CJ Nitkowski: ‘Harvey’s Teammates Have To Be Discouraged By Him’

Matt Harvey missed a mandatory team workout at Citi Field on Tuesday, allegedly for partying too hard and too late on Monday.

Harvey apologized for his poor judgment, but his indiscretions probably didn’t win him any favor in the locker room – or among media.

“Sure, it’s a huge disappointment,” FOX Sports MLB analyst and CBS Eye on Baseball co-host C.J. Nitkowski said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “You have to know better. You’d have a pretty hard time finding a big leaguer that at some point in his career hadn’t gone out and woke up a little bit late and had to scramble to get to the ball park. This is the wrong time of year for this to happen, and it’s the wrong city and the wrong player for it to happen to right now. Everything else that’s going on has kind of been a negative, I think, on Matt Harvey as far as the innings limit and Scott Boras butting in and everything else has kind of shined him in a little bit of a negative light. So your teammates will be frustrated because the focus time is now. It’s not to say that you can’t let off a little bit of steam, but if you’re going to do that, especially in that city, you better be very responsible about it. You better make sure that you’re at a team workout on time.”

Harvey, 26, is slated to pitch Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers next Monday in Queens.

“He’ll get his opportunity to pitch,” Nitkowski said. “If he pitches well, everything will be fine. But that next start of his is going to be heavily scrutinized even though it’s a little bit away. Missing a practice like that in this situation is absolutely uncalled for. Some teammates, I’m sure, (are) really discouraged by this decision that he made.

Damon Amendolara, however, raised a fair point: Why are people so mad at Harvey for missing one team workout when CC Sabathia has checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse? After all, Harvey will at least be able to pitch in the postseason.

“I think we look at CC’s issue as a personal problem,” Nitkowski said. “The fact that he is going into rehab tells you this is more than just a guy having a fun night out or a couple of fun nights out. This is a personal problem – something that is affecting his personal life. What happened with Matt Harvey I don’t think affects him as far as what kind of guy he is. It’s just being a little bit irresponsible on one specific night. Like I said, a lot of guys can say we’ve probably been there at some point and not thinking about our responsibilities. For CC, this wasn’t a one-night thing. This wasn’t the night before the Wild Card game and he got a little bit crazy and all of a sudden he’s unavailable to pitch because of it. This is obviously a small part of a bigger problem that had to be addressed.”

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