. They could have suspended him after his start. This is a clear message not necessarily that they’re at the end of their rope, but pretty close. I think the interesting thing to me is how do you kind of move forward from this? How does the organization do it? How does the player do it? It’s hard to repair something once you’ve gone down this road as far as they have.”
Harvey, 28, is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA in six starts. The Mets (15-16) trail the Nationals (21-11) by 5.5 games in the AL East entering play May 9.