With all apologies to Will Leitch, the below photo, from his GQ interview of Bryce Harper — which the good people of GQ gave us permission to run — may be the best part of the interview:
To reiterate, my thing on Bryce Harper: he’s young and brash and says stuff I’d never say. But that doesn’t matter. He’s 19 and I’m 38. And even if I choose to carry myself like an old man because it suits me, if ever comes the day when young stud athletes who are ridiculously confident in their abilities cause me to grouse negatively about them for that reason alone, I’m just gonna give up. He’s fun. I want him to be big and loud and crazy because that’s what youth is all about.
That said, I can’t imagine that there won’t be a day at some point when he really wishes he didn’t let the photographer put the baseball in his mouth. Like maybe today. Because if I was on the Nats, I’d be plastering that thing all over the clubhouse today with an impromptu caption contest.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.