Deep thoughts: what does it mean to “consider” someone for the MVP?

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I tweeted this randomly a few minutes ago and got some good responses, so I figured I’d throw it out to the whole crowd:

I tire of the argument that goes like this: “Player X should get consideration for Honor Y!”

It could be the Hall of Fame. It could be a postseason award like the MVP or Cy Young.  Doesn’t matter.  But the argument usually comes in response to me (or someone) saying that a different player should be in or should win.

So I respond: OK, do you think your Player X should win or should get in?  And here’s where it kills me:  “No, but he should get consideration!”

What does that mean?  I mean, yes, I understand that there are downballot votes and that they matter for certain purposes, but if I’ve said I think Jose Bautista is the MVP, should I “consider” another guy?  In reaching my decision isn’t it understood that I’ve considered and rejected the other guys?  Same with the Hall of Fame: Jack Morris should be considered!  Should he be in? “No, but …” Then I guess he’s not worthy of any more consideration is, he?

Yes, this is rather navel-gazey, but I get annoyed at the ____ should be considered stuff.  Am I the only one? Am I being a jerk? Am I just simply getting this all wrong? None of those things are mutually-exclusive, of course.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

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

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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.