Matt Harvey is “pissed” and he won’t take it anymore. In the midst of a “medical” scare that nearly cost the All Star pitcher his first ever Opening Day start, Harvey became the subject of tabloid jokes on his passing of a blood clot through his bladder system, leading Harvey to vent against the New York papers.
The New York Post, known for catchy, funny and even offensive headlines, published a number of headlines such as: “It’s Bladder Up for Harvey. WHIZ KID! Now That Matt’s Peed He’s A-Ok.” And Gems like this, “Now He’s a Reliever.”
The New York Daily News best known for roasting the 2016 Presidential candidates with its headlines, posted a photo of Harvey standing next to a urinal with the headline “Ya Gotta Relieve!”
As a result Harvey was offended by the jokes and refused to talk to reporters before the end of Spring Training.
“I don’t blame him,” Terry Collins said on Wednesday. “Nobody here blames him. We were all scared on Monday.”
To be fair the condition should be considered scary. It isn’t normal for someone to suddenly see blood in his urine without assuming the worst. Fortunately Harvey had a scope done on the bladder and it came back clean with no tumors or damage to the bladder.
Of course the tabloids and the Internet do not care about those details. These are tabloid newspapers for a reason. They are notorious for having some “fun” with its headlines. Not to mention in the age of uncensored Internet where journalistic standards have gone down the drain, I too can’t totally blame Harvey for being upset.
With that said, fighting the media is only going to lead to a losing battle for a pitcher who has already proven oversensitive to any criticism he receives. He needs to let this go and focus on his number 1 job, pitching.
If Harvey is so tired of feeling like a piñata for the media, he should stop making himself out to be such a lightning rod. Last year it was the battle over Harvey’s innings limits where his agent, Scott Boras, made public their displeasure of Harvey going over 180 innings of work. When the media pursued Harvey he tried to avoid them.
There were also the public battles with the Mets over his rehab, and his appearance at Derek Jeter’s last game while his teammates were getting clobbered on the road. Oh, and there is the status of his contract that Harvey and Boros floated out there before the start of this Spring Training.
So, yes, Harvey is right the media went too far on their jokes over a potentially devastating injury, but he needs to understand this is what comes when one becomes the center of attention.