Everything is about the Yankees

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Local TV news in small towns is great. Every story, no matter how unrelated to the area, is tied in locally somehow. “Tsunami in the Pacific! Stay tuned to Action4 to see what that means for you in Central Ohio!”  It’s the very essence of provincialism to look at something that has no connection to you but to stretch for connections.

But it’s not limited to small town TV news. It happens in the biggest of cities too. The back page of today’s New York Post:

source:

I haven’t read the Ken Davidoff article that crazy headline teases, but I’m going to assume a guy as smart as him doesn’t truly see the Hernandez story as bad news for the Yankees. How could it? Hernandez was not a free agent and there has never been a truly credible rumor that he was going to be traded there. If you asked Brian Cashman if the future of the Yankees hinged on them getting Felix Hernandez he’d look at you like you were an insane person.

Rather, this is pretty clearly an editorial diktat to make EVERYTHING about the Yankees if possible.  Or if impossible. Either way. And it feeds into the entitlement a certain brand of Yankees fan gets which is about the most tiresome thing in the world.

Oh, and then this pops up:

Never change, New York Post. Never change.

Bryce Harper will not be discussing his impending free agency with the media

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Bryce Harper is entering his walk year and it is widely expected that the Scott Boras client will, indeed, test out free agency next fall rather than engage in any substantial way with the Washington Nationals about a contract extension. There were some “casual conversations” between the parties in the early fall of 2017, but the Nats came away from that, quite reasonably, believing that Harper, who stands to land the largest contract in baseball history, will shop around.

For his part, Harper met the media on his first day of spring training workouts and let everyone know that, no, he does not plan to answer questions about his potential free agency every day between now and November. From MASN:

“Just want to let you guys know I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all,” said Harper. “I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call Scott and he can answer you guys.”

Makes sense. The alternative would be for Harper to give the same canned “I’m only focused on our next game” responses in front of his locker 150 times this summer, and that doesn’t serve anyone.

Thinking back to any other impending free agent’s comments about his free agency, I can’t remember a story along those lines which was worth much of anything. The genre generally consists of headlines which oversell an innocuous or offhand comment from a player as a means of guessing where his head is at with respect to his current team. I can’t think of any story in which a player, during his walk year, said something that concretely and definitively signaled his intensions in free agency one way or the other.

Reporters covering the Nationals who are curious as to how Harper feels about his current team at any given time would be better served just observing and inferring, with particular attention paid to how Harper and his teammates view the Nats’ competitive position as the season goes on, how they react to trades and stuff like that. There’s a lot of guesswork in all of that, but it sure beats trying to get a media savvy player like Harper to admit, after going 1-for-4 against the Phillies, where he plans to spend the next seven to ten years of his professional life.