A day after Matt Harvey revealed that the mystery injury that caused him to be scratched from a start earlier this week was a bladder infection, and that he had to learn how to urinate more frequently, both New York tabloids ran the headline “YA GOTTA RELIEVE!” on their back pages. There were plenty of other pee-related jokes, as well: The Post thought of so many it ran images of six mock back pages inside the paper, so as to not let any puns go to waste. But Harvey apparently didn’t find any of it funny and yesterday declined to talk to reporters after pitching in a spring-training game Wednesday.
Manager Terry Collins said that the whole team was scared about Harvey’s medical issue, and that he understood why Harvey would be upset over the coverage. From the News:
“I don’t blame him,” Terry Collins told the Daily News Wednesday. “Nobody in here blames him. We were scared Monday. You know how scary it is when they are talking about having to decide in 24 hours what kind of procedure they would have to do to remove the clot if it didn’t pass? They were talking about the fact he wouldn’t be able to fly to New York.
“He was scared,” the manager said. “We were all scared for him. And to see everyone make a joke out of it … yeah, he’s mad. He’s not the only one who is.”
Over the weekend, Harvey had trouble going to the bathroom and saw blood in his urine. He informed the team’s training staff of the issue, but initially the team would only say publicly that Harvey was dealing with a non-baseball medical issue unrelated to his shoulder or elbow. Harvey, it turned out, had a large blood clot in his bladder, which passed Monday night. But a source close to Harvey tells the Daily News that the testing earlier in the day was tense. It wasn’t until Tuesday that a scope revealed that Harvey’s bladder had no damage or tumors, at which point he was given the all-clear by doctors. That the issue was nothing long-term was seen as a relief for Mets fans, and once Harvey said Tuesday that he had to “retrain my bladder to use the rest room a little bit more,” the jokes began almost immediately.
Collins conceded that Harvey opened himself up to some ridicule by talking about how he had to learn not to hold in his urine, but said that was no excuse. “Did he say too much about going to the bathroom? Yeah maybe,” Collins said. “But the kid is hearing about procedures and blood clots one day and the next he’s getting made fun of. It’s New York, we understand that, but it was his health.”
Harvey will start on Opening Night in Kansas City on Sunday. How much longer he’ll avoid talking to reporters remains to be seen.