An Open Letter to Mets Fans from A Nationals Fan: Matt Harvey and Strasburg

Dear Mets Fans,

Do you get it? Do you get it now?

You know how you feel right now. That feeling you felt when you first heard that Matt Harvey tore his UCL and would probably need Tommy John Surgery. Well, Nationals fans know exactly how you feel. Exactly three years ago we watched Stephen Strasburg leave a game early due to forearm pain. The next day, we heard reports that Stephen was getting an MRI and then word leaked out that he needed Tommy John surgery. At first we were stunned, buy naively we held out hope that once the team made their statement it would somehow be better. It wasn’t better.

You see before Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg was the biggest thing in pitching. The Nationals were not a very good team. They were a pretty embarrassing team, but on every fifth day they had a rock star taking the mound. Every fifth day opposing teams would sell his jersey. Every fifth day fans would come out in droves. Does this sound familiar? It should; it is the story of the 2013 New York Mets. That type of magic was crushed for us then, as it is for you now.

I bring this up because the Nationals have taken a lot of criticism for the way they handled his recovery last year. The “national media” went crazy with stories about the teams plan to cap his innings pitched at around 160 for the year following his surgery. This was the same plan the team had used a year earlier with with Jordan Zimmermann and the one it has used with multiple pitchers since. The “national media” couldn’t believe that a team which was cruising towards the best record in baseball and hopefully a shot a the World Series would shutdown their “Ace” pitcher. Notice, I keep using the phrase “national media”, because the local media and the Nationals fans didn’t have the same reaction.

I have spent all year trying to figure out why we felt different than those outside DC. I finally figured it out, reading tweets from your fellow Mets fans trying to put into words how crushing this day is for you. It is that pain fans feel having such a promising player get snatched from them. It is the type of pain that you don’t want to feel again, and you will do what you can to avoid it. In the Nationals and Strasburg’s case it was sticking to a regimented non-emotional recovery plan. Many people in the media proposed plans to have him skip starts and take extra days off. The Nats were not messing around, they didn’t get cute, they made a plan an stuck to it. I know the Mets had plans for Harvey to pitch every sixth day to stretch out his season. You don’t have to worry about those plans anymore. He didn’t make it to the end of the year; if you are lucky he will make a few starts next September.

On this blog this year, we took on five national pundits over what I consider their uninformed and downright wrong opinions about the Nationals recovery plan for Stephen Strasburg last year. Take note of the one directed at the broadcast crew for your very own Mets, who got just about every fact wrong. An injury like a UCL tear to your star player like Harvey and Strasburg changes the way you think about injury and recovery. I hope you get it now. Maybe you have to go through it to get it, I don’t know.

Nats Fans know how you feel, we have been through it too. I wish I could tell you everything will work out, but I can’t. All we really know is pitchers come back strong from this surgery every year, and there is no reason Harvey can’t be another success story. I can only hope MLB will find it appropriate to set up Opening Day 2015. Live from CitiField Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg on National TV.

Related articles


3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Mets Fans from A Nationals Fan: Matt Harvey and Strasburg”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s