By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ A contrite Matt Harvey rejoined the New York Mets on Tuesday and apologized to his teammates after serving his three-day suspension for skipping a game last weekend.
Harvey also apologized to fans who attended Sunday’s game expecting to see him start against Miami. Instead, he was sent home for not showing up to the ballpark for a game the night before.
Harvey was back at Citi Field on Tuesday. Before the Mets’ game against San Francisco, he expressed embarrassment for his actions over the weekend, repeatedly saying, “I made a mistake.”
He acknowledged that he went out Friday night, played golf Saturday morning and did not show up for Saturday night’s game.
“I made a mistake,” Harvey said. “I apologized. All I can do is continue to work to be better and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“I’ve apologized to my teammates for not being here. I’ve apologized to the fans who showed up to see me throw or to see a different outcome of the game. All I can do is apologize for that, move forward, do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
It was latest flap for a pitcher fined for missing a mandatory team workout before the 2015 playoffs. Harvey was suspended by the team this time, effective Saturday. The penalty cost him $84,016 of his $5,125,000 salary.
“It’s my job to come here and not only be present but also to put myself in the best position to succeed professionally and on the baseball field,” Harvey said.
Mets manager Terry Collins has said he expects Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, to challenge the discipline. Baseball’s labor contract says any punishment must be for “just cause.”
Harvey said Tuesday that he had not filed a grievance but did not rule out the possibility of doing so in the future. He said he felt terrible the last few days because of his behavior, but that “now is the time to … really focus on baseball and focus on my team.”
After missing a turn in the rotation, the right-hander is slated to make his next start at Milwaukee on Friday night when New York begins a six-game road trip.
While the Mets had refused to say Sunday specifically what prompted the suspension, citing only a violation of team rules, Collins went into more detail Monday.
“We have a policy here. We had to do something,” Collins said. “I respect it. I thought it was the right thing to do. I know it’s dramatic, but I think any team in baseball would have probably reacted very similarly. And it wasn’t just Matt Harvey. Anybody in that room that misses a day and nobody knows about it, we’ve got to do the same thing.”
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