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Matt Harvey or the Yankees? I'm going to the movies

By Mike DiMauro

Publication: The Day

Published May 28. 2013 4:00AM
AP File Photo
Mystic's Matt Harvey pitches for the first time in the Subway Series tonight when the Mets face the Yankees at Citi Field.

Dr. Joyce Brothers' recent passing leaves one less option for such a dilemma. Dr. Phil seems busy. Frankly, we'd take Dr. Zhivago at this point.

Yankee fans in this corner of the world: unite. We have a problem. What are we do tonight when our boy Matt Harvey pitches against the Pinstripers?

Rooting against the Yankees: not an option.

Rooting against Harvey: not an option.

It's like the 1986 World Series all over again, when the thought of the Mets or Red Sox winning spawned the idea of both skating to a 3-3 tie.

Worse, there is no consensus.

Yankee fan Tom Doyle of Mystic, close friend of the Harvey family, former basketball coach at Fitch: "I'm not watching. Any good movies playing?"

Yankee fan Fred Hahn of Groton, whose son, Jesse, is throwing 98 in the Tampa organization: "I have to root for Matt."

Met fan Bob Heussler, play-by-play voice of the Connecticut Sun, who hates the Yankees like the NRA hates Obama: "Just remember: Matt's been awfully good to you."

Thanks, Bob. I'm Italian and Catholic. That means I can feel guilty about anything. And often do. That's 15 yards for piling on.


You think this is tongue-in-cheek? Not really. The Yankees are part of every day. I mean, one of my cats is named Jorge. After a previous cat was named Bernie because of his soulful eyes and demeanor. My two-year-old said "Yankees" before he said "daddy."

Then there's Matt. Hope you saw the recent spread in the New York Daily News. It wasn't a mere feature on Harveymania. It was a celebration of Mystic and Harvey's roots. It gave us a reason to appreciate where we live all over again. Imagine if Harvey pitched a two-hit shutout? Given the hype to this point, they might consider naming a church after him somewhere near the Whitestone Bridge.

Some folks say I should wish for Matt pitch great, exit a scoreless game and the Yankees win late. Pretty good chance the punchless Mets hold up their end. But rooting for Yankee after Yankee to strike out? Communism.

It's different with John McDonald and Rajai Davis. Rooting for them to go 4-for-4 and lose doesn't seem cruel. This is every pitch, not occasional at bats. Plus, I've grown used to Johnny Mac and what feels like his career .891 average against the Yankees.

This has happened before. Paul Menhart, another guy who played at Fitch for Matt's dad, Ed, pitched against the Yankees in 1995 during the playoff race. He had a lead fairly late before, if memory serves, Ruben Sierra tied the game with a homer. I might have been happy. Playoff race, after all.

I know it's only May and the season doesn't begin until the dog days. But it's been such a great season to date. This is the most fun I've had watching the Yankees since 1996, the greatest summer of them all. Maybe it's because, like 1996, the Yankees are flawed and don't have nine guys trying to hit the ball over the moon.

It's worth noting that Matt grew up a Yankee fan. His dad quit on the Red Sox after the 1975 season and finally saw the light, rooting for the Yanks much of his adult life. Now Ed Harvey has no choice but to wear a Mets hat.

It would be too much to ask the Mets to skip Harvey in the rotation, I suppose, in honor of Matt's childhood.

There are no easy answers. Which probably makes Doyle the voice of reason. I'm not watching. Maybe we can not watch together. Maybe we can have a Not Watch Party. Or maybe it'll rain for three days. You'll have to send me a tweet and let me know what happens.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.

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