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Friday, February 22, 2019

Bryce Harper not expected to receive offer from White Sox

As the Bryce Harper sweepstakes rolls into the final week of February, one potential suitor is reportedly backing out of the race.

According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago, the White Sox will not be making a bid to sign the free-agent outfielder.

The White Sox are still reeling after missing out on their primary target, Manny Machado. But Levine’s sources say that won’t be enough to motivate Chicago’s front office to up the ante on Harper. He cited the team’s confidence in their up-and-coming outfield prospects as part of their reason for not going hard after Harper.

If Kenny Williams is going to sulk like this, there’s no chance that he’ll ever be allowed to return as announcer on The Hollywood Squares….

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, white sox

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5817321)
1) If both players were signed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, with a 5-year opt-out player option, who would you rather have: Machado or Harper?
2) If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?
   2. baudib Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5817325)
1. Machado
2. San Diego or New York
   3. Baldrick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5817326)
1) If both players were signed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, with a 5-year opt-out player option, who would you rather have: Machado or Harper?

Harper, I think. But I don't feel confident.
2) If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?

San Francisco.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5817328)
1) If both players were signed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, with a 5-year opt-out player option, who would you rather have: Machado or Harper?


Harper. With all the discussion about his inconsistency and poor defensive numbers, I think he's become a bit underrated. Bill James used to say that if you want to know what to expect from a player, especially one who's bounced up and down, look to his career numbers. Harper for his career is at .279/.388/.512, a 139 OPS+, with 32 homers and 102 walks per 162 games. That's a whale of a player.

And he just turned 26. Even if you've written off the possibility of him ever improving, he's still highly likely to maintain that level over the next five seasons.
   5. bbmck Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5817338)
1) from a Toronto perspective Harper because he comes with the discount of the attention of the US media and resulting increase in advertising revenue
2) I'd let Kayla Varner or Yainee Alonso decide
   6. Adam Starblind Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5817342)
2) If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?


DC, because I could also get a really cool internship.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5817345)
FWIW:

1. Harper, though I'm not confident in that answer. How much is Trout going to get?
2. San Diego is awesome.
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5817349)
1. I think Harper.
2. I think that it's easier to live a "normal" life as someone rich, famous, and young in New York than anywhere else in the US. If you're someone interested in a huge house in a gated community and a lot of private amenities then the choice of city doesn't matter a ton to someone pulling in $30 million a year. Not for me, so I'd go with New York.
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5817365)
1) If both players were signed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, with a 5-year opt-out player option, who would you rather have: Machado or Harper?


Machado by a country mile. He's a more consistent player and plays a more important defensive position with more skill. Harper has one great season, and that's literally the only thing he has over Machado, as far as I can tell. I can't understand why anybody would ever answer this question with Harper.

2) If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?


1. New York
2. Seattle
3. Chicago
4. Los Angeles
   10. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5817366)
San Francisco.

I live in San Francisco. Hard pass. Even the nice parts of town are becoming overrun with thieves and vagrants. They just ran an article in the local paper - 30,000+ car break-ins last year, with 500 cases solved.

If I had to pick, I'd pick New York, Chicago, or Seattle.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5817368)
1) If both players were signed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, with a 5-year opt-out player option, who would you rather have: Machado or Harper?
2) If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?


1) Machado
2) New York or Chicago
   12. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 22, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5817372)
I would sign Harper to a 5-year deal at $35 million per, covering 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027. In the even years he would be free to sign one-year deals with other teams.

City: yeah, San Diego would be tough to top, though I might pick San Fran.
   13. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5817390)
I live in San Francisco. Hard pass. Even the nice parts of town are becoming overrun with thieves and vagrants.


You do see venture capitalists everywhere these days.
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5817391)
Machado by a country mile. He's a more consistent player


If you compare them as hitters, the only reason Machado looks more consistent is that Harper has the outlier 198 OPS+ season on his dossier. Machado's full-season OPS+ marks range from 102 to 146; Harper's range from 114 to 156, plus that 198.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5817414)
If you were a 26-year-old free agent, and you could pick where you were going to call home for the next 10 years (forget who your favorite team is, where you grew up, or how good you thought the team was going to be - this is just about where you'd love to live), where would you pick?


Worth recognizing that the players can spend as few as ~100 days in the city in question per year, if they wish, a good half of it during the kids' summer vacation, if they have or will have kids. They work late. Some free agents probably don't intend to put much of a footprint down in the new city, and as such, don't really care.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5817418)
Harper. With all the discussion about his inconsistency and poor defensive numbers, I think he's become a bit underrated. Bill James used to say that if you want to know what to expect from a player, especially one who's bounced up and down, look to his career numbers. Harper for his career is at .279/.388/.512, a 139 OPS+, with 32 homers and 102 walks per 162 games. That's a whale of a player.

So if Harper's underrated, what does that make Machado?

Career totals to date:

Harper: 927 games, 27.4 WAR

Machado: 926 games, 33.8 WAR

And they're both 26 years old.

   17. Baldrick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5817420)
I live in San Francisco. Hard pass. Even the nice parts of town are becoming overrun with thieves and vagrants.

I lived in the Bay for a decade and still go back regularly. This is...not correct.

Edit: There are indeed a lot of car break-ins. A problem that can be pretty easily avoided if you have many multiple millions of dollars.
   18. asinwreck Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5817432)
The White Sox will not win the AL Central again during Jerry Reinsdorf's lifetime. You can win without spending money, but that requires evaluating talent like Andrew Friedman or Chaim Bloom do.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 22, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5817433)
So if Harper's underrated, what does that make Machado?


Properly rated.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5817443)
Machado.

Melbourne.** (Not my fault the quesiton didn't specify. :-) Otherwise SF, NY, Chicago ... for weather SD. Can you get a chunk of land with spectacular mountain views close enough to Denver to commute?

And of course the answer that, for 10/$300 guaranteed, I'd be happy to play in Gary, INd. and then spend my offseason wherever I want.

** I'm not sure this is actually true. The weather kinda sucks there. But it's the only international city I've had the chance to spend a reasonable amount of time in and it's got a good feel.
   21. BrianBrianson Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5817455)
Jeez, you forgo the "Has an MLB team" assumed criterion and still pick a big city? If I could live anywhere for the next ten years, I'd probably pick Portnahaven.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 22, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5817458)
And of course the answer that, for 10/$300 guaranteed, I'd be happy to play in Gary, INd. and then spend my offseason wherever I want.
Call it crying poor or collusion or whatever, but I genuinely don't believe the SouthShore RailCats can afford that kind of contract.
   23. BrianBrianson Posted: February 22, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5817465)
Jeez, if the SouthShore Railcats can't pay a guy thirty bucks a year to play for them, then they might as well fold.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5817484)
Have you been to Gary, Indiana? Thirty bucks a year would represent about 28 percent of the gross economic product of the entire city.
   25. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:53 PM (#5817490)
1. Machado, because he is not limited to the weak side of the defensive spectrum
2. Boston or Denver; runners up: any other cold weather city
   26. Zach Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:02 PM (#5817497)
Over ten years, you're buying the bat. I don't want to pay premium dollars for defense from a guy who will be over 30 for half the contract -- and won't even hit 30 for four more years. That's a lot of time for someone's knees to go south, or for defensive ability to age away.

For places to live, probably Boulder CO. It's a nice area to start with, and enough amenities nearby that you would be getting something out of the extra money.

Live in Gary, Indiana and $30 million isn't getting you anything but robbed. Choose San Francisco and you can spend $30 million and still feel like you're living in Gary, Indiana.
   27. RMc accompanies the Griffmen to Augusta Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:22 PM (#5817502)
Have you been to Gary, Indiana?

He went there, sadly.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:34 PM (#5817504)
Jeez, you forgo the "Has an MLB team" assumed criterion and still pick a big city?

I like culture and food. Yes, I know, rich enough you can fly wherever you want for some culture and have your own personal chef, etc. But I've never been to Portnahaven ... apparently in the Hebrides with an annual summer high temperature around 60 F. So chilly year round, middle of nowhere, probably don't even know how to spell "taco", probably offer a sheep's bladder pizza ... no thanks.

Besides, give or take a few degrees, this is the clear day view from my house in NZ that I didn't need 10/$300 M to afford ... I doubt Portnahaven is topping that. And not that I have anything like this view, but that's where I currently live and the weather is rather San Diego like. So yeah, what's missing from my obviously fabulous life is the stuff that big cities have to offer.

Now San Sebastian Spain seemed like a nice place to retire to ... for all 1.5 days I was there.

But if I win the big lotto then

(1) tear down and rebuild the NZ house but that will barely make a dent
(2) Have a pointlessly nice winter home possibly somewhere warm in Australia (but it's still winter) so maybe someplace like San Sebastian or maybe a mountain getaway ... what the heck, I'll splurge and get one of each ... but that will barely make a dent
(3) fly around the world for jazz festivals, cycling tours, museums and ... well, frankly, probably more good bbq, pizza and Mexican but I'll still find time for some fancy stuff
(4) fly around to wherever my bored embarrassingly young, hot girlfriend wants to go
(5) and probably still have over $280 M left to give to BBTF when I die
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:44 PM (#5817507)
Since I'm probably the only person around here who spends a significant amount of time in Gary (it's the next town over from me), it's worth noting there is one section of the city that is a really great place to live (the Miller Beach neighborhood, on Lake Michigan).

The U.S. Steel Yard, where the Railcats play, is not in that section.
   30. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5817508)
So if Harper's underrated, what does that make Machado?

Properly rated.


If by that you mean "properly rated better than Harper", then we're in agreement.
   31. Omineca Greg Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5817511)
Well, just for your information, Gary Indiana doesn't think much of Manhattan.

So...hardy-har-har.
   32. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:31 PM (#5817514)
I drive the Skyway, at least monthly, and do 'pass through' Gary and past the Steel Yard all the time, I'll admit, I've never stopped, only once did I need to stop in Hammond, usually wait till I get to Merrillville, if I'm not stopping in Munster to pick up something interesting at Three Floyds. I do need to stop at that Mascot HOF they just opened NW of Gary in Whiting. I kind of like that little ball park next to that Mascot museum, I think Its Oil City Park. Who plays there other than LL's etc? I'm not familiar with Miller Beach, but I know the Dunes Lakeshore Park is nearby to the east. That's a pretty area.
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5817517)
Since I'm probably the only person around here who spends a significant amount of time in Gary


My dad is from Gary, so I've been there a lot. It's horrific.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:12 PM (#5817522)
I do need to stop at that Mascot HOF they just opened NW of Gary in Whiting. I kind of like that little ball park next to that Mascot museum, I think Its Oil City Park. Who plays there other than LL's etc?


The primary tenant is a team in a Chicago-area summer league (not surprisingly, the NWI Oilmen). In the spring, Whiting High School plays its games there (my kid's team played a doubleheader there this spring - he got a no-decision in a slugfest). I also saw Team Serbia beat Team Croatia in the International Baseball Challenge last summer.

It's a neat park.

I'm not familiar with Miller Beach, but I know the Dunes Lakeshore Park is nearby to the east. That's a pretty area.


That's right. Part of the lakeshore is just east of the Miller area. And just last week it got upgraded from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the Indiana Dunes National Park.

My dad is from Gary, so I've been there a lot. It's horrific.


Most of it is. But the area from Marquette Park to the county line is quite a nice area. We spend a lot of time there.

   35. base ball chick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5817524)
obviously youse guys do not like places where it is hot, hot or hot

so for me (no itsy bitsy towns for me, no way)

1 - houston

2 - phoenix

3 - san diego

4 - dallas (yecccccchhhhhh)
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:42 PM (#5817527)
1 - houston

So what do you have against Death Valley? No hurricanes or blizzards, and no DH, either.
   37. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:51 PM (#5817531)
Machado

NY
Boston
Chicago
SF
LA
SD

At $30 ml per I can escape anywhere I want in the offseason. Over northern winter and since I live here already, I'd go to Sydney for a couple of months each year. Nice beaches, relaxed lifestyle and the people are great.
   38. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:24 AM (#5817535)
1) Machado, for the same reason as #25.
2) San Diego
Denver
Minneapolis
Oakland
Chicago

Maaaaaaybe Seattle. It's been a long time since I've been there. I don't remember enough details about it to know if I'd enjoy the summers there.
   39. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:52 AM (#5817537)
Machado, and Colorado.

Spent 3 days in San Diego last month. It rained throughout two of those days, and I got food poisoning from some trendy taco joint. Not impressed.
   40. John Reynard Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:06 AM (#5817538)
Harper, he's more likely to opt out in five years in my opinion and his upside is much higher than Machado's while still having a higher downside. Machado might have more value on average over five years with dubious defensive measures we have available (also, what if Machado playing SS isn't why his D was worse this year but he just aged a bit?). But, I see him as way more likely to go Hanley Ramirez or even Wil Cordero on you than Harper.

Harper is also immeasurably more marketable in all but 3-4 MLB cities so you're better off that way too.

City to live as one of these guys, I'd go with Princeton, NJ and play for the Phillies. But, thats me. If I'm one of these guys probably NYC or LA.
   41. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:25 AM (#5817540)
I would like a northern city, as I am really only going to be their for the season, and would not like the really hot places. I will go somewhere hotter for winter. I think for a baseball player, choosing a place like Chicago or Pittsburgh would be great as they have less travel (almost half of the As). That makes a difference when you travel a lot. You are also on the road half the time, so you will get your fill of nightlife and restaurants then.

So Machado

Chicago.
   42. Baldrick Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:02 AM (#5817541)
Maaaaaaybe Seattle. It's been a long time since I've been there. I don't remember enough details about it to know if I'd enjoy the summers there.

Summers in Seattle are just about the best of any summers anywhere in the country. The springs and falls less so.
   43. Tony S Posted: February 23, 2019 at 08:14 AM (#5817543)

1. Tough call. I'd go with Harper, because I'd probably get five good-to-excellent years and he'd then have enough ego to opt out.

2. Denver. (Assuming I'm not a pitcher.) Actually, I want to retire to Santa Fe, especially if 80 inches of rain a year in Maryland is the new normal. Denver would be close enough. San Diego would be a close second.
   44. BrianBrianson Posted: February 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5817568)
But I've never been to Portnahaven ... apparently in the Hebrides with an annual summer high temperature around 60 F. So chilly year round, middle of nowhere, probably don't even know how to spell "taco", probably offer a sheep's bladder pizza ... no thanks.


60F year round is essentially flawless weather. If I could wear a T-shirt and jeans year round - I wouldn't waste too much of that $300 million on clothes, right?

Portnahaven is on the island that produces all the world's best whiskies. So it's not exactly a joke food-wise. And, of course, if you've got $300 million lying around, having specific foods you want brought to you ain't hard. I will say, I didn't see any Mexican, but the island's economy exists to cater to food (well, whisky) oriented tourists who'll travel to remove regions and are often fearsome flush with cash. Probably the best meal I ever had I had in Port Ellen, about a half-hour drive from Portnahaven.
   45. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 23, 2019 at 06:33 PM (#5817628)
Harper, Machado is a dick and dogs it even in the playoffs.

I have traveled a lot and am not a huge fan of cities. I'd stay in Santa Barbara. I can walk to the beach and live in shorts and sandals year round.

Edit: That said Sydney and San Francisco are pretty great. I could live in Hawaii or Tahiti too.
   46. Omineca Greg Posted: February 23, 2019 at 07:44 PM (#5817632)
If I could wear a T-shirt and jeans year round - I wouldn't waste too much of that $300 million on clothes, right?

Jeans? And a T-shirt?

On Islay?

No, no, no, no.

Trews and a jacket.

And get the trews in the official tartan of the Islay Whisky Club.

I'm not kidding man, they will not sell you that tartan unless you're in "the club". To be fair, I don't think it's the most exclusive club in the world...But still, as you're jumping the stiles of Islay, all the Hebrideans (only Inner Hebrideans, but that's OK...I guess) will be so impressed with your sartorial wherewithal, they'll exclaim, "Lang may yer lum reek, dude!". And then you can share a dram, and to prove you're legit to wear "the club"'s tartan, you can yell out, "That's a fine whisky, it barely tastes like band-aids!", and then there'll be a stunned silence, but just for a moment, until everyone realises you're just joking.

Because it really will taste just like band-aids.

That's the joke!
   47. BrianBrianson Posted: February 23, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5817651)
I'm rarely so formal. When I was on Islay, I usually wore jeans and a flannel shirt, but it was February, so it was more like 50sF

And only Laphroaig really tastes like band-aids. But, you know, the most delicious bandaids you've ever tasted. And Caol Ila a bit, I guess.
   48. Bote Man Posted: February 24, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5817672)
If you have $30 million a year coming in, does it really have any meaning to "live" in a particular place? You could have 3 or 4 houses around the world, a condo in Manhattan, jet around the world to party with The Stones and Jeff Spicoli...but you're still obligated to travel with the team 6 months out of the year. (Note: here I'm assuming Bryce ends up back with the Nationals, who will never, ever get past the NLDS, so 6 months it is.)

I get a bizarre chuckle out of these hourly updates from the likes of Jon Heyman dithering from "any minute now" to "could take days or weeks" for a Harper deal to get done. Late last night while everybody was saying the Phillies plane had departed Las Vegas (without ever knowing exactly why it was there in the first place), 3 hours later Bob Nightengale was tweeting that a deal was being signed as he typed. It's like that guy gets paid the big bucks to be provably wrong all the time. They're all stepping over each other trying to be FIRST!!!11!!! with the breaking news that nothing substantive has happened yet; it's comical.

As one wise commenter has said, if the Phillies truly are throwing "stupid money" at Bryce and he's STILL making up his mind, that tells you that he's in no rush to play in Philly. I suspect the Nationals will be the cavalry riding over the hill at the last minute to come to agreement, but that could be the fanboy in me talking. Otherwise, why hasn't Bryce said "yes" weeks ago?? Reports are all over the map so you can pick whatever tweet or tidbit you want to support your own conclusion; so far we know nothing useful.
   49. . Posted: February 24, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5817673)
It's blatantly obvious that Harper wants to play for the Giants and that Boras is leaking a bunch of stuff to get the Giants to up their offer. If he actually wanted to play in Philly, he'd have signed with Philly weeks ago. (*) Heyman, as everyone knows, is just the mouthpiece to try to do it.

(*) The only reason Machado signed with SD this late is that he didn't really want to play for SD.
   50. Omineca Greg Posted: February 24, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5817740)
I'm rarely so formal. When I was on Islay, I usually wore jeans and a flannel shirt

Well, that's the great things about trews. Dress them up with a jacket, or go more casual with a Jacobite shirt.

If you decide to go with the shirt, but you want a little more ooh-la-la...you can go in different directions.

Feeling saucy...go with a leather chieftan vest.

Maybe you want a crisper look, but still want some panache...make like this cat, stylin' with his fly plaid and oversize tam. He's rocking it! See how the broach sets off his eyes?

Or heck, why not go full Noddy?

Anyway, I share your Hebrides love. Next year I'm going to Barra, where the airport is the beach. Or maybe the beach is the runway. However you want to put it. There's only three flights a day, so most of the time you're still free to forage for cockles or what have you. It's one of the few places in Scotland that doesn't have a distillery. But they're in the first steps of building one, if you want you can help crowdfund it.
   51. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 24, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5817744)
is upside is much higher than Machado's while still having a higher downside.


People keep saying this, but I don't see it at this age. Harper has one luck-driven 10-win season, and other than that Machado is better, always, and has younger player skills. Meanwhile Harper will be playing 1B pretty soon. Machado has both higher upside and a higher floor. When I read people talking about this in this manner I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Having been on the cover of SI at 16 doesn't make him a better bet at 26.
   52. BrianBrianson Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5817769)
Well, a Jacobin shirt and that vest would really work for the more casual times I wear a kilt ... though, these days, that's pretty much just bachelor parties, and those are drying up as I'm becoming a bit more of a geezer.

But, I've only been to the Hebrides once (and the Orknies once). The outer Hebrides are certainly tempting, but that's a big time and money commitment now that I've moved back to North America.
   53. jingoist Posted: February 25, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5817829)
Interesting that only one fan picked a mid-western city.
Chicago is wonderful from May through October; not so much the other 6 months.
Hopefully Harpers wife has a more “worldly” view than he. He would live in Las Vegas given his druthers cause mom and dad live there.
And thinking about where a 26 year old might want to live given today’s wired society, my mind boggles at the thought process he and the misses might undertake.
I know Philly would never make his top 50 list.
   54. BrianBrianson Posted: February 25, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5817830)
Interesting that only one fan picked a mid-western city.


Indeed - if I actually had to live in an MLB city, I'm pretty sure I'd pick Denver. Not if I was a pitcher, though.
   55. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5817900)
1. Harper. I've come to the conclusion that Machado is that rare piece of true #### whose personality affects his on-field value.
2. Assuming some leeway on where I actually lay my head:
1. Oakland. No need to pick San Francisco (which sucks as a place to live); Oakland has better food, better culture, nicer people, and prettier views in all directions. Plenty close enough to dip over and enjoy the Culture if I ever feel the need.
2. Los Angeles. Not a prohibitively long commute from Santa Barbara; perhaps a pied-a-terre a bit closer to the ballpark would be indicated.
3. San Diego. Great town, great food, best weather anywhere.
4. Denver. I like Denver a lot.
5. Minneapolis (assuming I spend offseasons entirely elsewhere), Seattle, Toronto or Chicago would also do. So that leaves about 17 or 18 spots that are "no thanks" from me.
   56. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5817911)
How about least favorite cities? I'm gonna go with St Louis. Maybe Cincinnati.
   57. Cris E Posted: February 25, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5817935)
1. Harper for the many reasons cited above. On the field the guys can get along while they're winning, and off the field I think both are capable of grabbing the five and fly option.

2. St Paul, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Denver: I need winter and a smaller city, and even when I was 26 there was a big steak of 53 running through me.
   58. Cris E Posted: February 25, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5817939)
Least favorite as a player would have to be Boston. If they love you in any city your life is good, but if Boston turns on you it sucks harder than anywhere. NY would be right behind for the same reasons, and I think DC might follow just because to me when I'm there it always feels like no one is actually from there. It's weird.
   59. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 25, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5818063)
Minneapolis is a ########. Nobody should live there.

I've come to the conclusion that Machado is that rare piece of true #### whose personality affects his on-field value.


Do the complaints come from Machado's teammates? Or is it just opponents? This is a serious question. Though I do notice I mostly hear this from fans of teams he's never played for, which makes me suspect it's mostly bullshit.
   60. Tony S Posted: February 25, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5818083)

The must-avoid city for me would be Miami, and that's even if they had a functioning baseball organization. I can understand its appeal to cold-weather-averse people, but that's a moot point in the summer. I have no desire to live in an overbuilt hurricane-prone swamp.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 25, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5818091)
I've come to the conclusion that Machado is that rare piece of true #### whose personality affects his on-field value.


Do the complaints come from Machado's teammates? Or is it just opponents? This is a serious question. Though I do notice I mostly hear this from fans of teams he's never played for, which makes me suspect it's mostly bullshit.

This. In all the Orioles games I watched since Manny came up in 2012, he was always laughing and messing around with his teammates in the dugout, Schoop in particular but others as well.

Seriously, who gives a #### about what opponents' fans think? I'm sure Red Sox fans took it to heart when fans of other teams called Pedro a headhunter, just like Yankees fans cared when other fans trashed O'Neill and Clemens.
   62. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 25, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5818115)
It's a fair point. I never watch non-Sox O's games (obviously), and most of the Sox players do seem to legit dislike him, so it's not unlikely that my view is colored a bit.

Didn't it seem like he was on an island with his bullshit in LA? I don't recall anybody coming to his defense. It also seemed to become Conventional Wisdom Around The League pretty quickly that he hits catchers with his backswing on purpose. Again, I don't recall seeing a lot of teammates (or other players) rush to contradict the quickly-forming narrative casting Machado as the villain.

Similarly, the comments after he spiked Aguilar at first base in the LAD/Mil series were as direct as I can recall in my lifetime - granted, from an opponent again, but you really rarely see players say things about other players like what Yelich said about Machado. For most guys I think people will dance around saying what they mean; even when matters escalate to actual violence I've always had the sense that there's for the most part a strong element of "all part of the game" about it.

I can't say I've seen any comments from teammates about Machado being a piece of #### - but doesn't that seem like an odd bar to have to clear? What players have had those comments made publicly?

Also, what does Jonathan Schoop's opinion have to do with a GM's take on a player's viability as a superstar? That's the implicit question asked in [1], right? The guy's a universally-recognized dirty player who's willing to say on TV that he won't hustle. I'll take Harper.
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 25, 2019 at 10:03 PM (#5818147)
I can't say I've seen any comments from teammates about Machado being a piece of #### - but doesn't that seem like an odd bar to have to clear? What players have had those comments made publicly?

Also, what does Jonathan Schoop's opinion have to do with a GM's take on a player's viability as a superstar? That's the implicit question asked in [1], right?


I've already answered that question: Machado. Nearly as good a hitter, much better fielder at a much more valuable position.

And Manny's got his contract. We'll see what Harper gets. Neither of them are Mike Trout, but then who is?

The guy's a universally-recognized dirty player who's willing to say on TV that he won't hustle. I'll take Harper.

You want to ask some Nats fans about whether Harper's always hustling? You want to ask his ex-teammate, Jonathan Papelbon?

Not that the "no hustling" rep means that much, anyway. That's the sort of BS that usually gets applied to players who don't run out the occasional routine grounder or short fly ball, which winds up costing them maybe one hit every five years. The only time it really should apply is to players who go into home run trots on balls that wind up not clearing the fence, and wind up on first or second instead of second or third. But I've lost track of the number of players I've seen do that.

   64. SoSH U at work Posted: February 25, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5818154)
Not that the "no hustling" rep means that much, anyway.


Usually, it's someone else applying the tag, rather than the player himself.

If I were a GM, I'd rather have Machado, quite comfortably. As a fan, I'd prefer not to have to root for him, given his dirty slides, first base spiking incidents and catcher-clobbering backswings.


   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 25, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5818160)
Since I like the Orioles and not the Nats, I'd have had a much easier time rooting for Manny wherever he'd wound up. Harper's "rebel" image always seemed a bit too carefully crafted for my taste, and after being subjected to all those moronic ads of his I don't think I'd miss seeing his face if I never saw it again. I'm just glad he's not likely to wind up on the Yankees.
   66. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:04 AM (#5818179)
Somehow it just occurred to me that these guys were playing in more or less the same market for the first several years of their careers.
   67. Bote Man Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:21 AM (#5818183)
Usually, it's someone else applying the tag, rather than the player himself.

Tom Boswell last week wrote an article* in which he listed what he perceived to be Bryce Harper's many, many, many, many failings, the most prominent of which was that dreaded lack-o-hustle disease. He concluded that paragraph by noting that a "prominent Nats veteran" told him "write it". This set off some fun speculation about which player that could've been, and whether that player was apocryphal. I mean, how would a player be reading Boswell's mind and then tell him to publish those thoughts? Or was Boswell leading the witness in a back-and-forth interview? Curious.

But then just the other day Anthony Rendon said some things** that very much echoed those same sentiments. Hmmmm.

I've screamed at my screen when I see Harper do something lazy-ish or throw to the wrong base to allow a runner to advance. They don't happen often, but those are the kinds of things that stick in one's memory.

And as much as we hear about players always giving 100%, Yoenis Cespedes was quoted yesterday as saying that he was kind of dogging it because he had a few years left on his contract, but now he would be turning up the volume to 11 entering his final contract year. So players are being brutally honest lately.


* Craig Calcaterra writes about the article:
Though few mention it, subtracting Harper, while it will cost 34 homers, a .899 career OPS and some amazing hair flips, would help any team improve its attention to fundamentals. When the most famous player on the team can’t go 10 days without failing to run out a groundball or overthrowing a cutoff man by 15 feet or throwing to the wrong base or being caught unprepared in the outfield or on the bases, it’s hard to demand total alertness from the other 24.

“Write it,” one prominent Nats vet said.



** WaPo: Dave Martinez, In Second Spring Training, Shows Growth In Shifted Approach
A few people with knowledge of the Nationals’ past clubhouse dynamic also feel that Harper’s outsize presence did not always allow for the necessary accountability. It’s not that Harper encouraged a lax attitude, they said, but that players on a team without him may be more willing to come down on each other for not running out a groundball, failing to get down a bunt or botching an easy play in the field. That will be integral to carrying out Martinez’s vision.

“We’re obviously not going to do it in front of you guys or blatantly do it, like [former closer Jonathan] Papelbon and Bryce,” third baseman Anthony Rendon said, referring to when Papelbon choked Harper in the dugout during a disagreement near the end of a lost 2015 season. “We’re not going to have one of those episodes. But we’re going to address it.”
   68. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5818230)
how would a player be reading Boswell's mind and then tell him to publish those thoughts?


For Christ's sake, that's not how this works. Boswell almost certainly said, "I'm thinking of writing this, but I want to make sure his teammates feel the same way. What should I do?"

It doesn't require mind-reading or witness-leading.
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5818233)
I was under the impression that if a writer criticized a player in this situation, it was actually the team smearing a guy on his way out of town?
   70. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5818236)
And to bring it back to the original two players under discussion, it's clear that neither Harper nor Machado are going to be winning any Charlie Hustle awards or popularity contests among opposing players, so maybe it's best just to compare their numbers and other game-related factors rather than getting into personalities.

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