NEW YORK -- The Matt Harvey who returned to Citi Field on Tuesday was unlike any the Mets had previously seen. Gone was Harvey's Dark Knight persona. In its place was only contrition, as an emotional Harvey stood in the Mets' clubhouse, before the team's entire roster and coaching staff, and apologized.
"There was great passion behind it," manager Terry Collins said. "He let it all out today."
Moments later, Harvey entered the Mets' press room and admitted to breaking curfew Friday night, to playing golf Saturday and, in his words, to putting himself "in a bad place to be ready for showing up for a ballgame." Harvey never did make it to Citi Field on Saturday evening, prompting a three-game suspension from the Mets.
"All I can do is apologize for that, move forward, do everything I can to make sure it doesn't happen again -- and that's exactly what I'm going to do," Harvey said. "Obviously I've been embarrassed for my actions. I've been not very happy the last couple of days because of my actions, and I understand everybody's anger. The organization doing what they did, I completely understand. It's me who takes full blame for that and it's me who needs to fix it and move forward and make sure it never happens again."
Harvey's Mets teammates, in turn, said they accepted his apology. One, outfielder Curtis Granderson, said "we all make mistakes." Another, Jay Bruce, added that "there are no grudges."
The common thread among all responses was that the Mets must move on, focusing on a team that has recovered from a slow start to claim second place in the National League East. Collins spoke at length of the support staff the Mets have in place for players such as Harvey, noting that even former teammate Bartolo Colon reached out with a text message. The tone, Collins said, was both supportive and challenging.
"He needs to take it as pretty special that these guys are all here for him," Collins said. "Hopefully, Matt gets it."
Those seeking hollowness in Harvey's words can point to the 2015 postseason, when the right-hander was late to a workout at Citi Field. At the time, he apologized, saying it would never happen again.
Harvey also did not dismiss the notion that he may file a grievance against the Mets over his lost pay, though he has not done so yet.
In all matters, Harvey said and repeated more than a dozen times, his only course of action is to apologize and move forward. After delivering Tuesday's address, he jogged out to the field, falling in line with his fellow pitchers during stretches.
"I understand in every way that [fans] can look at this situation, and it's completely my fault," Harvey said. "I think people make mistakes. I think I've made another mistake. There are things that I have realized in the last couple days that I need to be doing ... and one of those is putting myself in a better place to perform physically, and be accountable for my work. That's something that I'm committing to."
Added Collins: "I told him he needs to make baseball No. 1. When he did that, he was on top of the world."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.