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Sigh: Writer bemoans the fact Matt Harvey agreed to appear in ‘Body Issue’

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Bob Klapisch, a well-respected, gifted and experienced baseball scribe currently writing for New Jersey’s The Record, penned a column lambasting New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey for his decision to pose nude for the 2013 edition of ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue.”

Remarking that Harvey “has nothing to be ashamed of” and admitting that the photographs that appear in the “Body Issue” are “creative and tastefully done,” Klapisch nevertheless takes Harvey to task for agreeing to participate, arguing that it was “the pitcher’s marketing people and agent Scott Boras who convinced Harvey that modeling – modeling his body, that is – would somehow help his career.”

Klapisch, claiming that the Mets apparently were “aghast to learn of Harvey’s participation in this project,” goes on to lay out his argument as follows (via)

Not that it took any brainwashing. We’re beginning to learn there’s more to Harvey’s success than a blistering 98-mph fastball. He’s also been blessed with a keen self-awareness, which means he knew exactly what he was getting into with ESPN, not to mention a follow-up photo fashion shoot with the New York Post. Turns out Harvey’s talent and brains are matched by his ego and vanity.

Let’s be honest, it takes a good deal of narcissism to step out of your clothes and stand in front of a camera. Your message becomes clear: Look at me.

True, Harvey has nothing to be ashamed of. He’s baseball’s most dynamic young arm and, as the magazine proves, in great shape. But why would Harvey brand himself as the naked pitcher? What’s the upside to such a reputation? If Harvey wants to prove he’s enlightened and open-minded, there are a million other ways to express that without putting a bull’s-eye on his back.

Fair enough. There likely are many veteran sportswriters — not to mention fans — who question an athlete’s decision to appear in the annual issue, lamenting how things have changed so drastically from those halcyon days of yore when ballplayers refused to engage in provocative and tawdry behavior and such foolish frivolity, instead allowing their play on the field to do all the talking:

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You know, the good old days.

As a side note: Good luck getting that Pete Rose image out of your head.

[H/T Hardball Talk]

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