Throughout this week I kept thinking of great topics to dive into for my weekly edition of this article. It could’ve been about deGrom’s injury, should A-Gon be A-Gone, the Mets are really struggling, or a litany of other things that have happened to the Mets this past week and a half. However, for some reason, I just kept waiting to see if something else would pop up, and it did.
Earlier today it was announced, by Sandy Alderson, that the Mets will be designating Matt Harvey for assignment.
As much as Harvey has struggled the past few years on the field it just never seemed like he would leave the Mets until his current contract ended at the end of the season. The headaches that he caused the Mets front office throughout his career were nonstop even when his talent did not make those issues bearable any longer.
Ever since I started writing about the Mets one of my favorite things to do was compare Matt Harvey’s career to the Dark Knight movies, which is why I did just that in last weeks edition of this article. Last week I drew parallels between The Dark Knight Rises and the situation Harvey was going into as a member of the bullpen. I truly thought, as I have time and time again throughout the past three seasons, that Harvey was finally going to figure out how to be a dominant pitcher once again.
I believed that Matt Harvey would be able to figure out his new role as a reliever and actually elevate his game to the point that he could be an effective late inning reliever. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that simply was not going to happen. The swagger that Matt Harvey was pitching with in Spring Training disappeared once the season began and he continued to look lost on the mound.
Just a few short years ago to say that Matt Harvey would be the one who looked lost in an at-bat would be madness. Time and time again Harvey would go on the mound and throw 7 innings of 1 run or 0 run games while striking out 10 batters, making anyone who faced him look silly as they tried to touch his slider or catch up to his fastball.
Matt Harvey, without a doubt in my mind, was the best pitcher in baseball in 2013 and top 10 in the game when he returned to the game in 2015 after missing the 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately, Matt Harvey suffered Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2016 and has not even come close to the dominant form of himself since that time.
Love him or hate him I think it is really important to remember that Matt Harvey, almost singlehandedly brought this Mets franchise back from the abyss that they had been in since the Bernie Madoff scheme had shocked this team to its core. From the day of his debut in 2012, throughout his Cy Young caliber 2013 season, and all of 2015, Mets fans were able to believe again. Every fifth day was Harvey Day.
On Harvey Day, Mets fans knew they were supposed to win. That was not a thought for the fan base of this franchise from 2009-2012. There was no night that you truly thought, “We’re going to get this one tonight”. Matt Harvey was the one who allowed Mets fans to believe again. He came before Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and really paved the way for this franchise to get back into contention.
As much as he did for this franchise we do have to remember that he is no David Wright. He was late to a mandatory workout before the 2015 World Series, constantly battled with the front office of this team, he did not show up to a game this past season, and he has had many other instances throughout his career which were unbecoming of himself and the franchise.
Although I am truly sad that The Dark Knight will no longer be a Met I do have to point out why I am also relieved. On the day that David Wright retires every Met fan around the world will be sad, but thankful for what David did for this team. From day one Wright has done everything right on and off the field and he was a leader, someone that you should look up to.
As great as Harvey was, the only thing that he ever did that should be looked up to was his dominance on the field. He simply was not a leader of men, he was a lone wolf that only wanted to do what was better for himself, not the team. This thought will allow me the opportunity to connect Matt Harvey to The Dark Knight movie one last time.
In this scene, Batman says how he can be whatever Gotham needs him to be and he is willing to do what is best for the city. He also says the quote that Harvey Dent said earlier in the movie:
As I watched that scene again before I put it in this article I realized something that I would not have unless it was to draw parallels between the movie and Matt Harvey. Matt Harvey never was The Dark Knight, he was always Harvey Dent. Harvey Dent was supposed to be the glimmer of hope that Batman could never be.
Even though Matt Harvey was great and was vital to the Mets success he was supposed to be the guy that David Wright turned the keys over to, which really means that David Wright is the rightful owner of the Dark Knight nickname. David Wright will do whatever is best for the team, no matter what is going on in his personal life, whereas Matt Harvey has been selfish when things don’t go the right way, which is what Harvey Dent did when Rachel died.
Now, agree with me or not it does not matter that simply allowed me to draw connections between one of my favorite movies and Matt Harvey one last time. One thing that I think most will agree with is that the sentiment Batman had in that movie scene was to remember Harvey Dent as the glimmer of hope because that is what was right to do. Met fans should do the same thing with Matt Harvey.
Remember him as that dominant ace that made the Mets believe. To me there is no start that embodies that thought more than his 8 innings in the World Series and when he forced his way back on the mound for the top of the 9th in that game. This is how we should remember Matt Harvey (only watch the first 2 minutes and 10 seconds):
I would be remiss in my duties as a die-hard Mets fan if I did not say thank you. Thank you, Matt Harvey, for dominating in the Orange and Blue and for bringing the tenacity that this team badly needed back into the organization. Although your time in New York was not perfect, it will be remembered.