Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Dark Fall of a Knight

I started writing this much earlier today, got distracted by that amazing game, and didn't get around to finishing it until it became completely irrelevant. But just for the record...

You know, I don't know that it's a good idea to get too much into the business of the other team in this town.

Save for the occasional taunt, it's difficult enough being the all-seeing experts we are when it comes to one major-league franchise, without getting into another.

It's just not appropriate, like a Genovese remarking on the acumen of the Gambino family.

But the fall of the Dark Knight—or rather, how his fall has been stage-managed—leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Yeah, yeah, I know he used a naughty word in replying to a reporter—even after the reporter asked him for a third straight time just how it felt to see his career and his dreams going down the drain, and refused to take two, polite "not nows" for an answer.

Yes, I know he liked to party a lot, and held out for big bucks when he was first signed, and wanted to rehab in the big town, not the Metsies' Florida training complex, and all the other terrible transgressions that he along with almost every other ballplayer alive has been guilty of.

Yes, Matt Harvey was hubristic. He was every bit as egotistical and arrogant as we all want our aces to be. As the Mets wanted him to be.

The real story here is that the New York Mets destroyed Matt Harvey's arm because they saw a chance to steal a World Series in 2015.

They had real medical experts saying this was a bad idea, coming so soon after his operation—that he would be better off skipping the postseason. The Mets said no. When Harvey dared to mention this aloud, to reporters, the Mets—and the reporters—sneered at him, ridiculed him, called him a prima donna, and hung him out for the fans to use as a piñata.

This is a very old New York tradition. They did it to Babe Ruth, back when he had some mysterious ailment and missed most of the 1925 season. Jimmy Walker, the crookedest mayor we ever had, admonished him for not being a good example to the kiddies.

They did it to Joe DiMaggio, when he dared to ask for a little more money in the middle of the Great Depression. Jacob Ruppert and Ed Barrow made out like he was taking bread out of the mouth of The Forgotten Man. It embittered DiMag for the rest of his life.

And then they did it to Harvey. Goaded him into going out there again and again in the postseason. Goaded him into demanding the ball for the ninth inning in Game Five of the World Series, when he had no business going back out no matter how his arm was.

And that was that. He was never the same pitcher again. Never.

But on the Metsies' personal channel, SNY, there was the sports jacket brigade from the press box again the other night, blaming it all on Harvey's "attitude." Saying he had created "a distraction."

A distraction? How? Oh, because now they themselves would now ask everyone else in the Mets' clubhouse, over and over again, about his terrible thing he did.

Ah.

Here, we like to make out that we control time, space, and reality with our minds. For fun, we do this. To amuse ourselves. Up in the press box, they really believe it.

Hell, the other day, there was another "Knight of the Press Box," as Ted Williams liked to call them, saying he thought the trouble all started with Harvey when he was allowed to rehab in New York, not down in Florida, back in 2013.

The guy partly blamed himself, because he had written in his column at the time that he thought that should be all right.

And Harvey is the guy with the hubris problem?

The sports jacket brigade actually thinks it creates reality. And whenever it feels insulted, it does its best to make that the case.

Teams like the Mets let them, because it draws attention away from the fact that this is a very badly run franchise, that regularly ruins its best players.

It should be a good lesson for us to remember, in that overpaid as the modern ballplayer is, irritating and boorish as the modern ballplayer can be, this is still stardust. This is still lightning in a bottle that these guys catch for a little while, even with the best of them, and then it's gone.

If the owners or the writers don't appreciate this, there's no reason why we have to help them in their crass destructiveness.

All in all, exasperating as our own capos can be, I'm just as glad to be a Genovese.




14 comments:

13bit said...

Dead-on, Hoss. Pass the cannolis.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Always. And leave the gun.

Thanks, man.

13bit said...

Exactamundo!

Alphonso said...

I believe the mob guys call a gun, a " gat."

Anonymous said...

TIME OUT MR. DUQUE.

HOLD THE PHONE.

SHOULD HAVE CHECKED WITH ME BEFORE RELEASING THIS POST ......I LOATHE THE METS SO DEEPLY, AND FOLLOW THEM SO CLOSELY, I FEEL QUALIFIED TO RESPOND HERE...

MATT HARVEY IS A TOTAL PRICK.

HE WAS A PRICK EARLY ON, AS HE WAS RIGHT TO THE BITTER END.

REMEMBER, THE NUDE PHOTO SHOOT? HE HAD HARDLY BUILT A STRONG ENOUGH MAJOR LEAGUE RESUME, YET, HE'S POSING IN A NUDE PHOTO SPREAD?....WHO DOES THAT?...A PRICK, THAT'S WHO.

REMEMBER THE QUOTES?
I WANT TO BE LIKE JETER, AND DATE ONLY SUPERMODELS.
I WANT TO BE THE FIRST PITCHER TO SIGN A $300 MILLION CONTRACT.

.....AND DID I MENTION....HE DID A ...

NUDE.

PHOTO.

SHOOT.

HE LOOKED LIKE A REAL DOUCHEBAG TOO, WHICH IS WHAT HE IS.

NOBODY FORCED HIM TO PITCH THAT 8TH INNING IN THE WORLD SERIES, HE INSISTED.

HE INSISTED....

NOBODY COULD HAVE FORCED HIM TO PITCH AT ANY TIME HE, (OR HIS AGENT), FELT THAT HE SHOULD NOT.

NOBODY RUSHED HIM TO COME BACK FROM HIS FIRST SURGERY.

HE DID, (IF IT WAS ANYBODY).... I REMEMBER THE HEADLINES PROCLAIMING HOW "GREAT" HE LOOKED ON HIS FIRST BULLPEN DAY OF SPRING, AND HOW HE WAS THROWING IN THE "HIGH 90'S".

HE HAD THE MEDIA EATING OUT OF HIS HANDS, BUT IF HIS BODY WAS TELLING HIM SOMETHING WAS AMISS, HE DIDN'T SAY A WORD.

THAT WAS BECAUSE HE FELT FINE....

ONLY ONE PROBLEM....

THE RESULTS WEREN'T REALLY THE SAME.

THIS PRICK JUST RECENTLY HAD ATTENDED LAST WEEK'S THURSDAY OPENING OF CLUB AVRA IN BEVERLY HILLS WHERE GUESTS INCLUDED HALLE BERRY, CINDY CRAWFORD, ELLEN POMPEO, AND SELMA BLAIR. (THIS WASN'T THE FIRST TIME HE HAD BEEN EXPOSED PARTYING, LATE NIGHT WITH A GAME THE NEXT DAY).

EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW HE COULD BE SUMMONED TO PITCH THE NEXT NIGHT, HARVEY WAS SEEN "STUMBLING AROUND" AND EVEN HAD TO "SIT DOWN AT ONE POINT".
ANOTHER GUEST SAID AMONG SO MANY STARS, "NOBODY KNEW WHO MATT WAS."

IT WOULD ALMOST BE SAD....IF HE WASN'T SUCH AN ENORMOUS PRICK.

PLEASE, DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR MATT THE PRICK, HARVEY.

HE DID IT ALL TO HIMSELF.

THE MATT HARVEY STORY WITH THE METS TURNED OUT TO BE THE PERFECT, "DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS" STORY.

COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A BIGGER PRICK.

JUSTICE SERVED.

PRAY COOP ISN'T STUPID ENOUGH TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THIS PRICK AND MESS UP OUR INCREDIBLE CHEMISTRY.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


HC66:

You wrote a post awhile back positing that Miguel Andujar needed a nickname to ensure he's kept around on the big club.

It looks like Didi Gregorious has given a good one to Gleyber Torres: "El Heroe".

I still like "El Matador" for Andujar.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all-caps, let's keep our chemistry prickless (or as close as can be, anyhow); personally, though, I thought he looked like a little prick in that shoot - - not an enormous one.

'Twas a dark fall night
When the Dark Knight fell....seems like a good start to a poem - - but my modest artistry extends only to prose - - and huge pricks...but please, A-C, don't blame the Good Duquito (El Segundo) for HC66's peccadilli. LB (No J)

Yankee Shamus said...

Duque didn’t write the column above. FYI.

I for one thought it was very well written. Prick or not, it’s sad to see a pitcher of his caliber flame out so quickly.

Another young, impactful ‘ace’ pitcher gone from this vaunted 2019 Free Agent class I for one was drooling over years ago. Jose Fernandez before Harvey, albeit on a much worse note, obviously.

And look at the way Kershaw has been getting lit up this year, when he’s primed to opt out wanna give him $250 million over the 5 years? I sure don’t.

Who do we target for pitching next offseason?

13bit said...

We can all love each other, agree or disagree as gentlemen ( and women?), and still be unanimous in a shared view of said prick as a prick. I love you all.

HoraceClarke66 said...

ALL-CAPS, it was indeed I who wrote the column about Matt Harvey.

Being a Met, no, he was never a favorite of mine, either.

A favorite of mine—my first and greatest all-time favorite—was The Mick. And since then, the things I've read about him would curl your hair.

Same goes with most of these guys. Richard Ben Cramer filled a whole book with every single, rotten thing Joe DiMaggio ever did.

What a revelation: people are human.

No, Harvey didn't do himself any favors by getting drunk, just as Doc Gooden didn't do himself any favors by getting coked up. But that's not why either pitcher's arm flamed out.

They said all sorts of things about Harvey's pitching in the usual, Metish effluvia of spring training. But the fact is, the guy's velocity and spin rate have never bounced back.

No, he didn't HAVE to pitch that 9th inning in Game 5 of the 2015 Series. No, he didn't HAVE to pitch in that postseason at all.

But once he mentioned what his doctors said, every Mets fan and every Mets writer poured abuse on him. They challenged him, made it about his manhood.

As a stupid, young, arrogant guy, he fell for it. Great job, Mets fans! Great job, Mets writers! Great job, Mets management!

They helped goad him into a decision that probably cost him hundreds of millions of dollars. Well, at least Harvey made some $17 million to console himself with, according to baseball reference.

And since the Wilpons are more interested in real estate than baseball anyway, I guess it won't bother them too much, either, and the writers can always pick themselves out a new piñata.

But Mets fans? Hey, I hope it was worth it. I hope you really enjoyed that brief flare of a World Series appearance on the long, dark horizon of your team's performance. I hope you really enjoyed hanging the Dark Knight out to dry, cause who knows when you'll get another one to destroy.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, one more thing, ALL-CAPS:

No, no one on this earth could have FORCED Harvey to pitch when he should not have.

On the other hand, he also could not have pitched UNLESS the Mets management and Terry Collins let him.

Didn't Brando say it best, in the back of that taxi cab?

"You was my brother, Charlie, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit..."

And Rod Steiger tells him, "You saw some money." And he replies, "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am..."

For the Mets, it's another one-way ticket back to Palooka-ville.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


I can't handle it. Quotes from Godfather and Waterfront AND a mention of Selma Blair in the same series of comments. This blog can sometimes blow (what's left of) my mind!

Anonymous said...

MY APOLOGIES TO MR. DUQUE....

HOSS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING DEFENDING THAT SOB?!

LOL.

HEY, I UNDERSTAND YOUR POINTS, AND I DO AGREE WITH HOW YOU ARE PARTLY PUTTING THE BLAME ON MET FANS, MET MANAGEMENT, AND THE MET-LOVING NY. MEDIA.

WELL SAID...WELL THOUGHT OUT.

TRUE TOO!

.....BUT DON'T LET THAT PRICK OFF THE HOOK.

IT'S MOSTLY HIS FAULT....

.....WITH A LITTLE PUSH.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, ALL-CAPS.

And all in all, it's shaping up to be another great Mets year after all!