Bryce Harper: Nationals “will be the Yankees of the NL East”

11 Comments

Prior to making his Arizona Fall League debut tomorrow Bryce Harper chatted with Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com and had some interesting things to say about the Nationals’ future:

I think in the next couple years we will be the Yankees of the NL East. I have been telling everyone that. We are going to roll. We are going to win some World Series. That is everyone’s goal. [Field coordinator] Bobby Henley preached that from day one: “We are going to win the NL East someday.” I really believe that. Hopefully, we bring a couple of World Series to Washington, D.C.

The whole “we will be the Yankees of the NL East” thing is obviously pretty amusing, but my favorite part of the above quote is that a Nationals coach picked “we are going to win the NL East someday” as his big motivational tactic.  Of course, if the Nationals don’t “win the NL East someday” they’ll be one of the least successful franchises in the history of sports. Someday is a long time.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
2 Comments

Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

Jon Durr/Getty Images
21 Comments

Update: Whoops…

*

Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.