What do you suppose Matt Harvey was thinking about as he trekked from the clubhouse to the bullpen? Probably wasn’t something like “This is what I need. This will help me.”
In fact, he probably wasn’t thinking anything at all.
What do athletes think about when they’re not pitching? Or actually, what do athletes think about after they’ve just been told they are no longer a starting pitcher and now must sit in a small box at the other side of the stadium and may or may not be called on that night to pitch, most likely in a situation in which they are not a factor in the outcome of the game?
Probably nothing. But what do they look like in that second scenario?
Simon & Garfunkel has already been referenced, so I’ll save that one.
Instead I’ll call your attention to this “JIFF”, which is from The Graduate, the movie which Simon & Garfunkel soundtracked, and which the song “Sound of Silence” is prominently featured.
Side note – never understood why that movie uses the same like 2 or 3 songs through the whole thing. It was one of the first films to use almost all pop music on its soundtrack, so I guess I gotta cut it some slack. But it’s like Mike Nichols was in the shower while they cut together the second half of that movie.
“Hey we need some music here. What can we put in?”
“Mike’s not here. Just put in Scarborough Fair again.”
That pic of Dustin Hoffman gives me such Matt Harvey vibes now. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch The Graduate again without thinking of this.
This whole team gives me a Graduate/Simon & Garfunkel vibe for some reason this year. Like a kind of wistful, autumnal gentleness. A quiet intelligence. Books and smarts. Probably because it is in direct comparison with the previous teams, which always seemed to be run on the fly. Oh Terry. Papa Elf. Bless him.
In summation, Harvey is fake emo. Harvey wishes he is emo. He always wishes he is something. He’s always been this way. Even in 2013. He was craving that Dark Knight thing. He put it over his goddamn locker.
Problem is Harvey has the wrong kind of self awareness. It’s not really self-awareness at all. He’s aware only of what people think of him, or really, what he believes people think of him.
We all have this. Some have it more than others.
It’s sort of disappointing to see it. Simply put, I thought he was better than this. But I’m sure we all want our athletes to be better than us. That’s why they’re on that field under the lights. When an athlete shows signs of being just like us, the dreaded us, we get disappointed. Kind of pissed. Angry at the player. People don’t come out and say it, but it’s underneath everything they say: How could you? How could you have feelings? How could you let those feelings affect your behavior? What’s wrong with you?
We used to love Bartolo Colon because we thought he was us. Beer-belly and all. But Bartolo wasn’t us. Bartolo had a peaceful zen-shine to him. A razor-sharp, mellow-yellow aura that most of us only dream of having in our everyday lives.
Matt Harvey is us.