NEW YORK — Matt Harvey returned to Citi Field on Tuesday, his three-game suspension over, and immediately apologized for the uproar he created for himself and the New York Mets by belatedly calling in sick for last Saturday night’s game against the Miami Marlins.
The 28-year-old Harvey, who is scheduled to rejoin the starting rotation on Friday in Milwaukee, told reporters in a brief news conference that he had spoken to his teammates and his coaches about what occurred, and had expressed remorse.
“I’m extremely embarrassed,” he said to reporters. He acknowledged that he had been out late on Friday night in Manhattan after the Mets game ended, and then played golf on Saturday morning, at which point he did not feel well but did not immediately inform the Mets, who ended up sending team employees to his apartment to check on him.
“It’s completely my fault,” he said of what occurred.
He said he understood the Mets’ reasoning behind the three-game suspension and said a grievance of the Mets’ action, which would proceed through the players’ union, was now the last thing on his mind. But he didn’t completely rule out the possibility that a grievance might take place.
The weekend incident — which echoes an October 2015 episode in which Harvey failed to show up at Citi Field for the Mets’ first workout of the postseason — is just the latest setback for a pitcher who has had to deal with two significant surgeries in recent seasons, a lot of disappointing performances on the mound and a growing sense that he does not take his job seriously enough.
But for the first time he may now confront a hostile atmosphere in his own stadium, with many Mets fans weary of the negative headlines he has generated.
Still, the Mets’ battered rotation needs good pitching to have any chance of remaining in the National League East division race, and if Harvey can rebound from his earlier outings this season and begin to pitch well, some of hostility he is now encountering will probably subside, and quickly.