Something strange is happening in the Mets’ clubhouse. The team suspended right-hander Matt Harvey for three days without pay, citing a violation of “team rules.” The specific violations in question were not revealed by the Mets, who refused to disclose any details pertaining to the suspension after talking to reporters on Sunday.
The ban took effect on Saturday and will keep Harvey sidelined through Monday, causing him to miss a scheduled start on Sunday afternoon. The Mets shifted Noah Syndergaard to the 60-day disabled list to clear roster space for left-hander Adam Wilk, who will assume Harvey’s spot on the mound to close out the series against the Marlins.
According to comments made by manager Terry Collins, Harvey’s suspension was something the team had been bracing for since Saturday (via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo). Mets’ outfielder Jay Bruce addressed the decision during pregame interviews, but could not reveal specific details, saying only that the team was pulling for Harvey’s quick return to the mound.
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.