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Some on the Mets beat are upset Matt Harvey didn’t want to answer questions

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Struggling Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was recently moved from the rotation to the bullpen and his 2018 debut as a reliever did not go well on Tuesday. The embattled right-hander now owns a 5.87 ERA on the season. As MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo noted, Harvey did not speak to reporters after Tuesday’s game.

Harvey also refused to speak to reporters on Wednesday before the Mets’ game in St. Louis against the Cardinals:

Sports reporters don’t like it when players don’t want to answer questions because it makes their jobs slightly more difficult. Unfortunately, some of these writers take their annoyance out on the player. Here’s how DiComo responded to a reader:

If he’s having a bad day, for whatever reason, he’s allowed to set his own boundaries and pass up speaking to reporters or simply offer a brief “no comment.” Even DiComo admits that if Harvey were to fake his way through an interview (“spout a few cliches”), he wouldn’t get any truly useful quotes or information. A player forced to interact with the media might also handle it the way Marshawn Lynch did on Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLIX, repeatedly saying, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” rather than offer any valuable insight. Respecting Harvey’s wishes, rather than pestering him for a useless quote, might yield better quotes later on. This is a two-way street. Harvey was/is hostile, but so too is DiComo and anyone else who feels he’s owed an interview.

DiComo also wrote this to a reader:

If Harvey is able to turn things around, his prospective suitors won’t care whether or not he talked to reporters on April 24-25. No one will view him as “unprofessional” if he can be effective with his mid-90’s fastball. Sports journalists created the “unprofessional” angle to pressure athletes into talking to them. This can be undone as easily as it was created.

Harvey absolutely should not have been rude to DiComo and anyone else looking to talk to him as part of their job responsibilities. Keep in mind, however, that when people repeatedly refuse to respect your boundaries, you have to get more emphatic until you’re heard. The ultimate solution here is to simply be more understanding of athletes — and people in general — who are going through a rough patch and don’t want to be around/talk to people. We’ve all had plenty of days like that.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.