Is Matt Harvey a sex symbol? A woman’s take

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

In just two weeks it seems like Matt Harvey has jumped from emerging superstar pitcher to Matt Harvey, baseball sex symbol.

I suppose that's what happens when you pitch in New York, score a model for a girlfriend, make the cover of Sports Illustrated and take it off for ESPN The Magazine's "Body" issue.

There's even a Ryan Gosling-esque Matt Harvey "Hey Girl" meme. I'm pretty sure that if you asked Matt Harvey a year ago which Ryan people would be comparing him to, he'd cross his fingers it were Nolan and not Gosling.

Harvey seems more like a quietly dominating pitcher than a ready-for-magazine covers pretty boy. But the New York Post is turning him into a model now too, so who knows.

With the nearly-naked pictures of the New York Mets ace also circulating — along with various athletes from those ESPN The Magazine shoots — I figured it was time to ask someone who knows much better than I about whether men are sexy. I asked a woman. Specifically, my wife — who ogles Jon Hamm and Shemar Moore, but somehow still decided to marry me.

She didn't know Matt Harvey from Matt Holliday, so I figured she'd be the perfect impartial judge to tell us whether Harvey is hot. For the record: She didn't know that nearly-nude photos were coming when I showed her these photos one by one.

* * *

The photo: Matt Harvey's standard preseason team photo for the Mets.

She says: "He thinks he's tough. I think he just looks like a normal regular player."

* * *

The photo: Harvey, sweaty and snarly-looking, while on the mound. Intense? Yes. But hot?

She says: "Not hot! He looks like he just rolled out of bed after a three-day bender and decided to throw a ball."

* * *

The photo: That time he had a bloody nose on the mound while giving up only one hit and striking out 12. Wow. Rugged. Women gotta love that.

She says: "The blood gives him one extra hot point — still needs nine more."

* * *

The photo: ESPN's teaser for Harvey stripping for them. This one really made the Matt Harvey Meme take off.

She says: "He is an Old Spice commercial that went really wrong."

* * *

The photo: From ESPN's "Body" issue, Harvey showing that prized right arm and what else is under the Mets uniform.

She says: "The only way this photo is acceptable is if he is leaving one of my friends' rooms."

* * *

The photo: Another from ESPN's "Body" issue. For this one, we had to use Mr. Met to obstruct his rear. If you want to see that, go here.

She says: "All other photos have been redeemed by this one. Win!"

* * *

The photo: The New York Post joins ESPN aboard the take-pictures-of-Matt Harvey bandwagon. This time posing him for a "fashion feature," including this would-be modern "Mad Men" shot.

She says: "He looks like the guy who girls should stay away from at bars."

* * *

Ouch! She didn't think as much of Matt Harvey as the people making Matt Harvey Memes.

Final verdict? "While I'm typically a fan of baseball players, Matt simply doesn't make the cut. When you get closer, he just doesn't measure up. Give me Buster Posey, please."

* * *

Addendum: In the authoring of this post, I've made my own discovery about Matt Harvey. He looks like a grown-up version of creepy Glen Bishop from "Mad Men."

I will never unsee this. I pray that you can.

Baseball season's in full swing. Don't miss a thing.
Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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