Flame-throwing phenom Matt Harvey has established himself as the ace of the Mets' rotation this year, but all the pedigree in the world couldn't save him from receiving the typical rookie treatment last season. Harvey took most of the hazing without much complaint, but almost came to fisticuffs in one altercation with veteran reliever Jon Rauch, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
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The story goes that Harvey was napping in a side room of the Mets' clubhouse when Rauch decided that the young right-hander was in need of a rude awakening. Rauch grabbed a bucket of ice water and dumped its contents on the napping rookie, in the process ruining the cell phone resting on Harvey's chest.
Harvey took immediate exception to Rauch's actions, rising to challenge the 6'11 right-hander to a fight. Seeing that Harvey meant business, Rauch backed off and left the room. According to one player who witnessed the altercation, Rauch "just packed up his shit and walked away," per Andy Martino of NYDN.
Rauch wasn't the most popular figure in the Mets' clubhouse -- he was rebuffed this winter when he tried to re-up with the club -- so Harvey standing his ground more endeared him to his teammates than anything else. While another young player attempting the same thing -- fellow Met Jordany Valdespin, perhaps -- may have endured the wrath of his teammates, Harvey's run-in with Goliath is now just a part of his growing legend.