A half hour ago I referenced Godwin’s Law and Smoltz’s law, which are rules designed to keep people from making inapposite or inappropriate comparisons. While I quibble with them — like I said, they place off-limits signs on certain areas of comparison for no compelling reason — I understand them. After all, they exist mostly to help keep you from making a fool out of yourself via bad analogies so it’s probably worth making your peace with them.
I think the same can probably be said of comparisons to Jackie Robinson.
To be clear: I don’t think anything should be off limits when it comes to the general discourse, so don’t go crazy on a guy simply because he compares something a current ballplayer faces to that which Jackie Robinson faced. But do understand that 90-95% of the time you make such comparisons to Jackie Robinson, your comparison is going to be a profoundly poor one that is going to cause you no small amount of trouble. And that’s even if your point isn’t about race (if it is about race, God help you).
That’s the lesson that a couple of Washington Nationals front office people are going to learn pretty soon, as they said the following about what Bryce Harper’s march to the major leagues entails to Tom Verducci in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. Here’s Nats’ minor league coordinator Tony Tarasco:
“Jackie Robinson … You have to go back to Jackie Robinson to find anybody who goes through this much scrutiny. It wasn’t like this for [Stephen] Strasburg. Wasn’t like this for Alex Rodriguez.”
Here’s Nats’ director of player development Doug Harris:
“This is really unfair and it’s totally different, but if I can make a comparison to one guy that has been scrutinized like this, it would be Jackie Robinson. And it’s unfair because it was a different standard. He was under a microscope in an era when we didn’t have Internet, didn’t have cellphones … Now, Jackie Robinson had his life threatened. I’m not comparing Bryce to that. But as far as nonstop scrutiny? Absolutely. Day to day.”
I’m sure Bryce Harper faces a lot what with being so young and having such expectations placed on him. But I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the Jackie Robinson comparison is a bit too much. And either way, these guys are going to probably get murdered by the chattering classes for invoking the name of Jackie Robinson with respect to this kid.
PITTSBURGH — Right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and will make his second major league start Saturday when he faces the Philadelphia Phillies.
Glasnow lost to the Cardinals at St. Louis on July 7, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was 7-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 18 starts with Indianapolis.
Catcher Elias Diaz was also recalled from Indianapolis while right-handed reliever AJ Schugel was optioned to the same club. Catcher Eric Fryer was placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl – on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Diaz underwent arthroscopic right elbow surgery May 3 after being injured in spring training. He has played in a combined 12 games at three minor leagues, hitting .341, after making his major league debut with the Pirates last September.
ST. LOUIS — Matt Adams homered in the 16th inning to lead the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night for St. Louis’ season-best fifth straight victory.
It was the second consecutive game that the Cardinals won in their final at-bat. They beat the Padres on Thursday after scoring a run in the ninth inning.
Adams homer came with one out off Bud Norris (5-9), who gave up six runs as a starter in an 8-1 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
Seth Maness (1-2) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief for St. Louis, which was playing its longest game of the season.
Jedd Gyorko hit a two-out homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth to tie the game 3-3.
Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick homered for the Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost four of six. The red-hot Turner has seven homers and 17 RBI this month. He hit two homers in a 6-3 win over Washington on Thursday.
Turner blasted his career-high 18th homer of the season off Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.
Corey Seager had four hits and drove in the first run of the game. He had hit in seven successive at-bats before flying out in the ninth.
Kendrick’s solo shot in the sixth tied the game 2-2. He has hit in 14 successive games trying Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the longest current streak in the majors.
Los Angeles starter Brandon McCarthy allowed one hit and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, the longest of his four starts this season. He left with leg cramps. McCarthy struck out four and walked three.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore recorded his 28th successive scoreless outing by retiring two of four batters in the seventh. He has not allowed a run in 41 of 42 appearances this season.