Matt Harvey goes down with an elbow injury and I’m at a loss for words.
It’s something that can happen anywhere in any sport on the planet. An athlete suffers an injury and is lost for his team. Sometimes that impact is felt more severely. Sometimes the team he’s playing for is strong enough to replace him or her adequately. But when news broke yesterday that Matt Harvey has suffered a partial tear of his UCL, it felt like the world was coming to an end.
Matt Harvey represented hope. Hope for an entire fan base, but also for a sport. He was one – if not THE – most spectacular pitcher this season. And now he’s gone. Only for the moment, but he’s gone.
I started following the Mets when I reaquianted myself with baseball in 2007. I watched the last game of the season when everything fell apart. I endured the same a year later. And slowly I fell in love with the club. I can’t really say what made me root for the Mets, but one thing surely has to be the way how the fan base lives and dies with this franchise. How they endure the lows and celebrate the highs. And still know how fragile things can be. How the try to keep the faith while constantly being tortured and disappointed by their beloved ballclub. Even while watching from afar (afar being Germany) it was and still is a lot of fun to follow the team. And the fans. They are a very special breed. (and they have a great sense of humour…)
It was fascinating to see how the news spread yesterday. You heard he went to the hospital? Just precautionary. Nothing serious. But they’re saying he’s there because o his elbow. Wait, what? A strain? A tear? UCL? You. Got. To. Be Kidding. Me. Not only in Mets land. But in all of baseball.
Let’s face it, we almost certainly won’t see Harvey back on the mound until 2015. Which is terrible. Because all the hope this year had generated suddenly seems to be gone. It’s still there, but it’s far more distant than it used to be. Heck, even Gary, Keith and Ron sounded like they were reading an obituary while they were on the air.
And it’s almost tearjerking when you read a story like this one. Hey, I only joined the ride 6 years ago, but this even gets to me. I feel terrible for the people I know who support the team and who had to go through Beltran taking the strike looking in 2006. Terrible.
Watching Harvey pitch was fun. Exciting. Thrilling. It’s special if a pitcher takes the mound and you expect him to throw a great game every time he does so. Harvey is spectacular. His starts had so many wow-moments that left you sitting in front of the screen with your mouth wide open, because you could not believe what you just saw.
But you can’t help it. So you have to ask yourself, what happens next? Well, there’s Wheeler. And Niese. And Gee. And maybe Montero and Syndergaard. There’s d’Arnaud. There’s Lagares. There is something to believe in. And reason to wait for Harvey to return. I just hope – and this is just me – that the organization doesn’t do anything rash and throws money at someone only to be stuck with yet another horrible contract.
It was great to see Wheeler throw like he did after the news broke. He provided a ray of light in a sea of darkness.
Hope. Hope is something nobody can take away from you. Hope is something you can hold on to. It’s the only thing you have. Right now. If you’re a Mets fan. Hope.