On-Base Perception

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Mets PR joke causes backlash at Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey pitches against the Braves at Citi

Matt Harvey pitches against the Braves at Citi Field. (Aug. 10, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

First things first: Matt Harvey is NOT missing Wednesday's Mets game in order to cheer on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in Game 4 of their playoff series against the Washington Capitals.

Longtime Mets director of media relations Jay Horwitz caused a stir Tuesday morning when he tweeted: "Matt Harvey has Mets permission to skip game tomorrow and be at MSG to root on Rangers. Matt has not seen Rangers lose at home. 6-0." The tweet, originally sent at 7:03 a.m., had been retweeted over 400 times as of 9 a.m.

Horwitz, who has a history of tongue-in-cheek tweets, confirmed to Newsday's David Lennon that the tweet was a joke. Earlier in the season, when the Mets missed a game in Colorado due to snow, Horwitz jokingly tweeted that the team would be scheduled to play a triple-header.

Harvey, who starts Tuesday night against the White Sox at Citi Field, is an avid Rangers fan who often tweets about the team and was present for the their Game 3 win Monday night.

Horwitz's tweet was taken as serious and picked up by several morning radio shows and newspaper outlets, causing a backlash from hosts and Mets fans alike who derided Harvey's supposed special treatment and his willingness to ditch his team to watch a Rangers game.

Turns out, the joke was on them.

Instead of posting an explanation, apology or clarification, Horwitz kept the joke going with a second tweet just after 9 a.m.

"[Mets owner] Jeff Wilpon not happy that Matt Harvey was leaving for game. Instead Jeff said he would put entire game on board at Citi so Matt could stay."

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