At first you think you might be reading about a high school kid.
Partied too late, goofed off the next day, missed work.
But you’re not. You’re reading about New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. He’s 28, but still channeling his inner Jeff Spicoli. He just couldn’t make it to the ballpark. Maybe the lines at the food machines were too long.
Harvey went out partying last Friday night and played golf on Saturday. He never showed up for Saturday night’s game. The Mets held him out of his scheduled start on Sunday while suspending him for three days for violating team rules.
Harvey owned up on Tuesday when he rejoined the team.
“I made a mistake,” Harvey said. “I apologized. All I can do is continue to work to be better and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ve apologized to my teammates for not being here. I’ve apologized to the fans who showed up to see me throw or to see a different outcome of the game. All I can do is apologize for that, move forward, do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
It can be very difficult to make sure you don’t go pinballing through saloons and onto the golf course the following morning. Good luck with that.
Harvey’s punishment for the suspension is the loss of about $84,000 in pay … from his annual salary of $5.125 million. Sure, numbers are relative, but could you show up for that sort of dough? I think you could.
It gets better. Harvey can still contest the suspension by filing a grievance. If he does file, it will show us exactly how sorry he is…which would fall somewhere well short of grief.
Know this about Harvey: He’s in his fifth major league season and has a career record of 31-30. He has never won more than 13 games in a season and he was fined before the 2015 playoffs for missing a mandatory team workout.
In baseball, Leo Durocher is famously misquoted as saying “Nice guys finish last.” But at least they show up and finish. Harvey missed a start.
He gets back into the Mets’ rotation on Friday night. Expect him to arrive on time.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman