It’s an age-old Cardinal rule — players play and coaches coach.
Unless you happen to be New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. Harvey had been advised by his manager Terry Collins that his eight innings of shutout baseball was sufficient against the Kansas City Royals. Collins, with decades of baseball experience, was living his lifetime dream of managing in the World Series.
Harvey had done his job masterfully. The Mets were ahead 2-0 with three outs left, ready to send the 2015 World Series back to Kansas City.
It was time for Harvey to be a good teammate and step aside.
Except Harvey has a gigantic ego. He refused to respect Collins’ authority. He dismissed the friendly advice of pitching coach Dan Worthen, who had been dispatched to tell Harvey he was done.
Instead, the 6-foot-4 Harvey decided to tell the 5-foot-9 Collins he was the boss. Television cameras showed how Harvey bullied Collins to keep him in the baseball game. Harvey wanted to be the big shot.
“Well, that’s going to backfire on the Mets,” my wife said.
Collins based his decision on his decades of baseball experience. You always manage with his head, not your heart. He absolutely knew in his mind going to reliever Jeurys Familia was the correct decision.
Instead, Collins was talked out of his better judgment because of the emotion of the moment. For Royals’ fans, it worked out perfectly.
Harvey is out of his comfort zone, running on higher emotion. Lorenzo Cain walked and Eric Hosmer doubled. Harvey was done and so were the Mets.
When Hosmer scored the tying run on a throwing error by Lucas Duda, Collins bowed his head, absolutely knowing he had lost the World Series. All because Collins didn’t trust his own judgment.
The Royals officially sealed the victory with a five-run inning for a 7-2 victory, triggering a World Series celebration on-and-off the field.
The Royals’ comeback ability was simply amazing. They trailed in all four World Series games they won and won their last six games after trailing. They rallied in the ninth inning twice and once in the eighth inning.
It was an identical script against Toronto and Houston. The Royals trailed 3-0 against Toronto pitcher David Price before putting six hits together.
The Royals’ rally against the Astros was even more stunning. Houston led 6-2 in an elimination game when the Royals pieced together a trio of singles before shortstop Carlos Correa was unable to glove a deflected baseball.
Once the Royals won that game, they knew they’d win the World Series.
— Jim Misunas