How Keith Hernandez quietly tried to help Matt Harvey
Even Matt Harvey’s agent thought he was beyond saving.
In an appearance on WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” Wednesday morning, Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez recalled a conversation with Scott Boras — Harvey’s agent — in which Hernandez expressed concern for Harvey’s behavior and Boras said there was nothing he could do to stop it.
“I called Scott, I said, ‘Scott, you gotta pull the reins on this guy, because he’s gonna make it tough on himself,’ ” said Hernandez, who had Boras as an agent at the end of his career.
“He goes, ‘Keith, I can’t, he’s gonna do — he’s his own guy — he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do.'”
It’s unclear when that call with Boras took place, but the former first baseman’s feelings toward the 29-year-old were obvious now that he was dealt by the Mets to the Reds last week after refusing a minor-league assignment.
“He made a lot of enemies,” Hernandez said. “He was confrontational with Sandy — with Sandy Alderson. They had a tough relationship. Matt was arrogant and, you know what, you meet the same people on the way up, you meet ’em on the way down, too.”
Harvey’s fall from grace was fast and furious. After rebounding from Tommy John surgery and helping spearhead the team’s pennant-winning run in 2015, his ERA rose from 2.71 to 4.86 in 2016, then 6.70 in 2017. All the while, Harvey was dealing with injury (thoracic outlet syndrome) and making headlines for his exploits off the field. That culminated in last week’s trade to Cincinnati. After throwing four shutout innings in his Reds debut, Harvey will make his second start with the team Wednesday afternoon.
“You’ve gotta perform at a certain level, the highest level if you’re gonna do the things that Matt did and I think he put the cart before the horse,” said Hernandez, who is on a whirlwind tour to promote his book, “I’m Keith Hernandez.”
“I think he wanted to be the next Joe Namath.”