Matt Harvey apologizes for missing game, 3-game suspension

ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In his first public comments since theNew York Metssuspended him for three games, pitcher Matt Harvey apologized for what transpired over the weekend.

"First off, as I just did with my teammates and all the coaches, I apologized for my actions and I do apologize for my actions," Harvey said in a brief opening statement on Tuesday. "Obviously, I'm extremely embarrassed by my actions."

Harvey was a no-show for Saturday's game after saying he was suffering from a migraine. According to the reports, Harvey's absence was noted Saturday afternoon and personnel were sent to his Manhattan apartment around 10 p.m. ET.

When he arrived at the stadium on Sunday for what would have been his turn in the rotation, Harvey was told he was suspended for three games, retroactive to Saturday.

On Tuesday, with his suspension over, Harvey owned up to what he did ahead of missing Saturday's game.

"Yes, I was out on Friday night, past curfew. I did play golf Saturday morning, and I put myself in a bad place to be ready to show up for a ballgame," Harvey said. "It is my responsibility, and I take full blame for that."

In a pair of unusually emotive news conferences, Harvey and Mets manager Terry Collins even hinted the onetime ace might have a problem with alcohol.

At the very least, they virtually acknowledged that a late-night lifestyle has pulled Harvey's priorities away from the game and impaired his pitching.

"There are things that I've realized in the last couple days that I need to be doing or should not be doing," Harvey said before New York hosted theSan Francisco Giants. "One of those that I should be doing is putting myself in a better place to perform physically and be accountable for my work, and that's something that I'm committing to."

Harvey (2-2, 5.14 ERA) said he wants to get past this episode. He is expected to return to the rotation for Friday's game at Milwaukee.

"I'm looking forward to getting everything back on track and helping this organization moving forward," Harvey said. "They have my word on that."

After Harvey spoke in the clubhouse, his teammates and Collins seemed ready to accept his apology and move forward.

"There's no reason why I wouldn't,'' Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson said. "It was genuine. It was heartfelt. He definitely thought it out and knew what he wanted to say. I think guys have spoken to him even before he said something today, and guys will continue to talk to him after today.''

Collins said he hopes the events of the past few days might be a wake-up call to help Harvey go in the right direction and make baseball his top priority.

"I think everybody deserves a second chance. What Matt said to me, he's going to get after it like he did in the past," Collins said. "I told him he needs to make baseball number one. When he did that, he was on top of the world, you know? This guy was the best pitcher in the game. He made that the priority. And when he makes that the priority again, he'll be back."

The star pitcher has help inside and outside the clubhouse, said Collins, who thinks Harvey will now use his strong support group.

"I don't think he thinks he has to do it by himself anymore," Collins said.

Asked directly if he thinks Harvey has an alcohol problem, Collins said: "I'm not qualified to answer that."

And his habits off the field?

"I didn't get into that stuff with him. I know that there's people who have, that he's discussed it with. They're professionals on that side of it," Collins said. "I think he needs to just refocus his energies towards being the best in the game again.''

Collins also revealed that former Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon, who now is with the Atlanta Braves, reached out to Harvey with a text message in recent days. When asked if the text was supportive of Harvey or more challenging in tone, Collins replied, "Both.''

"He's a special guy,'' Collins said of Colon.

Initial reports indicated Harvey planned to file a grievance with the Major League Baseball Players Association in response to his three-game suspension, but Harvey was noncommittal on the topic on Tuesday.

"That's the last thing in the last three days I've thought about,'' he said. "I've been thinking about the team more than anything.

"I've apologized for what I've done. My job is to move forward and do everything I can to help this team and organization get back on track.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Related Video