Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Letter to Matt Harvey

Photo from
So this week, Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey decided that he would not have Tommy John surgery and instead try a six to eight week throwing program before revisiting this possibility.

Read the story on, I'll wait.

No, seriously, I don't want to waste too much time re-telling the story.

Okay, you're done?

Welcome back.

Let's get on with it.

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for everything you have done in a Mets uniform. You are truly amazing and over these past fourteen months. You are the best pitcher I have ever watched in blue and orange. More dominant than 2008 Johan Santana and 2005 Pedro Martinez. Assuming health, I am excited to watch you hurl 97 mile per hour heat at hopeless batters for the next ten years, then watch you switch seamlessly into a finesse pitcher, utilizing your curve, slider and changeup more often while maintaining a solid 92 on your fastball for the next eight years.

Assuming health are the key words.

Just have the surgery Matt. There's no need to risk the rest of your career when you're only 24 and still making $499,000 this year. By the time you're 30, what will that number be? It very well could be $20 million, as long as you keep doing what you're doing now and stay on the field.

The ability to pitch next season simply is not worth the risk of losing your ability to pitch over the next twenty years of your life.

Yes, I know that you badly want to contribute to the Mets and give them the best chance of contending. Here's the thing, even with you, they aren't going anywhere next year. I covered this when you were first sidelined, and I don't need to repeat myself, just check out this post.

Just think, you complete this throwing program, and you feel fine. You get thrown back out there to start 2014 and you light the world on fire like you are capable of doing.

Then suddenly, around June, your average fastball velocity dips to 92. You feel some discomfort in your elbow, right where you are feeling it now. You go for an MRI.

Team doctor says you have a fully torn UCL. You have a meeting with Sandy Alderson, the team doctor, and whoever they get to replace Clueless Collins as manager. Now you have to get Tommy John surgery, and will probably be out until the beginning of the 2016 season if the Mets decide to play it safe. Not only that, there could be permanent damage to your elbow.

So now, not only will you miss half of 2014, and all of 2015, a season in which I think the Mets finally will have a chance to contend, you may have just screwed up the rest of your career.

Obviously this situation is very hypothetical, but too possible for my liking.

I also realize that every injury is different, and if Dr. James Andrews deems it mild enough to heal itself without surgery, I can't argue.

But here's the thing, Tommy John surgery has such a high success rate that in a situation like this, I'd prefer you to not risk anything while rehabbing, have the surgery, and be fully prepared for 2015.

Please, just do it. For your career, for the Mets, and for the health of all Mets fans out there. Because trust me, if you blow out your arm, the demand for nooses in the New York metropolitan area will skyrocket.

Concerned Mets Fanatic, 

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