Thursday, September 18, 2014

6 comments Mike Lupica Encourages Matt Harvey to Come Sit on His Lap, For There Is a Lecture He Must Hear

The picture accompanying this article by Mike Lupica has a Photoshopped picture of Matt Harvey with a pacifier in his mouth. That about sums up the journalistic integrity of this column. I can see Lupica being irate at the fact there was no Photoshopped picture of Matt Harvey accompanying his article, so he runs around the newsroom---I'm just kidding, Mike Lupica believes himself to be above his co-workers so he would never lower himself to the level of being present in the newsroom---I can imagine Lupica writing an angry email about how his article is about to be posted in 20 MINUTES and there is NO PICTURE OF MATT HARVEY WITH THE ARTICLE? THIS ISN'T HOW JOURNALISM SHOULD BE DONE ON A DEADLINE! So Lupica gets his picture and writes about how Matt Harvey should trust the doctors and stop trying to work his way back to play for the Mets this year. Even though Derek Jeter would be canonized for doing the same thing, it's bad when someone the New York media doesn't like tries to work his way back from injury sooner than he should.

This isn't the first time the New York media has picked nits with Matt Harvey. Bob Klapisch interviewed Ron Darling about how Matt Harvey should not tempt the ladies with his sexiness. Of course Ron Darling was on the cover of a magazine showing off his sexiness when he played for the Mets, but that's not at all hypocrisy.

Anthony Rieber was angry that Matt Harvey flipped off the camera with his middle finger prior to his Tommy John surgery.

It's like the New York media takes non-stories around Matt Harvey and desperately tries to turn them into stories. Never one to miss out, Mike Lupica has joined the chorus of New York media members who nit-pick Matt Harvey. I imagine Lupica is sitting on the edge of his seat while he writes this column, disappointed he has no one to interrupt in order to help get his point across.

I know you are saying, Ben, what on Earth could Matt Harvey have done? Well, he is trying to use aggressive rehab to come back and pitch for the Mets this season. Quite frankly, that's unacceptable. Matt Harvey should not be risking his future to help the Mets this season, even though there seems to be nothing wrong with trying to come back and help the team.

One of these days, Matt Harvey needs to remember — and that probably means before he hurts his arm again — that his job is to be a star young baseball pitcher, not some sort of needy celebrity who acts as if he gets the bends when he is out of the spotlight for very long.

And this is coming from a sportswriter who has spent most of his career trying to be a celebrity who writes instead of a sportswriter, until he has slowly turned himself into a talentless shrill little man who prefers to lecture others on what they do wrong as he sits on the edge of his seat, imposing his viewpoint and will on anyone and everyone who will listen. It's funny to me that Mike Lupica would lecture someone about getting the bends if he is out of the spotlight for very long. Lupica craves the spotlight and you don't have to search hard to find examples of fellow sportswriters who simply don't like him and think he's an asshole. So if Mike Lupica were an athlete, he would probably be one of those athletes that Mike Lupica the sportswriter would lecture about growing up and being a team player in one of his columns. 

Understand something: The Mets need Harvey a lot more than he needs them, as long as he comes all the way back from Tommy John surgery and pitches for them the way Stephen Strasburg is now pitching for the Washington Nationals, a team in the NL East that treats the Mets like they’re a farm team.

Great, I understand that. Mike Lupica should understand something: If Matt Harvey took too long (as perceived by Mike Lupica of course...Lupica tells Matt Harvey to trust the doctors, but if Mike Lupica doesn't like the slow rehab progress Harvey is making then I'm sure Mike would question Harvey's motivation and the doctor(s) who suggested this slow rehab), then you know Mike Lupica would criticize Harvey for taking too long in his recovery. There is an appropriate time to come back from Tommy John surgery that only Mike Lupica is privy to. Coming back to help a team whose season is lost is not acceptable. Coming back slowly and not feeling 100% in late February is unacceptable. Matt Harvey MUST be 100% in November and feel great for Spring Training. There is no moving up or back this timetable that Dr. Mike Lupica has set for Matt Harvey. 

It is why the Mets, and that means ownership and general manager Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins, still have to be as careful handling Harvey right now as Harvey should be with a right arm that still could make him a couple of hundred million dollars before he is through.

Thank God that Mike Lupica is looking out for Matt Harvey. Every athlete needs a sportswriter telling him what to and not to do with his career and life. Of course, when it comes to telling others what they should or should not be doing, Mike Lupica is eager to take on this role. 

But he really needs to stop acting like a spoiled child, even if he believes — because he absolutely has that right — to think he knows more about his arm than anybody else except his doctors; and that it is his arm, not theirs.

Let's go through some Lupica logic here: 

-Matt Harvey needs to be careful with his arm, because it will help him earn millions of dollars in the future. 

-Matt Harvey should stop acting like a spoiled child for believing he knows more about his arm than anyone else except his doctors. 

-Matt Harvey has the right to believe he knows more about his arm than anyone else except his doctors. 

-It is Matt Harvey's arm, so he has the right to do what he wants with it. 

-Matt Harvey should make a decision based on what anybody else except he and his doctors think is the right decision for his arm. 

-Matt Harvey is a spoiled child for following an aggressive rehab schedule his doctors don't seem to be against and instead should be following what anybody else thinks is the right decision for his arm. 

So Matt Harvey has the right to do what he wants with his arm, except he doesn't have the right in Mike Lupica's opinion, and Lupica believes he is acting like a spoiled child for exercising that right that Mike Lupica believes he has. 

maybe the kid thinks he knows more than the doctors, too.


But one of these days he really does need to get it through his head that his job, even rehabbing from surgery, is baseball pitcher, and not celebrity.

I don't understand this "celebrity" thing. I feel like Lupica has latched on to the idea Harvey wants to be a celebrity and he refuses to give up on this idea, even when it isn't relevant. Harvey is trying to come back and pitch one inning during the 2014 season. This goal has seemingly nothing to do with being a celebrity.

Maybe some of this is our fault, because it seems in a very short period of time, we’ve convinced Harvey that we are hanging on his every word, and his next move, even when he isn’t pitching for the Mets.

This is sort of like how Mike Lupica has become convinced the world is hanging on every word he says and writes? Or is it different in that Lupica has such a huge ego, the fact he became successful in his career path only served to further prove to Lupica the truth of his own greatness? 

I understand that there are Mets fans that will feel better about everything, about Matt Harvey and his future and the future of the Mets and next season, if he does get back on the mound this season.

I realize Lupica is so far up his own butt that he didn't think about this, but maybe Matt Harvey will feel better getting back on the mound this year? Could this not be about celebrity, but about Harvey making himself feel better about his rehab?

There is just no point to this. If you are a Mets fan, do you really need to hear that Harvey is throwing the ball 90 miles per hour these days, and putting it where he wants to, which means he is throwing for real?

Yes, as a Mets fan I would absolutely need to hear this. Hearing Harvey is throwing the ball well and where he wants to would allow me to know as a Mets fan that the franchise pitcher seems to be making a complete comeback from major elbow surgery. The fact Mike Lupica can't understand why Mets fans are interested in knowing how Matt Harvey is throwing the baseball only serves to show just how out of touch he is with the very same fans who read his columns and Lupica claims to understand. 

Maybe if he could come riding over the hill like the First Army in a real division race, and a real wild-card race, and be the hero of September, you could start to wrap your mind around him moving up the timetable of his return.

So it is only worth coming back and pitching if there is something to pitch for? I can understand this point of view, but the issue is that Harvey isn't wanting to pitch 100 innings, he wants to pitch a few innings and prove to himself that he can pitch. The Mets are within their right to not allow this, but it doesn't make Harvey a spoiled child for requesting it. 

The Mets aren’t going to get a wild-card, either. So we are talking about 2015 already. Maybe the conversation has really been about 2015 since Harvey got hurt last summer.

The conversation was about 2015 even if Harvey was healthy all season. He would not have made such a massive difference in the Mets' record that they would have made the playoffs with him being healthy. 

Give him all benefits of the doubt here. Harvey, in so many ways, feels like Mets fans, the ones who still care and the ones who still come to Citi Field:

Wait, so Mike Lupica writes a column calling Matt Harvey a "spoiled child," features a Photoshopped picture of Harvey with a pacifier in his mouth, and states Harvey should grow up, but then he writes that Harvey should be given "all benefits of the doubt here." This makes not of sense. You can't bash the guy, say Harvey has a right to do what he wants, bash Harvey for exercising this right, and then say Harvey should get the benefit of the doubt. If anyone isn't giving Harvey the benefit of the doubt, it is Mike Lupica. Of course Lupica is the lecturer, not the lecturee. That's not how his ego works. 

There is a baseball season going on and he doesn’t want to sit the whole thing out. That is why he pretty much does everything besides hire a skywriter to tell the world he is fired up and ready to go.

Right, and you have called him a "spoiled child" for not wanting to sit the baseball season out. Find a mirror, look in it and see the person looking back at you. THAT is the person criticizing Matt Harvey for wanting to come back this season. Yell at him. 

But Terry Collins, who may or may not get to manage Harvey next season, is absolutely right to tell Harvey to back off. It is a polite way of telling the kid to shut up and pitch. Next season.

The Mets are within their right to say this to Harvey. 

And to get over himself while this season plays out.

Yes, Harvey should get over himself by exercising his right to know what's best for his arm and for attempting to come back and pitch this season. Harvey shouldn't try to be a celebrity by moving up the timetable for his rehab and trying to pitch this season. Mike Lupica hates people who try to compete with him for celebrity in the New York sports world. 
From this same article: 

Next Thursday night on Randall’s Island, I will be the chair umpire for a doubles match between the team of John McEnroe and Henrik Lundqvist and Novak Djokovic and actor Edward Norton to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project.

Matt Harvey, THAT is how you become a celebrity. Name-drop athletes and actors in a rambling column where you call out a 25 year old from the safety of a computer for being a spoiled child and wanna-be celebrity by trying an aggressive rehab approach in order to re-join his team as soon as possible.


Chris said...

It's funny that Lupica brings up Strasburg because anyone from the DC area remembers the intense scrutiny of how the team handled Strasburg after the surgery with the innings limit they put on him. I'm not sure how Lupica would have reacted to such a decision had Strasburg been in a Yankee or Met uniform. Although I get the feeling he would have leaned forward in his chair and complained about it.

I read an article that posed the idea that part of the reason Strasburg hasn't been the same lights out pitcher he used to be is because of the innings limit. I don't know that I necessarily follow that line of thinking but as a Nats fan I'm just thankful our pitching is strong enough that Strasburg doesn't have to be the main guy otherwise things might be worse.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, Strasburg hit 200 innings this year didn't he? I don't know if that is proof the innings limit worked or not. I'm pretty torn on innings limits, but Lupica would have freaked the hell out if that had happened when the Mets or Yankees were in a playoff race. It would have been ugly.

Lupica definitely would have leaned forward and gotten angry about it. I am confused as to why players who want to come back and pitch for their team are treated like Lupica treats Harvey. It may not be smart medically, but it shows dedication to the team. Apparently that dedication is only supposed to be shown in certain circumstances.

Chris said...

Looking at the stats Ben he just hit 202 innings. I think it may be circumstantial but I think that if he had gone back full speed from surgery too soon I don't know that he would have the endurance in his arm to go 200 innings.

I'll never understand it either. Since I found the blog and having read the various bad sportswriting on here I feel like I have a better understanding of why some athletes are abrasive with the media or avoid them entirely. I'm sure some of these guys feel that they can't ever win with guys like Lupica taking shots at them. It sounds very cliche but if you have something to say at least say it to someone's face. It's easy for Lupica to bash from the comfort of a column in the newspaper, and he certainly doesn't feel as though he needs to justify his opinion. And Matt Harvey is probably an easy target since he probably won't respond to it because Matt Harvey doesn't seem like he has the personality that would get offended or even really care what Lupica thinks of him

Dana Matherton said...

LUPICA is masochistic posting as an aging pretty sadist. Who else would write in a manner so arrogantly that he or she Knows they are gonna get thrashed,l like th gay run me by fax crew book time line Dowd me listening to Barry Manilow mainly all day. This part of your post was very light yet dad ii its own clarity (sorry),:"...This is sort of like how Mike Lupica has become convinced the world is hanging on every word he says and writes..."

Dana Matherton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I probably wouldn't be nice to the media either. I like how Jeter manipulates the media. He says nothing and they place characteristics on him that they want him to have. He doesn't screw up and they love him b/c he says nothing.

Dana, I think Lupica likes getting thrashed. It's probably an attention thing.