By: Randy Nieves

Reserving the Right to Boo Matt Harvey


I love baseball. I love the Mets. I am from New York. I’ve woken up in mansions belonging to good friends and fallen asleep on side-streets because I had nowhere else to go. I understand that life comes with its ups and its downs and if I found reasons to move forward from some of the tougher experiences in life, it is in pursuit of the highs that I hope will one day make all those lows worth the pain of those experiences.

I expect the same from other people in life. I think of baseball as more than just some game. It is something I have an emotional investment in as real as any family member, any friend and any woman I have ever loved. At best, it is my belief that all we can do in life when it comes to others is advise when it comes to their decisions.

And so I take it to heart when fans, who have every right to feel what they feel, express what they express, tell others what is right and wrong in fandom. Matt Harvey’s horrendous scoreline against the Washington Nationals of 2.2. IP, 8 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 2 BB and 2 K led to the Mets faithful booing Harvey off the mound, which infuriated some Mets fans. We shouldn’t boo, they said, and we should stand by the team through thick and thin. It’s not as if Harvey MEANT to let those runs in.

Of course Matt Harvey didn’t mean to. Of course we stand by our team. But in no terms should we not be allowed to voice our discontent with their performance. Baseball is performance based. Life is performance based. Children are taught from the beginning that their lives and futures are based on grades and state exams and other standardized exams. They play that game and they are judged for it and at times people, parents, express their discontent. But you don’t do that unless you care, unless you have a stake in that performance, unless you have so much invested in someone or something that any kind of failure touches you in a personal manner as the performance of our New York Mets, of Matt Harvey, did against the Nationals on Thursday. This is life.

Matt Harvey knows this. The fact of the matter is we have a choice of whether to cheer or boo, just like players have a choice in whether to pursue baseball or not. You play ball for the paycheck and the glory and those incredible highs that come from your passion and a passionate fan base. Goes both ways. If you’re playing for those highs, you best believe there will be lows. Otherwise you find a line of work where that doesn’t exist.

Every 5th day or so, Matt Harvey carries the hopes and dreams of Mets fans on his shoulders. It’s unfair, but it’s what he signed up for. Ultimately, it’s your performances that are judged because you chose this spotlight. And maybe it’s unfair, but you have to bear the weight of expectations and carry that load for us over the course of the season. We love you Matt and we want you to get better, to succeed, but you have to be strong for us and right the ship on your own if you care for us, or at the very least you care to succeed. You’ve made it this far. You don’t need us to be you. So right now we’re booing you. But as you know after that innings debacle last season, it only takes one performance, one big moment, to regain our trust and our love again. It’s sad but as anyone knows, it’s always the ones you love that hurt you and that you hurt the most.

Let’s go Mets.

About Randy Nieves

Recommended for you

1 Comment