New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey learned a hard lesson when he showed up to work on Sunday. The day before, Harvey had called in sick, saying he had a migraine.
But the Mets weren’t buying it.
Team spokesman Jay Horwitz said Harvey didn’t follow team protocol by communicating his medical complaint to one of their trainers. That Saturday evening, the Mets sent two security officials to check in on Harvey at his Manhattan apartment. Whatever those security officials saw wasn’t convincing. It didn’t help that a variety of New York publications filled in the gaps on where Harvey was Friday night, throwing back “a triple play of top-shelf booze” at a nightclub, according to Page Six.
On Sunday, the day Harvey was supposed to start against the Marlins, Harvey found out the Mets were giving him a three-day suspension costing Harvey $84,016.39 — or three games’ worth of pay — for a violation of clubhouse rules.
“Anybody in that room that misses a day and nobody knows about it, we got to do the same thing,” Collins said about the Mets’ decision to bench their former ace.
Although there were reports that Harvey was going to file a grievance and challenge the Mets’ decision, he changed his tune by Tuesday. “Obviously, I’m extremely embarrassed by my actions,” Harvey said in his public mea culpa on Tuesday. “Yes, I was out on Friday night, past curfew. I did play golf Saturday morning, and I put myself in a bad place to be ready to show up for a ballgame.”
Why timeliness matters
Yes, Saturday wasn’t the day of Harvey’s scheduled start, but showing up to support your teammates is critical in baseball. To replace Harvey, the Mets flew in Adam Wilk, a minor league pitcher from Las Vegas who hadn’t seen the majors in two years. By doing so, the Mets were making a public statement about the kind of clubhouse culture they were enforcing: teamwork and work ethic being more important than status.
And yes, replacement pitcher Wilk cost the Mets a 7-0 loss, but at least he showed up to work.
That’s the takeaway from this incident for those of us who aren’t professional athletes. Your lateness or absence has consequences to the company and your colleagues.
In Harvey’s case, his absence implicitly signals bad cultural values: he implies he’s too good for this game by not showing up — something legendary coach Geno Auriemma looks for — and that he’s not taking the game seriously.
With Harvey’s seniority on the team, his actions become a toxic message that may affect how rookie players think about the team.
What to do when you’re late
Sometimes being late is out of your hands and that’s ok. When it happens, explain how you’ll prevent this onetime incident from becoming a habit. If you look at the clock and look at where your ride is not and groan, let your boss know what’s up.
If personal family issues are preventing you from showing up to work on time, explain the issue to your co-workers and your boss. As New York Magazine advises a single mother consistently showing up late to work due to a son’s behavioral issues: “Tell them that you’re committed to ensuring that they won’t need to cut you any slack the rest of the time, because you’re going to be On It.”
Do all this and you can accomplish what a million-dollar athlete could not: the ability to take responsibility for your actions.