Category Archives: Bryce Harper

THE CY YOUNG AND MVP AWARDS – REVISITED

Five weeks ago, I took a stab at who might win the Cy Young (left) images (8)and MVP (below) awards in each league. Yesterday, the top three finalists were announced in each category (somebody had a good idea). The field looks remarkably images (7)similar to the players I predicted would be in contention, except for the inclusion of Sonny Gray who emerged as a candidate for the AL Cy Young. 

While my reasoning behind the selections I made remains constant, my selections now are a bit different, mainly because the Post Season is now over. In the same way I put stock in a player’s TEAM making the playoffs, I now think that player’s performance in the Post Season counts equally as much. So, let’s get to the picks….. Continue reading

ANOTHER BASEBALL BRAT – BRYCE HARPER

The Bryce Harper/ Jonathan Papelbon explosion in the dugout that was caught in full view of cameras this weekend is merely a indication that something has been wrong in that clubhouse since day one this season. This was a team locked and loaded during the off season with the free agent big splash signing of Max Scherzer. All they seemingly had to do was play the schedule.

In this photo taken May 19, 2015, Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) reacts in the dugout during an interleague baseball game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park in Washington. There's rarely a dull moment when it comes to Bryce Harper. Been that way pretty much ever since the Washington Nationals brought him to the majors at age 19. He'll hit six home runs in a span of three games. He'll get ejected twice in the span of seven days. He'll win NL Player of the Week honors _ and then do it again a week later. And all of that has happened just this month. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ORG XMIT: WX201

Except they walked through the season and the Mets stole it away from them. As Bob Dylan said many years ago, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”………this Nationals team was a train wreck from day one.

Jonathan PaplebonJonathan-Papelbon-Bryce-Harper-scuffle-lg is an aging closer who has not been consistently effective for years. He has been suspended for four games by the Nationals. In all likelihood, he will be struggling to hook up with a team next Winter to save his downward spiraling career……but that should not be the point. The focus instead should be on how the Nationals front office is handling Bryce Harper.

Look, Bryce Harper is only 22 years old. Okay, I get that but there has to be some accountability He said in a post game press conference following the incident (paraphrasing his words)…”I (emphasize the I)  have six games more to play and there are things I (there it is again) want to accomplish this season.”  Really, Bryce? Your team was just eliminated from the playoffs….do you get that? But even worse, the Nationals front office doesn’t seem to get it either. Instead, this is all about a MVP AWARD for a player on a losing team. At some point, Harper needs to step up and lead his TEAM. But the bigger question is when will the Nationals read him the riot act emphasizing that TEAMS win Championships. This is not golf.

Conversely, 1392234550000-2014-02-12-jeter2Derek Jeter was the same age as Bryce Harper when he broke into the Majors in 1995. From day one he preached and played to win. He led by example. He charged to first on EVERY ground or fly ball. Okay, I get it…..not everyone is Derek Jeter. But having said that, Bryce Harper is a immensely talented ballplayer and that alone should carry with it a responsibility to LEAD his team by setting a example for all others to follow. 

Take your MVP AWARD if that’s what makes you happy, Bryce. But in my book, it’s a pretty shallow award……and you need to grow up.

THE THREE BIGGEST TEAM FLOPS THIS YEAR

So you think back to April when all the Hot Stove trades and free agent signings are over with and the season is young and fresh – and we looked to see where our favorite team was predicted by the “experts” to land in the Division Standings after 162 games……except one thing happened along the way……..they had to play those games. What was thought to be then isn’t now. Some would even argue the standings are upside down, except when you think about it they’re not. These teams deserve to be exactly where they are.

With virtually no argument expected, the Washington Nationals take the prize as the biggest flop of 2015. Just for example, name one playerimages-45 who has lived up to his expectations (and you can’t say Bryce Harper because he’s finally becoming everything they said he was supposed to be) this season. Matt Williams was an ill advised hiring and it’s surprising he’s even still there. Max Scherzer (right)……..where was he?….Look, every team like every player can have a “off year”…..but this was total demolition.  Put a team together guys……..have a plan…..

The next team on my list is the San Diego Padres, if only because of the big splash they made in the off season with a new GM and a cadre of “moves” images-57made virtually every week. Except for one thing again……it’s not the quantity of moves you make it’s the quality of those moves and how they fit into your overall strategy…..if you have one………Or are you just taking your six gun out into Dodge and firing everywhere? Matt Kemp (left) is a good example of where the wheels came off even before they knew it did. Matt Kemp has had trouble hitting home runs in Dodgers Stadium for five years and now you’re bringing him into cavernous Petco??? What were they thinking? Besides, he’s totally “L.A.” (see photo) 

My final team is more of a disappointment than a flop. And we all know the odd even thing going on here images-62and how this was mapped to be a “off year” for the Giants (as my friend Ronnie Redmond laments)…..and I get thatimages-53 but we are talking about a team with immense talent battling the “soft” and very beatable Dodgers……and they just evaporated into nothing in the final 40 games, and maybe even sooner. The loss of a very underrated Jeff Panik hurt…..same with Angel Pagan……but somebody’s gotta pick it up……..and nobody did. Kudos to “Bum” (upper left) and MVP Candidate Buster Posey (upper right) for doing all they could. Gotta strengthen that starting  pitching though for next year…….Cain (ouch – big money lost so far), Lincecum (make him a seventh/eighth inning man?), and Peavy (his last stop in a very pedestrian career)…..have to do better than that versus Kershaw/ Greinke……..

Next post……the three biggest Surprise Teams of 2015.

Continue reading