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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Bryce Harper hits ‘Ichiro’ single, hustles, goes 2 for 2 against the Mets

When Bryce Harper dug into the batter’s box Monday night in the sixth inning, he decided he would shelve his power for guile. On the mound stood Danny Herrera, one of the funkiest pitchers in baseball. A sawed-off lefty with hair flowing out the back of his cap, Herrera throws fluttering screwballs and looping curves, anything that’s not straight.

And so Harper hatched an unusual plan. As Herrera twirled one of his slow curves, Harper took several steps forward, a head start toward first base, and lashed at the ball.

“I just tried to Ichiro it,” Harper said. “I just tried to put the bat on the ball. That happened, and I just started running.”

And something pretty stunning happened. Harper hit a routine groundball to third base. Vinny Rottino fielded the ball cleanly and made a strong throw to first base. And Harper just beat the throw.

“He hustled,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He plays hard. He’s a throwback. He plays the game right.”

I don’t think its an exaggeration to call it the greatest spring training infield single of all-time.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: March 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4075006)
Despite the talk about Bryce Harper being a pr*ck, he just sounds like your run of the mill, immature 19 year old to me.
   2. Hack Wilson Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4075011)
Harper took several steps forward, a head start toward first base, and lashed at the ball.
...hitting both the ball and the pitcher with the same swing.

A favorite quote by Gene Wilder, "Can I help it if I have this tremendous stride?"


   3. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4075039)
You can see the hit here.

Sort of Ichiro-ish, but there's no running on the box. More like he got his hips up and shoulders up, got back on his heels, and swung the bat with downward motion. Looks more like a Hriniak disciple than Ichiro.
   4. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4075047)
These young players today need to take a lesson from the greats of yesteryear, like Reggie Jackson. Reggie would never do something like this.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4075060)
Screwball! I didn't know anybody threw a screwball these days.
   6. Spivey Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4075066)
Harper did motor down the line, so good for him. And he's quite fast. That was not a strong throw though, and it was more lackadaiscal getting rid of the ball than you can be with a fast guy running.
   7. zack Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4075083)
Cool that he could switch forms like that, but he's out by a mile if Rottino (who?) hadn't taken six years and a short-arm to get the ball to first.
   8. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4075097)
Geez, Rottino, try to cut out the triple-pump.
   9. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4075110)
As I said in our improvised chatter, I hope never again to see Rottino at third base.
   10. Squash Posted: March 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4075144)
Wow, that guy does not have the arm to play 3B.
   11. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4075180)
Eh, it came against the Mets. Big deal.
   12. MM1f Posted: March 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4075200)
I'm in here to post my obligatory "I LOVEDanny Ray Herrera!" comment.

Also, people forget that Harper is an average to above-average runner. He isn't a slow slugger.
   13. Greg Pope Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4075258)
A sawed-off lefty with hair flowing out the back of his cap


I have no idea what a "sawed-off lefty" is.
   14. gef, more dangerous than a monkey w/ a razor blade Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4075266)
He meant "sod-off lefty." Herrera is unbearably rude.
   15. Ebessan Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4075275)
I figure that it was about Herrera's height.
   16. gef, more dangerous than a monkey w/ a razor blade Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4075283)
Has to be. Especially when he shows up in BB-Ref as 5'6.
   17. Der-K should've known better than to fly on AA. Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4075296)
Danny Ray Herrera is awesomegreat. (By which I don't mean a productive big leaguer.)
He's also from Lilliput.
   18. JoeHova Posted: March 06, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4075318)
Rottino was a catcher/utilityman in the Brewers system a few years ago. A relatively local kid (Racine, iirc) he had a little bit of a following throughout his minor league ascent and played every position in one game in A-ball. He's bounced around a bit after getting a few cups of coffee with Milwaukee. I thought he was supposed to have an acceptable arm though.
   19. Athletic Supporter was shiny, now he's all rusted Posted: March 06, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4075366)
This is actually a pretty awesome play, regardless of the luck factor in hitting it to a fake third baseman.
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4075430)
And he's quite fast

Have you met many fit, athletic 19 year olds? They are all fast. It's just a fast age. I do a fair bit of running with a running club and all the young guys are just really quick over the shorter distances. Thankfully the club does a fair amount of 10-20K runs so us old guys can keep up.
   21. McCoy Posted: March 06, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4075481)
Kind of like all major league ballplayers were SS at some point in their lives including Adam Dunn.
   22. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: March 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4075490)
Hey, the Red Sox beat some college team this weekend 25-0.

Same difference.
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 06, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4075520)
I refuse to believe that Johnny Estrada was fast even when he was 19.
   24. zonk Posted: March 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4075536)
Yes, yes -- Joey Gathright is just what the Nats were looking for...
   25. Tippecanoe Posted: March 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4075539)
And yet, Bryce Harper could hit 30 homers a season if he wanted to.
   26. KJOK Posted: March 06, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4075562)
Kind of like all major league ballplayers were SS at some point in their lives including Adam Dunn.

and Dmitri Young, who was drafted as a SS (although never played there in the minors).

   27. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: March 07, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4075757)
Geez, I bet not to many high schoolers tried to take out da meat hook on the double play. Where'd he play high school ball? Samoa?

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