Matt Harvey celebrated his successful Tommy John surgery six months after the procedure by posting an archived middle finger on Twitter and then subsequently deleting his entire account.
Join us in toasting the brilliant pitcher with utterly confused looks.
UPDATE: Tuesday, April 22 at 4:55 p.m. ET
Matt Harvey: "I'm not going to apologize for being myself and having a good laugh at a funny little picture."— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 22, 2014
He also explained the image a bit more, via ESPN's Adam Rubin:
Matt Harvey said his mother took photo going into surgery. He thought it was funny, but received differently. pic.twitter.com/lDFaB10ODM— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) April 22, 2014
Now we do have to warn you in advance that there is an image of Harvey raising a middle finger below, so anyone easily offended should just look away. We would also recommend getting off the Internet altogether.
Seriously, this is your last chance, because there is a NSFW hand gesture that insinuates a naughty phrase lurking below.
OK, you massively courageous individual. Here is the original image thanks to a tweet from WABC's Laura Behnke in response to Rubin's assertion that Harvey deleted his Twitter account:
To those who are appalled, please know that the world continues to turn, the baseball season and the sport at large remain unscathed and nobody was harmed in this exchange.
For the rest of you, good job on the whole not overreacting thing.
As for us, we are just confused. Who was he flipping off at the time? Was it directed to his followers? Perhaps he was launching an "Eff You!" to all the doubters prior to his surgery. Maybe he was lobbing a finger at injuries in general, something we applaud. Then again, maybe Alex Rodriguez was the one behind the camera.
We just can't be sure, largely because the Twitter account is now gone, unlike the image Harvey was hoping to delete.
The only thing the Internet loves more than cat videos is teaching someone else a lesson. Matt Harvey has had to endure a horrible interview exchange with Dan Patrick, a silly controversy over showing up to a Knicks game with his girlfriend and now a middle finger fiasco all while injured.
We need Harvey back on the bump if for nothing else than to stop all the inane stories.
Yahoo Sports' David Brown explains that some blame, a tiny amount, can go the Mets way:
Plus also too, the Mets seem — from the outside — kind of oppressive when it comes to speech. They've gotten on Harvey's case before about what he says, how he says it and who he talks to, so they've helped cultivate a bit of a rebel here. Not that Harvey was sticking his middle finger at Mets management. Nobody is saying that. Well, somebody might be saying that somewhere. Somebody's probably doing that somewhere.
The Mets, for their part, offered that they did ask for the picture to be deleted. Here is what Mets public relations boss Jay Horwitz had to say, via New York Daily News' Andy Martino:
#Mets Jay Horwitz: "We just felt the photo was inappropriate and we asked Matt to take it down." (1/2)— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) April 22, 2014
But Horwitz says team did NOT ask Harvey to delete entire Twitter account. That decision, he said, was Harvey's.— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) April 22, 2014
Let this be lesson No. 134,576 that you cannot erase anything from this darn Internet machine, especially if you are a celebrity.
Let's just offer that Harvey had to know flipping the bird wouldn't be a good look and there would be fallout for such a gesture, especially when you consider what kind of spotlight he lives under.
However, we are just about done caring about such trivial things. The man can go ahead and celebrate a successful surgery in just about any manner, save a cat video—there are far too many of those lurking about.
Although, it's probably best Harvey take a timeout until he is fully healed and ready to lead the Mets from the mound.
We don't yet have word from Harvey, so we don't know if his social media absence is a permanent one. We imagine he is just as exhausted as we are, so don't expect to see tweets or selfies from sporting events anytime soon.
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