“I expressed that seven months in Port St. Lucie is a long time,” he said. “For me, I strongly felt that my best opportunity, and my motivation to come back quicker, stronger, work harder would be to be with the teammates. That’s kind of what I have always said. I have worked so hard to get to the big leagues and be with this team, it just felt like all of a sudden I was shooed to the back.”
Why does he say that?
“It’s just the fact that I have been not allowed to talk to anybody, and that every tweet or Instagram I send is, do not write,”
Harvey said. “My locker -- me and (Jeremy Hefner, also rehabbing) was basically in a closet. I didn’t think that was right. I don’t know exactly who was in charge of the situation. [“That was a decision made by clubhouse personnel,” GM Sandy Alderson later told me].
“I have worked so hard to get to the point where I was, and all of a sudden I get hurt, and it’s ‘you’ve got to stay in Florida,’” Harvey said. “‘You’ve got to disappear from New York, you’ve got to do this.’ I took pride in living in New York, and being a New Yorker. I live there all year round. It’s a place I love being.”
To be clear: This stuff was said in the morning. In a moment, you’ll see why that’s an important distinction.
He continued, impassioned: “I love going to the ballpark every day. I love watching. I love being the first guy in the dugout when we have a home game, and giving guys high five every time they come off the field. I take pride in that.
And with that, I think being a good teammate is part of being a leader, and that’s how I’d like to see myself.”
About seven minutes into our conversation, Harvey and I noticed Mets PR man Jay Horwitz standing in front of us, glaring.
“He’s alright, Jay,” Harvey said. “Jay, he’s alright.”
“What?” I said to Horwitz.
“I’ll talk to you later,” Horwitz said to me.
“OK,” I said, but Horwitz did not move.
“He’s good, Jay,” Harvey said again. “He’s good. If somebody at the top needs to talk, I’ll talk to him.”
“You’re causing me some problems,” Horwitz said to me.
“OK,” I said, then turned back to Harvey.
“Are you writing something?” Horwitz said. “Can I --”
“Jay,” Harvey said. “If somebody needs to talk to the Players’ Association, I have a right to have him writing about me.”