(image swiped from Jack Ramsey)
Alright, with the benefit of hindsight (and y’know, sobering up), I do regret the tone of a Saturday evening post that was a little more Dibble-esque than I’m comfortable with. For starters, Matt Harvey didn’t explicitly say he was refusing to pitch beyond 180 innings, nor did he decline to pitch in the postseason. That he chose not to repudiate his agent and promise Mets fans that Terry Collins would have to pry the baseball from his cold, dead hands was clearly not enough for some excitable types (ie., me).
For those who prefer a reasoned take on the past 48 hours’ developments, the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner turns to Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Los Angeles’ Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. While Harvey’s surgeon, the legendary Dr. James Andrews isn’t speaking on the record to the media, ElAttrache — said to be consulting both Harvey and universally despised advocate Scott Boras — seems to think there’s a way to balance the Mets’ postseason hopes with caution for their (bubblewrapped) superstar :
“They probably should consider spacing out his starts and keeping his arm live, using him if necessary in September to keep him competitive and save some bullets for the postseason,” ElAttrache said. “I think that’s probably best for everybody, and I really think everybody’s incentives are aligned here. If you go about it thoughtfully from here on, you can still figure out a way.”
One possibility could be to let Harvey start in the postseason but severely restrict his innings in each outing. This would be an odd sight — an easing-out in October that bookends the easing-in of spring training — but it might be a compromise.
ElAttrache did not question the Mets’ handling of Harvey — “They’ve done the best they can,” he said; “I don’t think there’s a bad guy in this whole thing” — and said that while Boras did not dictate medical decisions, he did ask hard questions and sought answers on his own.