Matt Harvey makes his Citi Field return on Wednesday. Before I go any further, not a single person should let out a pre-game boo for Harvey. Pay some respect to the man with a cheer, clap it up or remain silent in your seat if you have some sort of grudge. When you give as much as Harvey did to us fans, you have to pay your respect.
You're lucky to get a seat at the moment with the capacity restrictions. Don't waste a ticket by booing Matt Harvey.
Look, it wasn't all good for Harvey during his tenure in Queens. We're all aware of how it ended. But, don't be so quick to forget the excitement and success he brought with him in the first chapter of his career. What Jacob deGrom is doing right now is more special than what Harvey ever accomplished... and yet the feeling was somehow more special on "Harvey Day" during his run.
I can't explain why that is exactly. Maybe it's because Harvey arrived at a time when fans were starved for success. We needed a new savior, and Harvey was poised to be that guy. Unlike deGrom, there was a New York bravado about Harvey. He had star looks, was featured on the front and back page of newspapers, dated supermodels, sat courtside at Knicks games, pumped up the crowd during Rangers playoff games and was a prominent figure in the NYC social scene. For a brief while, Harvey was the modern-day Joe Namath.
After that fateful Game 5 of the '15 World Series night, it all washed away. Overnight, everything changed. That doesn't change everything that happened before that though. Harvey brought the Mets back to credibility. Harvey showed flashes of dominance rarely seen. And most importantly, Harvey awoke the fan base like few others have ever been capable of.
We will always play the "what if" game with Harvey's career. Let's just save that for when his career is actually over. For now, he's pitching for the Orioles and is off to a solid start. Be happy for Harvey. Let's hope he's able to squeeze a few more good years out of his arm on days he's not pitching against us.
So, give it up for Harvey during warm-ups and when he first steps foot on the mound. After that, all bets are off for Harvey as a competitor. If he's mowing our boys down, let the boo birds fly. All is fair game at that point.
Just absolutely not until a pitch is thrown.
P.S.: If he's pitching well enough, how fun would it be to add Harvey at the trade deadline for a postseason run? There wouldn't be any chance he could talk himself back onto the mound late in a game these days...
P.P.S.: I prefer to have the rotation entirely healthy that my Harvey hypothetical remains hypothetical.