Bryce Harper Newsbeat
Thursday, February 04, 2016
For those who have more than a Passan interest in the Yankees and/or Bryce Harper’s future:
Nobody with the Yankees dared comment on Harper, even off the record, because their future marriage is considered so inevitable by most in the sport that the team dare not trifle with tampering charges. Considering the pains to which the Yankees are going to tighten finances, Harper as the endgame makes worlds of sense.
His age – and the ability to cull prime years from a free agent, a rarity – is as much of a selling point as his ability. And Harper’s transformation from enfant terrible to the most marketable player in baseball by a large margin fits the Yankees’ ethos. Star power matters to the Yankees more than any other team.
How much they’re willing to pay for their ideal fit is the question. Presuming Harper plays at a similar level for the next three years, his contract floor will be $400 million – a number, surely, at which the Washington Nationals won’t balk in their efforts to keep Harper in their uniform for his entire career. Their presence creates the prospect of a bidding war, and the idea that Harper skips $400 million altogether and aims for a half-billion-dollar deal is not altogether far-fetched. If that’s the price it takes to ensure he’s in the same lineup as Greg Bird and Aaron Judge and Jorge Mateo and Gary Sanchez, the homegrown core that the Yankees hope will have developed by then, it’s just money, something the Yankees in the past have all but printed.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Bryce Harper *IS* your 2015 Most Offensive Player.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
With the trend over the last several seasons showing a rise in strikeouts, drops in batting average, OBP, and runs scored, along with a sustained focus on power it is likely seasons of 40 or more home runs with less than 100 RBI may become more common. In fact, Pujols was the only one of the five sluggers to complete the odd feat who was not a regular strikeout victim. What’s more, none of the five 40 or more home run/sub-100 RBI seasons produced in 2015 were abbreviated by injury or had any other special circumstances. However, having five players produce this rarely seen combination in one season amounts to a statistical anomaly that may never happen again. Prior to 2015, the odd combination of the 40 or more home runs/less than 100 RBI season had only been completed sixteen times by thirteen different players. Obviously not a celebrated group like the Triple Crown, 300-strikeout, or 40 home run/40 stolen bases clubs, the 40 home run/less than 100 RBI club, nevertheless, has its own unique history. Not surprisingly, most of the players to join the 40 home run/less than 100 RBI club were feared power-hitters and were often among the best of their era. However, a few of these odd seasons were produced by unexpected contributors
Monday, October 05, 2015
Bernanke loves baseball for the same reason he chose economics as his profession: the power and clarity of numbers.
“The numbers are so concrete,” he says in a conversation in the Nats press box before a game against the Miami Marlins on a sunny afternoon last month. “In baseball, you’ve got all the data going back to the 1880s for all the players, and if you understand how to use numbers, it makes it come alive.”
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Presenting the Kansas City Star ombudsman:
Twitter is the most negative corner of the Internet, in my opinion. Its short bursts of 140 characters tend to be long on outrage, and media sources are constant targets. ...
I reached out to Lee [Judge], who it should be noted has also been a political cartoonist for The Star for some 30 years. He’s well accustomed to expressing provocative opinions, sometimes in blunt language. His reply, in which he stands by what he wrote:
Judging the Royals is an inside look at big league baseball; it not only deals with how the game is played, it also reveals some of the game’s unwritten rules. In today’s column I said that if Jonathan Papelbon wanted to choke Bryce Harper, he should have done it in private. Ballplayers have scuffles and arguments more often than fans know, but those scuffles and arguments are supposed to take place out of the public eye. Whether fans like it or not, baseball players throw at each other, do takeout slides on each other and sometimes fight with each other. When they do those things, there’s a right way to do it and that’s what today’s column was about.
My own opinion is that a blog may be a place for frank ruminations on these sorts of topics, and I find some of the Twitter hand-wringing disingenuously genteel. You hear stuff far less considered than this every day on sports talk radio and — for crying out loud — from well-known voices on Twitter itself.
Aaron Gleeman proves (with charts and everything!) that Bryce Harper is no lollygagger.
Monday, September 28, 2015
The Nationals acted on Monday after a dugout altercation between two of their players on Sunday. Washington announced that closer Jonathan Papelbon has been suspended for four games without pay after his confrontation with outfielder Bryce Harper in Sunday’s game’s against the Phillies.
The Nationals also said that Papelbon has elected to drop his appeal of a suspension issued by Major League Baseball last stemming from his actions in a game on Wednesday against Baltimore. Papelbon was sanctioned for three games for throwing at third baseman Manny Machado. Papelbon will begin serving his MLB suspension on Monday and his Nationals suspension on Thursday.
A different take and some great points by CJ Nitkowski. Papelbon is a wildcard but Harper seems like the kind of guy who, if he doesn’t change, won’t be around long when his talent starts to diminish.
Papelbon is everybody’s favorite punching bag but it’s not deserved here. This is a game that governs itself; it always has and always will. No one is above giving his full effort every time. When you don’t, there will be a veteran teammate there waiting to remind you. Sometimes that might result in a fight and that’s OK. This is not your office.
The Nationals are a mess.
Yes, Harper risked a reaction—and elicited an overreaction—first by failing to run, then by appearing to tell Papelbon, “let’s go,” after Pap confronted him. Tell another player, “let’s go,” and maybe he drops it or resumes the discussion later. Utter those words to a pit bull— er, Papelbon—and it’s game on.
Whatever, Papelbon vs. Harper was a mere symptom of the larger disease. This is the fourth straight year that the Nats’ season will end in disappointment, even though in two of those seasons they won 96 and 98 games.
New manager needed. New players. And uh, a better marketing phrase, too.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
If you’ve lost even Boz, you’ve lost.
Of course, the ruckus started in the Nats’ favorite inning for disasters involving relievers: the eighth. Why rewrite a polished script? The bullpen’s trashed everything else this year, why not fight the likely NL MVP? Fan Appreciation Day, indeed.
After the game, the Nats had their annual “Shirts Off Their Backs” promotion with each player handing his game-worn jersey to a contest-winning fan. The Nats should make sure two fans receive the first authenticated brawl-used jerseys ever.
An hour after the game, the outfield was filled with fans who took instruction in “Yoga in the Park.” Yes, to improve their serenity. No Nationals participated. ...
On Saturday, after elimination, Williams encountered a century-old ritual for every manager — face the music. What does it all mean, Matt? Now that it’s over, own up: share your analysis or feelings. Or just change expression.
“We have to win tomorrow,” said Williams.
No, you don’t. You’re mathematically dead. Would the captain of the Titanic say, “We have to put that iceberg behind us and get ready for tomorrow”?
Now the 2015 Nationals take their place in a dark D.C. corner with the 2000 Redskins, who boasted of their Super Bowl chances after signing future Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith. Also in that dunce-cap row sit the 2009-10 Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals, who lost in the first round of the playoffs to the team with the 16th-best point total in the NHL in the regular season.
Williams has become the symbol of the season. But the Lerner family who own the team, General Manager Mike Rizzo and $168 million worth of players must bear most of the brunt.
If a team ever needed to look at its issues honestly, while not forgetting its strengths, it’s the Nats now. Organizational culture — whether one of accountability and candor or merely of best-face rationalization — has enormous cumulative impact that can last decades, as Dan Snyder’s NFL team has shown.
This isn’t good.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
“Truly, I love him as a manager. Flat out I absolutely do,” Harper said. “If I didn’t, everybody would know. Absolutely everybody would know. I’m not shy to say things. Being able to play for a guy like that that I can actually go up to him and talk to him about approach, at-bat to at-bat, and just being able to have the fire and intensity that he has, and the way he approaches every single day. He wants us to be perfect and I love that as a manager. I played for a guy like that in high school and my dad is exactly like that also. So being able to come in every single day and that approach to win ballgames and playing for a guy like that is fun. I love Matt and see what he thinks about hitting.”
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Drew Storen, the Nats’ closer until his demotion to setup guy when, in a midsummer deal, the club picked up the fabled ex-Red Sox, ex-Phillies Jonathan Papelbon, was the main perpetrator and victim of the above-cited Biblical largesse. He presented a red beard and an aura of near-clinical anxiety. Matt Williams, his manager, brought him back again last night, no doubt as a statement of trust, to face Cespedes, who hit the go-ahead (and winning, it turned out) two-run homer on Storen’s second pitch. Storen, one understands, will remember all this for the rest of his life. So will I.
Papelbon (with that irritating Tik-Tok of Oz stare-in and arm-drop now copied by ten thousand kid pitchers) lost the middle game on a pinch-hit home run by Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Manager Williams made all the available moves but never the right one. Everything Mets skipper Terry Collins tried seemed to work out, including his decision to keep the rookie outfielder Michael Conforto in left in the eighth on Wednesday night, where he made a skidding, breathless late grab to save the day and the joy. Has Collins used up the Mets’ seasonal quota of magic with such prodigality?
Hmm. Only Mets fans ask questions like this.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Friday, September 04, 2015
Will Bryce ever see another pitch in the strike zone??
Bryce Harper made headlines on Thursday night with a spectacular score line — zero at-bats, zero hits, four runs, one RBI and four walks.
He saw 20 pitches in Washington’s 15-1 drubbing of Atlanta and didn’t swing once, as his walk total climbed to 104 for the year – second to only Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (116).
Mostly posting because: “The only player to see more pitches and not swing in the last 10 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info, was Juan Uribe in 2010. His total was 21, one more than Harper’s.”
Juan Uribe would not have been my first, or 100th, guess.
Posted: September 04, 2015 at 10:45 AM | 20 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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