Found March 08, 2012 on
Bryce Harper plays professional baseball for the Washington Nationals organization.
Just in case you've been living on Mars.
In a cave.
Under a rock.
With your fingers in your ears. (Guess the pop culture reference in the Comments section)
Bryce Harper is in his first Spring Training as a professional baseball player, and hasn't even played a regular season game in the Major Leagues. And yet, his every move is scrutinized as if he's the greatest thing to happen to the sport of baseball since the end of the "Dead Ball" era. I've seen recaps of several of the Washington Nationals games from this Spring Training that only include two pieces of information: the final score, and Bryce Harper's stats.
The coverage has gotten so out of hand that one of my co-workers said earlier in the week, he saw Harper's performance in a particular game described as "Harper Comes Through In The Clutch." My co-worker assumed the story was describing a game-winning hit, when in actuality the hit in question was a single that didn't even score a run.
What really knuckles my curve about this media saturation is that it furthers the national view of the Washington Nationals, that the team has only two players on the entire roster:
- Bryce Harper, OF: 0 Major League Seasons, 0 Major League Games.
- Stephen Strasburg, SP: 2 Major League Seasons, 17 Major League Games.
I'm glad these two players have increased the national profile of my favorite baseball team. But it has come at the cost of the other players on the team. Last year, the Nationals had a good team that finished strong at 80-81, in a rare 161 game season. And they had a lot of good players, worthy of their own spotlight:
- Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: The cornerstone of the franchise. Zimmerman, a former All-Star and Gold Glove winner, still managed to hit .289 with 12 HRs and 49 RBI in only 101 games last year. His 6 year, $100 million contract extension was the most important transaction of the offseason for the Washington Nationals.
- Jordan Zimmermann, SP: Best Nationals starting pitcher last year, hands down. Began the season with All-Star caliber numbers and finished with the tenth best ERA in the National League, all during his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Deserves to be the Opening Day Starter.
- Tyler Clippard, RP: Washington's lone representative at last year's All-Star game. Arguably the second best set-up man in his division, the National League, and the Majors (Jonny Venters, Atlanta Braves).
- Drew Storen, RP: Nationals closer who finished the season with 43 saves and 0.98 K/IP, yet was snubbed from the All-Star team. He teamed with Clippard to form a fearsome 1-2 punch in the back end of the Nationals bullpen. Alas, the two of them had to settle for second best tandem in their division, the NL and all of MLB (Johnny Venters and Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves).
- Michael Morse, IF/OF: Never given 500 At Bats in a season by the Seattle Mariners, Morse exploded last year as an everyday player after 1B Adam Laroche was injured, finishing with 31 HRs, 95 RBI and a .303 AVG in 522 ABs. Yet another player who should have made last year's All-Star team.
- Danny Espinosa, 2B: Runner-up in the NL Rookie Of The Year voting. A dangerous hitter, Espinosa is a fantastic fielder with the range and arm of a shortstop.
- Wilson Ramos, C: Acquired in what is probably the team's best trade since the franchise moved from Montreal. Two years ago, the Nats received Ramos, a minor leaguer at the time, from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for All-Star closer Matt Capps. Ramos is now the Nationals starting catcher; Capps is now the Twins set-up man.
Perhaps the media should begin paying attention to these players instead of Bryce Harper.
Unless they're only interested in Spring Training.
BEST OF MAXIM
Bryce Harper is all of 19 years of age and already fans are clamoring for him to make to Washington Nationals opening day roster.
So far this spring Harper is 5-11, good for a .455 batting average. In his first year of professional baseball, Harper hit .318 with 14 home runs in 72 games in Class A, but only hit .256 with three homers in 37 games in Double A.
It appears the Nationals...
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was a last-minute scratch from Thursday's game against the Houston Astros. A team spokesman said the 19-year-old had left-calf tightness and is listed as day-to-day.
He could be seen in the dugout during the game.
Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, is getting a chance to win the starting right field job this spring...
The Washington Nationals optioned 19-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper to Triple-A Syracuse where he can get experience in center field.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after the team's 11-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday that the timing wasn't right for the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft to make the team out of training camp. When Harper is likely called up later...
Right before the Washington Nationals spring contest with the Houston Astros, top prospect OF Bryce Harper was scratched with tightness in his left calf, according to the Nationals Public Relations Twitter account. He is listed as day-to-day.
Harper has had an impressive spring so far, going 5-for-11 in his first five exhibition games, as he competes against all odds to make the...
And so, on the same day Bryce Harper was scratched from a spring training game with a calf strain ("I never felt it before. That was the weird thing. I felt it this morning. I have no clue what's going on right here") and put on the shelf for a few days, 106.7 The Fan DC's own Chad Dukes (Bryce Harper's biggest fan!!1!!!11!) went on the radio in Philly to...
Nationals prospect Bryce Harper became a media and fan target when he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16 in 2009. Since then, he’s been ejected from the JUCO World Series, worn a faux hawk haircut, blown a kiss to an opposing pitcher, and named his puppy “Swag.” After that laundry list of offenses, it’s easy to see why he’s so despised and why he closed...
(Hey, that's a photo of Bryce Harper with Peter Gammons, via @NationalsPR.)
After playing in every game of the spring so far, Bryce Harper finally got a day off on Wednesday. And a well-deserved day off, too. Harper's aggressiveness apparently got the best of him on Tuesday; bet this won't be the last time you read those words over the next few years. Adam Kilgore...
While Bryce Drew won’t be returning to the NCAA tournament this year after losing to Detroit in the Horizon League championship Tuesday night, the future is looks rosy for the first-year head coach.
The storyline of Drew, who arguably hit the greatest NCAA tournament shot in the last 20 years, returning to March Madness while both his parents battle cancer, would have been media...
Gio makes killer debut, goes 3 scoreless, touches 95. [WaPo]
106.7 launches #FUPhilly campaign. [Nats Enquirer]
Davey wants Werth to be more aggressive. [Nats Journal]
A “humble” Bryce Harper doing right things to make Show. [Wash. Times]
Caps blow two-goal lead, lose in OT to Carolina. [Japers Rink]
Video explanation of Orlov’s 10-min. misconduct. [Puck Daddy]
Top Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was a last-minute scratch because of a tight left calf and Houston Astros starter Livan Hernandez left in the third inning after being hit by a line drive in a game won by Washington 8-0 Thursday.
Ryan Zimmerman, whose liner hit Hernandez, had his first home run of the spring among his two hits and two RBIs. Nationals starter Edwin Jackson struck...
• Black porn star is a HUGE Duke, Coach K fan
• D.C. radio bro calls Bryce Harper a ‘douchebag’
• Douchebags: Philip Rivers endorses Rick Santorum
• Selection Sunday Drinking Game
• University of Arizona Pi Phi Bikini Time: Cassie
• Get Your Hot Asian Bikini Fix Friday: Natasha Yi
• Polish Lingerie Model You Should Know: Natalia
• WTF, Old Man: Old douchebag...
Last night on The Baseball Show co-hosts Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and MJ Lloyd of Off-Base Percentage and I discussed the following:
-With spring training in session, which starts are we impressed by?
-Basic fantasy baseball talk in leading up to our fantasy draft next week
-Bryce Harper talk (which probably should become a weekly, formal segment)
-How does Brett Lawrie...
VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- Bryce Harper woke up with tightness in his left calf so, after he failed to get it loose, the Nationals scratched their top prospect from Thursday's game against Houston. Astros starter Livan Hernandez left under much scarier terms.
Hernandez was hit in the lower right leg by a drive off Ryan Zimmerman's bat in the bottom of the third inning of Washington...
It’s been a while since we’ve thrown it around. Let’s plan on making this more of a regular occurrence now that it’s baseball season. Here’s a look at some interesting baseball reads around the internet for this March spring day:
-How Aaron Gleeman (baseball blogger/Hardball Talk) lost 150+ pounds. Pretty inspiring. [Aaron Gleeman.com]
-FanGraphs is positionally ranking...