This past Sunday, in tweet posted early in the day, Matt Harvey said, "2014 Harvey day will happen."
Sandy Alderson told reporters: "Look, I can't control what he tweets or says... If that's how he feels, that's his perspective and we'll see where it goes."
Harvey's tweet was deleted later in the day.
The Mets have said since late February that Harvey will only talk with media in team-designated, group sessions, he will not be doing one-on-one interviews, as they look to minimize expectations and control communication about his recovery.
Alderson told the New York Post: "We’re looking to have him ready to go for 2015. There is no looking to have him ready for 2014.’’
Alderson has gone as far as to say Harvey will not be the story of this team in 2014. Instead, at the very least, he seems to prefer to push the discussion off until mid-summer, or about the time Harvey begins throwing from a mound, before openly talking about when he may or may not pitch in a big-league game.
Typically, a pitcher misses the entire next season after having Tommy John surgery. Alderson is wise to assume Harvey will be the same. That said, I love that Matt wants to be back yesterday. I love that he has no quit in him and I love how much he wants to be the best. It's inspiring, and makes me feel better about this team's future than anything happening on field right now, which is why it's so disappointing how quiet the team is keeping his recovery.
He still has Twitter. He's still going to have a mic in his face when he goes to a club or walks a red carpet with a supermodel in Manhattan this summer. He still communicates with beat reporters and fans. He's still going to get magazine requests for interviews and photo shoots. Instead of deleting tweets and building walls, the Mets should just accept what they have in Harvey and start working with him, not against him.
To make matters worse, I've heard from more than one person in their clubhouse that Harvey was very insulted and dejected by having his locker moved from being around the big-league players in to the way back of the room. I remember being confused when I got to St. Lucie and looked around the room to see where his stuff was, only to be told he was in the corner by the showers. I don't blame him for being embarrassed. I was embarrassed for him. I hope this only motivates him more than he already is. My first thought when I saw the location of his locker was: This is ridiculous, I hope he comes back and goes 30-0 next year. Imagine how he feels...
Lastly, let's be honest, there is a decent chance his recovery ends up being more interesting in September than anything occurring in Citi Field. They may end up being able to charge more for his minor-league rehab starts than actual games. I hope this isn't the case, but he's that fascinating, promising and awesome that the team may want to reconsider how they view him.
Matt Harvey's fame and potential dominance -- even when injured -- is an asset to this franchise, not a threat... at least not yet.