Updated: Jul 20
Matt Harvey History
Matt Harvey was once a superstar in the making, donning the famous nickname “Dark Knight” and leading the Mets as one of the best pitchers in baseball. However, the fan-favorite quickly became the target of fan hatred after rumors about his night life and his poor performance forced his relationship with fans to quickly sour. After his rollercoaster career with the New York Mets, he bounced around the league between the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, and Baltimore Orioles. His testimony is mostly focused on his time with the Angels, although his testimony reveals much more about his own experiences with the Mets and the culture around Major League Baseball.
As you might recall, former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs tragically passed away by choking on his own vomit as a result of the fatal mixture of oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol that was found in his system. Eric Kay, the former communications director of the Los Angeles Angels, is accused of supplying Skaggs with the oxycodone pills that contributed to his death. On Tuesday, Matt Harvey and 3 other MLB players were called to testify, and they testified that they also received oxycodone from Eric Kay. However, although Matt Harvey’s testimony provides clarity to crucial facts in the case of Eric Kay, it also provided a clearer view about life behind baseball’s closed doors.
Matt Harvey’s Testimony about Eric Kay/Tyler Skaggs
T.J Quinn, a reporter for ESPN, kept the public informed with constant updates during Matt Harvey’s testimony on Tuesday. Quinn reports that Harvey and Skaggs discussed Oxycodone during Spring Training in 2019, and Harvey also admitted to first trying Oxycodone in the 2019 MLB season, after receiving them from Tyler Skaggs. He also admitted that he himself was a partier and used cocaine. Harvey also testifies that he himself gave Skaggs six or seven Percocet in the clubhouse when they were teammates on the Los Angeles Angels. Harvey states that Skaggs had a Santa Monica source for pills, and while Eric Kay was in rehab in 2019, Harvey got pills for Skaggs at his request from his “hockey player” source. Finally, Harvey does state that although Skaggs had another source, he did not get pills from his other source often. When asked how many pills he had actually seen Kay give Skaggs, he responded “Maybe once, if any”. This testimony, along with the testimony of the other players, will certainly have weight on the outcome of this trial.
Matt Harvey’s Testimony About MLB Culture
Matt Harvey also helped shed light on a huge issue facing Major League Baseball. Harvey testified that the use of Oxycodone and Tylenol was common. In addition, he explained that players in the MLB will do anything to stay on the field. He felt he was being a good teammate by providing Skaggs with what he needed to “get through what he needed to get through.”
This testimony provides those who are following the case with a behind the scenes look at what goes on in an MLB clubhouse. With the frequency of injuries and surgeries in the MLB, there is potential for this to be a serious issue around the league. We would be naive to think that this is the only time this has occurred in the MLB, and it leaves one to wonder, what other players and teams are affected by this crippling issue? Keeping a roster spot in the MLB is hard enough, and it is clear through the testimony of Matt Harvey and the other major leaguers that players will do anything to stay on one. Hopefully, teams will use this tragic experience as a wake-up call to monitor what is going on in their respective clubhouses.
1. SB Nation
2. LA Times
4. TJ Quinn, ESPN