For those of you doing the math, Bryce Harper’s college jersey will be retired before Sparky Anderson’s Tigers jersey will be:
The College of Southern Nevada will retire the No.34 jersey worn by Bryce Harper on Friday. Harper, 18, played in 66 games with the school after skipping his senior year of high school to accelerate his eligibility to be drafted.
Every fiber of my being wants to snark about this, but really, it’s not like there’s going to be a bigger star come through the College of Southern Nevada any time soon, so good for them. The only criticism I can even potentially lob at this move is that they should wait a couple of years until Harper is a big, big star and then tie it into a huge extravaganza involving the returning big leaguer and all of that.
In other news, I’m reading a biography of my favorite painter, Edward Hopper, right now. After years of getting slightly depressed that more and more people who are way younger than I am have achieved fame, riches and notoriety, I am somewhat pleased to read that, at my age, Hopper was still a year away from anything approaching real recognition.
Not that I’m petty and insecure or anything.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.