Mets fans’ salute to Matt Harvey deserves round of applause

Bravo to you.

To all of you.

To you, the 8,035 followers who got here to Citi Field Wednesday afternoon, who stood and cheered when Matt Harvey took the mound within the backside of the primary inning, who cheered even louder when Harvey got here to bat within the high of the second, who provided up one final ovation as he took the lengthy, lonely stroll within the backside of the fifth when the wheels spun off finally.

And to these of you who certainly would have been there, and certainly would have paid comparable tribute, if you happen to’d solely been allowed to be there.

Good for you, for remembering the nice instances. Good for you for shunting apart the recollections that aren’t frosted in fondness. Good for you. You brought a 32-year-old man to the brink of tears — grateful tears, uncooked emotion, grateful for this second, for this chance to stroll once more the place as soon as he was younger, and dominant, and bulletproof.

“What the fans gave me out there was pretty incredible,” Harvey would say later, after this 7-1 Mets victory was etched into the books. “I was holding back tears, I’m not going to lie about that. It reminded me of a lot of the good memories and was very special to me. It was something I’ll never forget.”

Harvey admitted he wasn’t fairly certain what the response is perhaps, as a result of he is aware of higher than anybody how badly it ended right here — not simply his efficiency, which was by no means fairly the identical after thoracic outlet surgical procedure in 2016, however his habits, and his immaturity, and his power petulance.

Here’s what he ought to have recognized about New York, although:

The folks right here have fun the nice greater than they’ll ever denigrate the dangerous. Grudges aren’t typically held right here. New York has an extended reminiscence, and is endlessly forgiving, and understands that generally you want to style the canvas a couple of instances earlier than you really perceive simply how good the nice instances are.

And while you’re prepared for reconciliation, New York is right here for you.

New York was there for Harvey on Wednesday afternoon, and will probably be for the period. Mets followers’ recollections will endlessly body the evening of April 19, 2013, when he moved them to chant “HARVEY’S BETTER!” at Stephen Strasburg. And the evening of July 16, 2013, when Harvey threw two clear innings within the All-Star Game. And the evening of April 14, 2015, when he beat the Phillies in entrance of a full home, his first sport at Citi Field again from Tommy John.

And, of course, the evening of Nov. 1, 2015, when he threw eight shutout innings on the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series, when he demanded the ball within the ninth inning and Citi Field almost went berserk backing him up — even when there was a merciless twist awaiting that narrative. All of these recollections occurred right here, at Citi Field. Harvey was the primary true curator of the Mets’ new baseball house. New York remembers.

“This,” he mentioned, “is a very special place to me.”

Matt Harvey was applauded by Mets fans on Wednesday.
Matt Harvey was applauded by Mets followers on Wednesday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Things had been by no means the identical for Harvey after Game 5. Not right here. Not in Cincinnati or Anaheim or Kansas City. Baseball threw a couple of haymakers at him. Life kicked him within the kneecaps. He has been humbled. And if he has really discovered a Second Act in Baltimore — keep in mind how good he was in opposition to the Yankees a couple of weeks in the past, in spite of everything — he’s earned that curtain name. Earned each second of it.

“Me getting in my own way, causing some of those problems,” Harvey mentioned, in a shocking second of self-reflection. “I feel for these fans, feel maybe I let them down.”

He added: “The last couple of years have been extremely humbling. I’ve learned from my mistakes, finally being healthy and trying to reinvent myself out there. It hasn’t been easy.”

And then: “I wish it could’ve ended differently.”

He wasn’t alone. Those 8,035 of us who saluted him three completely different instances, each one of them would change the script the final six years if they might. Every one would want for Harvey one other day because the Dark Knight, because the brightest baseball star within the largest baseball metropolis. In their coronary heart of hearts, he must be properly into his eighth full yr as a Met, perhaps approaching 150 profession wins, perhaps taking part in Koosman to Jacob deGrom’s Seaver.

Maybe taking part in the half of co-Seaver, if issues actually broke proper.

They didn’t. Harvey is 32 and clinging to his final shot within the bigs. Wednesday, New York was there for him, perhaps for the final time. New York needed to say thanks. New York needed him to know: No onerous emotions.

“Things happen,” Matt Harvey mentioned.

So do reconciliations. Bravo to you, New York, for making that occur. Bravo to Harvey for opening his coronary heart.

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