Of course it’s Bob Klapisch who, after noting that he is a subscriber to and reader of a magazine that features nude pictures of Matt Harvey this week, argues that it’s a real awful bad thing for Matt Harvey to pose nude in that magazine this week:
We’re beginning to learn there’s more to Harvey’s success than a blistering 98-mph fastball. He’s also been blessed with a keen self-awareness, which means he knew exactly what he was getting into with ESPN, not to mention a follow-up photo fashion shoot with the New York Post. Turns out Harvey’s talent and brains are matched by his ego and vanity … Harvey has nothing to be ashamed of. He’s baseball’s most dynamic young arm and, as the magazine proves, in great shape. But why would Harvey brand himself as the naked pitcher? What’s the upside to such a reputation? If Harvey wants to prove he’s enlightened and open-minded, there are a million other ways to express that without putting a bull’s-eye on his back.
“Ego and vanity!” So serious these nudie photos are! Such an unprofessional, narcissistic thing to do! It’s something A-Rod — that awful human being — would do, not professionals.
In other news:
Know what? I think Harvey is gonna be just fine.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.