Curt Schilling went off a couple of weeks ago about how Bobby Valentine wasn’t the right fit for the Red Sox. That caused Josh Beckett to slam Schilling. And now Bobby V. himself has taken to WEEI radio and has taken a shot at Schilling:
“I never saw them, I heard about them and I basically think it’s irrelevant,” Valentine said. “Because it’s something about something he’s knows nothing about, obviously. He never played for me, he’s never been in uniform for me and he hasn’t been in the clubhouse during the spring. … Don’t make stuff up.”
Valentine then added that he thought Schilling was trying to stick up for Terry Francona because “he’s Tito’s guy.”
Two thoughts: First, it’s a lot of fun to see people stick it to Curt Schilling. Second: this is one of those instances, however, where if Valentine says nothing or mouths empty cliches, it all dies. By saying something interesting, however, it ensures the “I didn’t make anything up” response from Schilling or some other kind of perpetuation of this non-story.
So, yes, you said your peace, Bobby, but you might not be doing a good job to defuse controversy. And the whole reason you have this job is because there was too much controversy floating around.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.