There’s a wonderful collaborative multimedia piece on the Washington Post website analyzing Bryce Harper’s violent-yet-beautiful swing.
The story, written by Adam Kilgore, goes in-depth on the roots and mechanics of Harper’s swing. It includes an anecdote about how the young phenom had an important realization at about 7 or 8 years old. Yes, while most of us were watching cartoons and drinking juice boxes, Harper was thinking critically about his swing.
Kilgore’s story is complemented by a wealth of data, ranging from how Harper is pitched to his success rate against particular pitches. Finally, there’s an interesting video breakdown of Harper’s swing which shows an eerie similarity to one of the best home run hitters in history.
Tremendous work all around. Put aside 10 minutes and check it all out. It’s well worth your time.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.