Thursday, September 04, 2014
LaRoche took his third at-bat in the 14th inning with runners on the corners and one out. The 34-year-old hit into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but hustled down the line and beat out Dee Gordon‘s throw to first base and the Nationals took a 6-5 lead. LaRoche had driven in his fifth run. Asdrubal Cabrera then homered and the Nats hung on to win 8-5 in 14 innings.
How often has a player entered the game in the ninth inning or later and accrued five RBI? Just one other time in baseball history. Harold Baines accomplished the feat for the Orioles in 1999 against the White Sox.
Wild game. Baines wins this matchup though, he had an RBI triple and scored the tying run in the ninth and then hit a walk off grand slam in the tenth.
BBref has Baines career earnings for his 22 season, 2866 hit career as $24.6 million. B.J. Upton has made nearly $26 million the last two season in Atlanta for hitting .196/.275/.307.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper can’t take a step these days without someone watching him. And apparently people — several thousands of them, in fact — were watching very closely on Saturday night, as he caught the attention and drew the ire of Atlanta Braves fans for repeatedly and seemingly intentionally scuffing the “A” logo that sits behind home plate at Turner Field.
Harper, of course, denies it being intentional, which is actually more pathetic.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
“I don’t watch baseball—it’s too long and boring,” he told the Washington Post.
The Nationals are in the middle of a pennant race and their best hitter does not like watching baseball. Is that a problem? His success thus far in 2014 suggests otherwise.
Yeah, and I don’t really watch tapes of technical reviews and staff meetings when I come home. They too, are too long and boring. Although, strictly speaking, they are not billed as entertainment.
The comparison to soccer in TFA is interesting. The beautiful game can be painfully slow but at least that clock keeps moving and you have some idea when it will end. This tied Angels-Mariners game I’m watching is moving at a pace that suggests it may never end. They should just go to penalty kicks and be done with it.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Manager Matt Williams put on his happy face Tuesday, denying he had a rift with Bryce Harper, telling reporters, “I’ve got Bryce’s back in every way.” It was an interesting reaction, to say the least, considering that 24 hours before, Harper gave an interview in which he all but told Williams how to do his job.
Williams, in his first year managing, is in a difficult if not impossible position. He needs to win over Harper, who, when healthy, is the Nationals’ most dynamic player. But Williams also needs to win over his other veterans, some of whom resent that Harper is the most famous and popular Nat even though he has yet to play 140 games in a season and is still only 21.
What does Williams tell those veterans, who mostly play and hit where they are told, and are certainly more discreet than Harper when they object to the manager’s decisions?
What does he tell center fielder Denard Span, who would be the odd man out in Harper’s suggested lineup, which includes Ryan Zimmerman in left field, Anthony Rendon at third base, Danny Espinosa at second and — ahem — Harper in center?
The challenge for Williams is not as pronounced as, “Lose Harper, or lose everyone else” — at least not yet. But the friction is real. If perceived slights translated into wins, the Nats would run away with the NL East.
...They could trade or bench Span, who has improved his on-base percentage from .305 to .317 in the past two weeks. But many would interpret either move as a capitulation to Harper, potentially sparking greater clubhouse tension. Span does not throw as well as Harper, but both players and club officials view him as the team’s best defensive center fielder.
What about trading Harper? The idea is not as preposterous as it might sound. Harper would command a haul. He is represented by Scott Boras, meaning that the Nationals cannot expect to extend him before free agency. And the Nats have two promising young outfielders who are nearly major-league ready, Steven Souza and Michael Taylor.
Ownership probably would balk at the idea; Harper is the franchise’s meal ticket. Then again, if Harper is the center of the Nats’ universe, the team might as well go all-in. Play him in center. Stop worrying about Span. And don’t worry about anyone else’s feelings getting hurt.
Things will work themselves out, right?
Thanks to DK.
Posted: July 02, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 50 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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