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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Traffic probably wasn’t reason Matt Harvey missed Mets workout

Matt Harvey

New York Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey missed a mandatory team workout on Monday, and it is highly unlikely that traffic had much — if anything — to do with it.

When reports began surfacing that Harvey was not on the field with the rest of his teammates, it quickly became clear that the 26-year-old’s absence was not excused. Mets manager Terry Collins said Harvey had told him he got stuck in traffic in the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, and Collins told him to turn around and head back home. Harvey showed up anyway and briefly addressed reporters, admitting that he “screwed up.”

Not surprisingly, the traffic story doesn’t add up. As Marc Carig of Newsday notes, it was roughly 11:45 a.m. when Collins was informed that Harvey was “stuck in traffic.” Harvey ended up getting to the ballpark after 2 p.m. — more than two hours later. And when he arrived, he apologized to Collins and said he lost track of time.

“He says, ‘I messed up. I was doing this and that, I looked up and it was 1 o’clock. I’m sorry. I understand it looked bad,'” Collins told Carig. “I said, ‘Matt, the timing’s terrible. You’re OK. Listen, we’re going to fine you. Obviously, we’ll take care of that. You’ve got to talk to your teammates, and you’ve got to talk to the press, tell them that you messed up. So, he did. It’s over. Done. End of story. Still pitching Game 3.”

Collins added that the incident was “minor” and that it is being blown out of proportion by the media. That may be true, but the Mets are about to embark on their first postseason run since 2006. Fans don’t want to hear that one of their most important players made a mistake we all made freshman year of high school.

As for the traffic excuse, it almost certainly wouldn’t take over two hours to get to the ballpark even if it was slow going for Harvey. One reporter took the liberty of firing up Google Maps to show the traffic — or lack thereof — in the area Tuesday afternoon.

Collins may not want the media to make a big deal out of Harvey’s absence, but Mets captain David Wright certainly didn’t go out of his way to back his teammate.

“I’m concerned about the guys that are here and the guys that are here had a great workout,” Wright said. “You’ll have to talk to Matt about that, but we’re rolling, we’re clicking. We had, again, guys that came in today, took care of business, did what they needed to do to prepare for Friday … I thought it was a good workout. You can only worry about what you can control. We had everybody else here.”

Just when it looked like the innings limit drama was over and Harvey had buried the hatchet with Collins after they shared this conversation, we have more drama in Queens. Hopefully everyone learned a valuable lesson.

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