Ejected and suspended, Bryce Harper's college career likely over

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Next week Bryce Harper will be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but last night the 17-year-old phenom may have seen his junior college career come to a premature end by getting ejected for arguing a called third strike.
Unhappy with a fifth-inning strikeout during the National Junior College World Series, the soon-to-be Washington National took his bat and drew a line in the batter’s box where he thought the pitch crossed, at which point the home plate umpire tossed him.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the ejection would normally carry a one-game suspension, but because Harper was also ejected once during the regular season the suspension is increased to two games. At most his Southern Nevada team could have three games remaining this season, but they’ll have to win twice without Harper to make it to the junior college championship game and have him available.
In the grand scheme of things a player being ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes is certainly not a big deal, but Harper’s maturity and makeup have long been in question. His coach, Tim Chambers, naturally defended Harper, saying he was wrongfully ejected by “an umpire with an attitude” and calling it “an awfully quick trigger … on a stage like this, in this environment.”
I’ll say this about Harper: In terms of the hit his reputation will take from the ejection and suspension, he sure picked a great time to have a run-in with an umpire.
UPDATE: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has video of the ejection, so you can judge for yourself.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.