NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mets star Matt Harvey says team management has no right to judge his personal life as long as he performs on the mound.
Asked during an ESPN profile about the Wilpon family and whether he thinks they want him to buy a house in the Connecticut suburbs, get a station wagon and get married, Harvey said: “I have one father, basically.”
“I think if I win, I’ll be fine,” he explained. “As long as I’m winning and doing my job and not getting arrested. I’m not doing drugs. I’m not doing anything like that. I’m here to win. I’m here to play, and who I hang out with is my choice.”
ESPN said Mets owner Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff, the team’s chief operating officer, declined to be interviewed for the broadcast, “Matt Harvey: The Dark Knight Rises.” Harvey’s parents attended a screening in New York on Thursday night, and the show airs starting Saturday on the network’s “E:60” newsmagazine.
“He’s his own man, and he’s always been that way,” his father, Ed Harvey, told Newsday. “Everyone goes through trials, and he went through a few, but it seems like he’s coming out with flying colors. I think he’s handling everything well.”
Harvey missed the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery and is set to make his regular-season return next week at Washington. Since his big league debut in 2012, he has been seen at New York restaurants, stores and sporting events. ESPN recorded him shopping for clothes.
Harvey said the press has depicted an inaccurate image.
“From the things I’ve read, I think I’ve been portrayed in kind of a way that makes me look like I don’t put effort into winning. I think that’s completely the wrong portrayal of the person that I am,” he said. “When people are getting on me for being at Ranger game at 7 o’clock at night, they don’t see what I’ve done between yoga, Pilates, workout, thrown, ran, done all of my work by 5 o’clock, ate, and then went to the game. Nobody’s seeing that. Nobody’s commenting on that.”
Harvey, who grew up a Yankees fan in Connecticut, was criticized by some for attending Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium last September.
“As a child, I was a fan of the way that he played baseball,” Harvey said. “I didn’t go to the game as a fan of the Yankees. I didn’t go cheering on Derek Jeter. I went to pay the man respect who did so much for baseball and represented New York in such a great way.”
Mets captain David Wright appears on the broadcast and says: “To each their own. That probably wouldn’t have been the choice that personally I make.”
Harvey said he “completely” understands why Mets fans might be concerned about his attending a Yankees game.
“I definitely see that side of it,” he said, as quoted by Newsday. “But the other side is that I have bled in a Mets uniform. I’ve definitely sweated in a Mets uniform and that’s my life. Right now, that’s who I play for.”
Ed Harvey called the profile “an awesome presentation.” His son turned 26 last week, and he understands Matt’s desire to experience New York.
“He’s a young kid. He’s got some money, he’s living in Manhattan, arguably the best city in the world,” Ed Harvey said after the screening. “I think he’s doing things a normal 25-year-old would do.”
The pitcher is eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.
“I think the fans really like him. They want him to stay,” Ed Harvey said. “But then there’s a financial part, the contract part, that I don’t really know that much about.”
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