General manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he has no issue with Matt Harvey’s recent social engagement, partying Thursday night in Los Angeles before the Mets played Friday in San Diego.
“It can be a problem,” Alderson said. “I don’t think it was in this case.
“It can be a problem if it affects a player or a pitcher’s preparation for work the following day or following several days. I’m not sure that was the case here.”
Was Alderson surprised?
“Usually I get upset if a report is unexpected,” Alderson said. “So I guess the short answer is no.”
The New York Post reported Monday that Harvey attended the opening of a new high-end restaurant. One witness said he was “stumbling around.” Another said he was sober. Either way, Harvey took the trip of two-plus hours up the coast after the Mets flew from St. Louis to San Diego Thursday.
Harvey pitched Friday night against the Padres, allowing a home run and a walk in the ninth inning before finishing the game.
The preparation required of Harvey in his new role as a reliever is different from what was required of him between starts.
“Part of the preparation for that role is recognizing you can pitch any day at any time,” Alderson said. “As a result, you have to be a little more conscientious about what else is going on in your life in order to be prepared on a moment’s notice to pitch. That’s part of the realization that maybe he’s had over the last few days.”
Manager Mickey Callaway, but not Alderson, spoke with Harvey about his socializing. Callaway indicated it is more a perception problem than a practical problem.
“It is bad in the sense that it’s getting publicity,” Callaway said. “Matt has to be aware of that, that things he does — right or wrong — are going to be brought to the forefront. We have to make sure that it’s never a distraction from what we’re trying to do as a team.”
Callaway said Harvey walked him through the circumstances of the social endeavor — which Callaway didn’t publicly specify — and it “wasn’t a big deal” or interfere with his work for the Mets.
Harvey has a history of appearing in gossip columns and battling Mets decision-makers on the subject. That includes last year, when the Mets suspended him after he didn’t show up to the ballpark after being out late the night before, causing him to miss a start and forcing the Mets to call up a spot starter — on less than a day’s notice — to be his replacement.