By any reasonable standard, it's been a rough week for Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey. The erstwhile ace and notable man-about-town has struggled on the hill and was recently suspended for three games after an ill-planned Roman-bacchanal caused him to neglect showing up for work. While we continue to hold out hope for the Dark Knight's fully functional return, we also look back at this laudatory 2013 piece we ran in the magazine and wonder if there might not have been one or two red flags.
"'Man, do I fucking love this city,' Matt Harvey says, stretching out in an expensive French bistro in downtown Manhattan. He sips his coffee and flashes a drowsy, laid-back smile. Having called a secret number to get a last-minute table, Harvey now sits among the restaurant's mostly female clientele; lithe, stylish creatures waxed and tweezed in that particular New York way — in total anonymity."
Matt Harvey does seem to like the city. He is indeed prone to spells of drowsiness. His knowledge of "secret numbers" apparently does not extend to the number one uses to inform his team he won't be coming to work in a timely fashion. We do not know anything further about his preferences with regard to waxing and tweezing.
"Unlike his teammates, many of whom sequester themselves in McMansions out in the suburbs, Harvey lives in a bachelor pad in the East Village, a downtown neighborhood known for its raucous bar scene, which he indulges in on occasion."
Correct. On some occasions he indulges in the bar scene. These occasions have been known to become raucous. Like migraine-inducing raucous.
"'I'm on the 10th floor, with a perfect view of the Financial District,' he says. 'The whole thing is windows, so as soon as I walk in it's like: Yes. New York. I'm here.'"
Correct. He is in New York City. For now. It is not known what the floor-to-ceiling window situation is near the Mets' Double AA affiliate in Binghamton, but he may soon find out.
"He's having a great time, and he wants you to know it. '(Derek Jeter) is the model,' he says. 'I mean, first off, let's just look at the women he's dated. Obviously, he goes out — he's meeting these girls somewhere — but you never hear about it. That's where I want to be.'"
Matt Harvey has not cracked the code on Derek Jeter's secret to a quiet existence. In fact, this is only the first of many examples of ways in which Harvey is not like Derek Jeter. When people talk about Derek Jeter they say things like "consummate professional" and "lots of championships" and "first ballot Hall Of Famer." These are not phrases currently associated with Matt Harvey. Phrases currently associated with Matt Harvey are "I put myself in a bad place" and "thoracic outlet surgery".
"With two hours until Harvey has to be at Citi Field in Queens, he decides he has time for some quick shopping. Harvey strolls into the store and seeks out Gerry, a salesman who dresses most of the athletes that come through. 'We're flying out Thursday, going to Miami,' Harvey tells Gerry. 'Normally we wear a suit, but this week, Mets management switched it to some sort of white shirt. I want to go all white. Maybe, like, white linen? Freak everyone out a bit.' Harvey eyes a linen blazer with about a million buttons running along the seam and a funky, upturned collar – a baroque garment more befitting a general in Napoleon's army than a ballplayer. 'Think I can pull this off?' he asks.
Harvey's mind is troubled because the Mets want him to wear a white shirt on the plane to Miami. That's where Gerry comes in. Gerry isn't going to let Harvey screw this up. He's not going to let him buy white linen or some poncey French blazer. The relationship between Harvey and Gerry is priceless. Can it be long before Harvey and Gerry have their own buddy comedy?
"Gerry gently pivots Harvey away from the coat. 'Might be a bit much,' he says, delicately. 'But I think I've got just the thing for you.'"
Okay, this is great, great stuff. Pure magic. But are we completely sure we have time for this? Shouldn't Gerry hasten Harvey to Citi Field? Like, what if the BQE is backed up? He should probably worry about Thursday's flight later.
"New York offers countless ways to re-create such scenes, something Harvey learned soon after being drafted in 2010, when the team took him out for dinner at the STK steakhouse in the Meatpacking District. Before he knew it, it was four in the morning and the bar was announcing last call. "Amazing how easy that can happen here," says Harvey, joking that he chose being a pitcher because it provides more time off than other players get.
What We've Learned: Correct. Harvey does seem to feel strongly about his time off, last call in the Meatpackiing District and the like. These things do seem to occur rather easily in his life. Amazing is one word for this phenomenon. Or, Amazin’.
"'I have a 48-hour rule,' he says. 'No drinking two days before a start. But those other days? Yes, I'm gonna go out. If I was locked up in my house all week, I don't know what I'd be like on the baseball field.'"
He's going to go out. He doesn't want to be locked up. If he wanted to be locked up he could sequester himself in a McMansion in the suburbs. With no access to the Meatpacking District and no epic views and no Gerry. Bullshit.
"Gerry emerges with an outfit for Harvey to try on: tight white jeans, a collarless white button-down, glossy white oxfords, an off-white blazer. Harvey retreats into the dressing room, emerging moments later. He looks at himself in the mirror, momentarily unsure of the bold outfit, and then doubles down. 'Let's do it," he tells Gerry.'"
Fuck it, Gerry. Let's do this and be legends.
"Harvey looks sharp from his first pitch. The mellow meal, the shopping excursion, the text messages with the model throughout the day – it all kept his mind clear, free of worry, ready to dominate.
You wanna know who else texts with models? Derek Fucking Jeter. I mean, I assume.
"The night after his team's win against the Yankees, Harvey sits with seven buddies and a trio of svelte women with unplaceable accents in the back of a bar in the West Village: not the sort of swank conspicuous spot that he sometimes favors, but a dark sports bar that, in a twist of irony Harvey doesn't seem to notice, is decorated mainly with Yankees paraphernalia.
Svelte women, unplaceable accents, Yankees paraphernalia… could there be a presidential run in Harvey's future? I don't even want to think about how the eight dudes-three ladies thing plays out.
"While his regular crew includes Rangers players like Henrik Lundqvist and Brian Boyle, Harvey mostly hangs with finance and marketing guys in their twenties and thirties. 'Baseball is my job, and I love it,' Harvey says, sipping a vodka soda, 'But it can't be the only thing I've got going on.'"
Totally! Gotta have other things going on! And you gotta insist that the readership of a nationally distributed magazine knows as much!
"Still, one thing Harvey knows for certain: 'No matter what, New York is now my home,' he says, finishing the night's last drink. "I could buy a place now, but I've gotta wait for that $200 million contract. If I'm going to buy an apartment, it has to be the best apartment in the city.'"
With the year he's having, $200 million feels a tad ambitious as Harvey heads into free agency at the end of 2018. But if he's willing to compromise on the New York-or-bust portion of the agenda, there's little doubt this dude is going to eventually buy himself a truly baller apartment. They say the views in Binghamton are stunning.