New York City might be big enough for two professional baseball teams, but only one franchise, and in most cases one player, will control the back pages. Last season that man was Derek Jeter. Now that his farewell tour has ended, I wasn’t sure if it ever would, there are two men who will fill that void. Matt Harvey and Alex Rodriguez are poised for a back page battle in their 2015 returns. But as was the case in ‘Highlander’ – there can be only one.
In 2013, Harvey took the league, and city, by storm. You could find him featured in ESPN Magazine: The Body Issue, participating in skits for ‘The Tonight Show’, on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Us Weekly (featuring his breakup with super model Annie V) and sitting courtside at Knicks/Rangers games. Oh, then there was the fact the he started the 2013 All-Star game at Citi Field. Almost forgot about his on the field dominance. Simply put, he was everywhere.
Unfortunately, Harvey’s rise to stardom was derailed by a season-ending elbow injury that led to Tommy John Surgery. Even while he missed the entire 2014 season recovering he grabbed more attention than his active teammates. Now, much of that has to do with the lackluster season the Mets put together. Nonetheless, Harvey has become a walking headline. Every interview, comment, appearance or tweet he made has become back page news.
Harvey’s combination of talent and brash have him on the cusp of taking the throne as King of NY. All eyes will be on him this spring as he returns to the mound.
Then there’s A-ROD. He is one of, if not the, most captivating figure in sports. Given where he stands in today’s media landscape, it’s easy to forget that A-ROD was once one of the most popular players in the game. That was long before he donned the pinstripes. As a young phenomenon he was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career and was on pace to break every record in the book. He earned the largest contract in professional sports history (he would later receive a second deal to top that). His little black book is filled with a “who’s who” of women in Hollywood. Then steroids came into the picture. Accusations occurred, denials were initially made and then apologies were ultimately issued.
A-ROD went on to become a World Series hero and all was forgiven. Or was it? Accusations of PED once again began to occur. A lot of them. Denials were once again made. Then a suspension was handed down. A big one (The largest in baseball history). And once again, an apology was issued. This time in the form of a handwritten note.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.”
People love to see the mighty crumble. As bad as that may sound, it’s true. Think about every featured story on the news, magazine covers or website homepages. More times than not you won’t be seeing any feel good stories. It’s almost always regarding someones downfall. Hence why these A-ROD scandals have been so widely reported. Sure, his story has become kind of repetitive. He’s almost like watching a rerun on TV. You’ve already seen the episode. But you enjoyed it so much the first time around that you decided to watch it again. Sound familiar?
I don’t care how many monuments the Yankees give out this season. A-ROD is the only Yankee story people care about.
The media aren’t the only ones excited for A-ROD’s return. Earlier this week Harvey himself said “If he is that dedicated and wants to come back then more power to him for going up to the organization like that, it shows a lot,” Harvey told the NY Post. “It will be exciting to see what he can do.”
No one epitomized a baseball player better than Derek Jeter. But I found myself becoming bored with him during those dog days of summer last season. I craved that polarizing figure. Someone who has a bit of a flair to him. I missed Matt Harvey. And at times, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I missed A-ROD..
Both The Mets and Yankees are projected to be in the playoff hunt this year, but neither are considered favorites. It’s been a while since these two were on roughly an even playing field. While winning is crucial in NY, it is considered almost equally as important to win those back pages. A-ROD, for both his on and (mostly) off the field actions, could be the Yankees only hope in this battle. While Matt Harvey will try to solidify himself as the new face of baseball in NY.
With Robinson Cano returning to the Bronx tonight, many are eager to see the treatment he receives from the fans. Cano, was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night, and we were given a glimpse as to what the crowd might be like.
Fallon has become notorious for pulling pranks during his years on late night TV, this time it came at the expense of Yankee fans. Random fans were questioned on the street as to how they would treat the former Yankee great upon his return. The fan would then turn and let their voice be heard to a poster of Cano, little did they know the real life Cano would be standing behind the sign. The faces of disbelief and shock are priceless when Cano reveals himself. Fans tones quickly change from boos to hugs.
This is the way most fans really are, regardless of the fan base. It’s easy to boo from a distance, knowing the person will be unable to single you out. But put that same fan face-to-face with their target, things will quickly change. The video is hilarious, kudos to Jimmy Fallon and whatever producer thought this skit up, well done.
Watch the video below, you won’t regret it.
Mets ace Matt Harvey was cleared today by his medical team to begin throwing a baseball. Harvey is only four months removed from Tommy John surgery, but this news marks the first step in his goal of returning to the mound. This is great news for both Harvey and the Mets, now we have to be patient with our 24-year-old.
“Since it is four months out, the process is going to be slow. I have to not push things.” Harvey said, regarding his discussion with his doctor “He just wanted to make sure I knew that and I was clear with that. Obviously we’re not going to push things early. But, for me, being able to wear my glove and pick up a ball again is a good sign.”
Harvey has publicly stated his desire to do his rehab work in NY, most rehabbing players spend their time in Port St. Lucie, but he would like to be closer to his home. This would also allow him to be with the team during home stands, where he could bond with his younger teammates and continue to learn the league from the bench. Everything about that sounds great, but will this ultimately turn into a distraction?
In only a short amount of time, Harvey has taken this city by storm. When he emerged late in the 2012 season, he quickly caught the eye of Mets fans and the rest of baseball. But it was his 2013 campaign really put him on the map as a star in the making. He was featured in a Jimmy Fallon show skit, could be seen on celebrity row for countless Rangers games, did a tabloid grabbing interview for GQ Magazine, dated Super-Model Anne V and oh yeah, was the starting pitcher for the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Harvey became one of the hottest athletes in NYC, everyone wanted a piece of him.
Personally, I don’t care what Harvey does off the field, as long as it doesn’t affect his performance on the mound. I only raise this questions because I know there will be certain media outlets and reporters who will make it their mission to question his work ethic this season. Last season was different, you could find him on the mound every 5th day, no matter what else he did that week. Now, he won’t be throwing off the mound in Citi Field, and many will be ready to jump at the opportunity to question his lifestyle during his rehab process.
Harvey does seem to be very mature for his age, just watch one interview and you will be shocked by his poise at such a young age. But every once in a while he surprises me with his actions, for example his GQ interview last season. Whether he was misquoted or thought he was speaking off the record, you have to be smarter than that. These guys are not your friend, they are using you to make a name for themselves. Or more recently, when WFAN’s Joe Benigo expressed his concerns for Harvey’s off the field headlines on air, Harvey became defensive and attacked these remarks via twitter while on vacation in Thailand. The only reason this story gathered any buzz was because of Harvey’s response. If something like that can trigger him while he is on vacation, imagine what it will be like when he is dealing with these questions in New York.
No one should question Harvey’s desire and determination to get back on the mound to help the Mets win. He has already thrown around the idea of trying to pitch down the stretch this season. Although this doesn’t sound to be a plausible plan, it’s that kind of attitude that has won over the fans. If I’m the Mets, I would be playing up his rehab throughout the season. Maybe have a crew monitoring his workouts and make it a feature on Mets Weekly. When the team is on road trips, I would throw him in the study and let him give insight on the games. Things like this will help keep him both in the spotlight and mentally focused on his return.
“I’d always love to pitch and get back out there, but I don’t make those decisions,” Harvey said regarding a return in 2014. “I can only stay with the doctors and prepare to the best of my ability. If things can work out quicker than normal, then we’ll see. But I can’t make that call. … I haven’t really talked to them in-depth about that. I know they don’t want me to push, and I’m definitely not going to force things to happen earlier. If they happen to come quicker, then that’s where we’re going to go.”
As Jerry Seinfeld recently stated, the Mets finally have a “cool guy”. Harvey has all the intangibles to be a star both on and off the field, he just has to remain committed to what got him there in the first place. I don’t foresee Harvey doing anything personally to make his rehab a distraction, I worry more about his reaction to the media that will be out to get him. If he is able to go about his business and keep reporters out of his mind, Harvey should be just fine.
But please, stop teasing us with these pitching in 2014 remarks. You’re surgery broke our hearts enough, don’t tease us like that.
Much has been made recently about Mat Harvey off the field. Between his swimsuit model girlfriend, the ESPN Body Issue photo shoot, his appearance with Jimmy Fallon on ‘The Late Show’ and most recently a “misquoted” feature with ‘Men’s Journal’. Whatever it may be, it seems everyone has an opinion about what Matt Harvey should be doing with his life off the field.
I know some people are not pleased with his constant presence in the tabloids these days, but until it hurts his performance on the field, who cares? Harvey has done nothing but dominant all season long. It doesn’t appear that anything fazes him once he is out on that mound, which is exactly what you want to see in a young rising star playing in the media capital of the world. Harvey was angered at the way a ‘Men’s Journal’ featured depicted him a few days ago.
It is very likely that quotes were taken out of context, as this reporter probably wanted to make this article as juicy as possible. But that’s what reporters do. Harvey probably did make these statements and I’m sure he believed they were being spoken in casual conversations, a mistake he will surely not make again. It makes for a much more interesting read thinking that Harvey is only in it to get paid and date super models. And if that is the case, as long as he continues to pitch like this, can you really blame him?
Whatever anger Harvey had about the article he took out on the mound against the Phillies yesterday. Harvey threw 7 shutout innings while striking out 10. He is now the first pitcher in Mets history to have 4 starts with double-digit strikeouts and 0 walks in a game. That’s a pretty impressive feat. It looked as if Harvey was on a mission as he was in a groove all day. Harvey quickly erased any thoughts that the spotlight might begin to get the best of him as he started the second half right where he left off. He now sits at 8-2 with a 2.23 era on the year.
The young ace of the Mets is off to a great start in his career, one of the best in Mets history. Of course with that comes the constant comparisons to other Mets greats Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver. These comparisons annoy me to no end. These are the type of discussions that should be held off until someone’s career is done, when you have a full resume to actually compare to one another. Maybe you’re antsy and can’t wait that long, fine, how about we at least wait till the end of a season and compare one season to another? I can live with that at least. I don’t need to see Harvey’s stats brought up after each start showing his numbers compared to others at this point in his career. Let’s have that conversation years down the road.
Now, by no means do I want to see Matt Harvey turn into the next A-Rod, making tabloids for nothing besides his off the field life style. But what is so bad about wanting to follow in Derek Jeter’s footsteps? Jeter has lived this life for years in the Big Apple, without ever getting himself into trouble. The biggest reason for that, it never affected his play. If Matt Harvey can continue to perform at this level, I see no reason why he can’t continue to enjoy himself off the field. Anyone that says otherwise, is just jealous they aren’t living Matt Harvey’s life.
Last night Jimmy Fallon aired an hilarious skit featuring Mets ace Matt Harvey. Fallon put Harvey on the street to interview fans and get their thoughts on the young right hander.
Some of the fans reactions are priceless when they finally come to discover they have been talking to Harvey the whole time. He does a great job of holding a straight face during his questions and when receiving advice from the fans. I’m not really a big Fallon fan, but this was a great skit and even better timing coming the day he was announced starter for the All-Star game.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to believe you are any sort of Mets fan if you don’t recognize Matt Harvey at this point, he’s everywhere. Harvey is a star and is quickly taking this town by storm. From his ESPN the body issue to his appearance on Fallon, Harvey will soon become a household name at this rate.
Watch Matt Harvey tonight as he starts for the National League in the All-Star game held at Citi Field!