Matt Harvey’s downfall less of a mystery with career likely over


As soon as extra this week we had been visited by a troubling reminder of how fragile fame might be, how the temptations of a giant league life could make careers — and lives — go out of the blue sideways. 

Matt Harvey wasn’t on trial in Texas this week. That was Eric Kay, previously the Angels’ communications director, and it took a jury of Kay’s friends about 35 seconds to return a responsible verdict in his position within the loss of life of pitcher Tyler Skaggs in 2019. 

However Harvey’s testimony was telling, each in serving to convict Kay and in offering one thing of an evidence and a again story for one of many nice falls New York has seen in an extended whereas. 

There was a time when a narrative like Harvey’s was as common part of the sports activities part as field scores and betting traces, and New York was proper in the course of all of it. That was the Eighties, and the checklist of high-profile athletes who succumbed to cocaine (the drug one other ex-Met named Keith Hernandez termed “a satan on this earth” throughout one other drug trial, that one in Pittsburgh in September 1985) appeared countless. 

Hernandez. Doc Gooden. Darryl Strawberry. Micheal Ray Richardson. Lawrence Taylor. It was an countless parade some years. 

Taken collectively, they inform a narrative of decadence from a decade outlined by it, and likewise an countless string of “what-if” questions. Hernandez was capable of get better from an habit that threatened to derail his profession. Taylor was capable of energy via it. There have been others who weren’t almost as lucky. That’s the devastating energy of habit. 

Then, it really appeared as if sports activities had moved fully past this. Steroids seized the second, and the deeper all of us bought on the tales of performance-enhancing medication, the extra the times of cocaine posing as a legit menace to sports activities appeared nearly quaint, a slice of yesterday. Perhaps we must always have recognized higher than that. 

And there was Harvey this week, copping to cocaine use, admitting that it might properly have been a significant factor in him falling from the heights of his Darkish Knight fame in 2013 and 2015 to the depths of his latter-career standing as a journeyman tomato can. 

Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey’s demise was a reminder of how fragile stardom might be.
Charles Wenzelberg, Anthony J. Causi, Paul J. Bereswill

We don’t get a full image of what occurs, after all, however we are able to definitely begin to join dots. The day Harvey didn’t present up for a postseason exercise. The erratic conduct. The time he wound up suspended for not displaying up for work. 

And most compelling of all: His puzzling incapacity to get main league hitters out, beginning in 2016. 

Few athletes have captured New York’s creativeness as out of the blue and as fully as Harvey did in 2013. He was on the duvet of Sports activities Illustrated, he was the beginning pitcher within the All-Star Recreation, he was a pure doing TV spots. He bought damage, went away, rehabbed, and got here again an excellent larger phenomenon in 2015. His return to Citi Discipline was one among that stadium’s first really electrical moments. His refusal to surrender the ball within the ninth inning of Recreation 5 of the World Sequence grew to become an immediately legendary second, even for those who thought he was mistaken to do it. 

That was simply seven years in the past. Lots can change in sports activities in seven years. However Harvey going from the mound at Citi that evening to the witness stand in Fort Value this week … it looks like quite a bit longer than that. That’s as a result of the autumn was so steep, and the results so huge. 

There had been discuss in Baltimore that the Orioles may deliver again Harvey this 12 months, after he led the workforce in begins final 12 months. Somebody has all the time wished to imagine in that proper arm. Now, Harvey faces the opportunity of an extended suspension. The chances are good that his profession is formally over. 

Another time, the temptations of massive league life have claimed one other sufferer. Another time, we have now been reminded simply how fleeting it may all be.

Vac’s Whacks

Nicely, it’s positive good to see that the Johnnies have determined to hitch to the school basketball season, and never a second too quickly. 

The St. John's bench celebrates during its rout of Butler.
The St. John’s bench celebrates throughout its rout of Butler.
Robert Sabo

And since we’re on the topic: It doesn’t matter what occurs from right here, the little story Steve Pikiell and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are authoring is likely one of the nice basketball tales we’ve seen round right here. 


When neither aspect of the baseball struggle can stand to be in the identical room with the opposite aspect for longer than your common sitcom episode, I’m not able to waste any vitality hoping for good issues to occur. 


Hurry again quickly, “Ozark.”

Whack Again at Vac

George Corchia: Reruns of “Seinfeld” on Ch. 11 did higher rankings than the Beijing Olympics. 

Vac: I’m fairly positive a yearlong model of the “Yuletide Log” would have, too. 


Michael Bruno: Skilled Soccer: Excellent. March Insanity: Riveting. NBA playoffs: Compelling. MLB/gamers union: Greed. They might care much less about their followers. Simply wait, after they lastly open up, many gamers will present up with hamstring points. 

Vac: I concern either side have treasured little understanding how a lot gasoline they pour over themselves every single day that passes with out a deal. 


@KarlSemkow: You can not blame this on Tom Thibodeau. Look what he’s been given to work with. There are “possibly” two gamers on this workforce which can be valued by the opposite golf equipment. 

Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau
Jason Szenes

@MikeVacc: One factor I do know for positive: Based mostly on the reactions of Knicks followers, a Rose/Thibodeau ticket would have a tough time being elected to workplace proper now. 


Kenneth Meltsner: And the Elvis Patterson Award goes to … Within the phrases of the late John Lennon: “And now Eli Apple’s gonna do his factor … ALL OVER YA!” 

Vac: That positive did look, let’s assume, acquainted.

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