What happened to Bryce Harper


There is no question mark on there because I’m not asking. I’m linking to Adam Kilgore’s excellent, perspective-providing piece on the downfall — however temporary it may be — of a kid who was killing it early last season and looked to be on the verge of an MVP run. Money quote:

In late April 2013, Harper was conquering worlds. Over the past 15 months, he has undergone surgery twice to repair injuries that forced him to change the swing he had honed his entire life. He is two months shy of his 22nd birthday. Tuesday night, Javier Baez made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs, and for the first time since Harper made his debut in April 2012, a player younger than Harper appeared in a National League game.

Before he finished his radio appearance, Williams told the hosts, “He’ll be fine, you guys.”

Kilgore also contexualizes that little dustup Matt Williams had with the media yesterday over the possibility — raised by a radio host — that Harper could be sent down to the minors. We’re just as guilty, if not more guilty, as anyone in reacting in a kneejerk fashion to quotes and things. But Kilgore provides some nice perspective on all of this.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.