Matt Harvey talks mistakes and tears on night Mets honor him

Matt Harvey sat in the visitors’ dugout at Citi Field on Monday, speaking to a wave of reporters and displaying as many emotions and traits as there were microphones and recorders thrust in his face.

Harvey seemed remorseful about how his Mets life ended. He was contrite for some of the incidents that caused his fall from grace — from the Dark Knight to a guy traded to another division. But his inability to stay healthy was the root of all evil, he believes. He was emotional about what was and confident about what could be as he “absolutely” feels he can help a contender. And above all, he was reflective.

Harvey spoke of the good and the bad, the ups and the downs and showed the sort of charisma that captivated a city before his May 8 trade, which he may have even cried about.

“There was a lot of tears, a lot of sad moments,” Harvey said when asked about his emotions upon hearing of the deal that sent him to Cincinnati.

So he cried?

“Maybe,” he said.

“There’s a lot of things I wish I obviously hadn’t done. Kind of put myself in a bad position. Health was the biggest thing,” said Harvey, who underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2013, missed all of 2014 and then went 13-8 in 2015 and was named NL Comeback Player of the Year.

That 2015 campaign was the Mets’ World Series year, of course. Then 2016 saw thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and 2017 brought a stress injury to his scapula bone. Yeah, he knew good and bad in New York.

“Lot of different emotions. New York’s been my home for the last couple years, and I’ve taken a lot of pride in [that],” Harvey said.

Especially the World Series pride.

“I wouldn’t [trade] going back to the World Series for anything,” said Harvey, who was honored by a video tribute from the Mets prior to the game — it ended with a “Thank You, Matt” and a shot of Harvey in the dugout. He tipped his Reds cap to a lukewarm small-crowd reaction.

“When you get a chance to suit up and pitch in October, November, those are things you’ll never forget,” he said. “I definitely gave it my all. Obviously, my body just couldn’t handle it.

“The injuries just took a big toll on me, and I wasn’t able to do my job the way I wanted to, the way I know I could and how I wanted to. That’s [what] I think made things really tough for me mentally and obviously, in the clubhouse and off the field.”

Harvey proclaimed there was no bitterness toward the Mets, who designated him for assignment before shipping him out. And all that came following a demotion to the bullpen, which Harvey accepted as well as a package of anthrax.

The only semi-dig he took at his old team was while discussing life with the Reds.

“Well, I’m not in the bullpen,” Harvey said.

With the Mets this season, Harvey was 0-2 in eight games, four of them starts, with a 7.00 ERA. With Cincinnati, he is 5-5 with a 4.79 ERA in 15 games, all starts.

“The numbers don’t obviously show it, but the way the ball is coming out, the way I feel certain innings, certain batters, it’s very close,” Harvey said. “I’m fortunate enough the Reds gave me the opportunity to work through that.”

And Harvey can help a team looking to get to the postseason. And then he can help once they get there because of his experience.

“Absolutely,” Harvey said. “The experience that you get as a player going through games … that’s something you always have that inside you.”

His health, though, was the one topic Harvey hovered around again and again. He saw old friends, wished he had done more, but injuries derailed him.

“I made a lot of mistakes. That was something I’ve definitely looked back on. I wouldn’t say regret — people make mistakes, and I definitely made a lot of them,” Harvey said. “I do remember a lot of cheers and I obviously remember some boos. It was a really fun time, and I absolutely loved being here and playing here. I’m just happy I’m healthy.”

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