“David Ortiz is not a baseball player”

35 Comments

Remember that John Steigerwald guy who blamed Bryan Stow’s beating on the fact that he wore a Giants jersey to Dodger Stadium? Yeah, that was some first class poop-stirring.

This bit he wrote about David Ortiz over the weekend doesn’t approach that state of sublimity, but it’s pretty good poop-stirring all the same.

The inspiration: the fact that Ortiz, by virtue of the Red Sox playing a weekend series in a National League park, had only three plate appearances all weekend. And the fact that, coming into the weekend, Terry Francona complained to a local radio station that he couldn’t use his best lineup because of that:

Francona told 93.7 The Fan that it wasn’t fair he had to keep one of his most dangerous hitters and highest paid players out of the game. He also said his batting order is built around Ortiz.

How pathetic is it that Ortiz is either so fat or uncoordinated that his manager can’t find a place for him to play? … He’s such a clod that he risks injuring himself simply by stepping on the field without a bat? Sorry, if that’s the case, David Ortiz is not a baseball player.

As I said a week or two ago, the old DH wars are, well, old.  That said, I am growing weary of hearing American League managers complain about not being able to use their DH in NL parks during interleague games.

Suck it up and either stop complaining or else put your guy in the field somewhere. Your team has been going to NL parks for several years now. Your boss constructed a roster knowing full well that, for a handful of games, you’d have some lineup challenges.  You don’t hear NL managers complaining that they, unlike their AL opponents, don’t have some offense-only player they can use at DH while on the road during interleague play, do you?

Fair? Not necessarily. But neither is rain on a weekend when you planned a picnic, and no one wants to hear you complaining about that either.

(link via BTF)

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

Getty Images
1 Comment

Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.

Indians to move Danny Salazar to the bullpen

Jason Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MLB.com’s William Kosileski reports that Indians starter Danny Salazar is being moved to the bullpen and will be available as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Indians will go on a five-game road strip starting on June 2, and manager Terry Francona said that Salazar could get a start during that trip.

Salazar, 27, has struggled to a 5.50 ERA over his first 10 starts this season. While none of those starts were absolute disasters, he failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of those 10 starts. It’s a far cry from his performance over the last two seasons, when he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 3.87 ERA.

Salazar’s walk rate is up to a career-high 11.9 percent, per FanGraphs, and he’s allowing many more line drives at the expense of ground balls. Compared to 2016, his line drive rate is up 8.9 percent and his ground ball rate is down 10.4 percent. All of that could explain Salazar’s struggles to some extent.