The Rangers signed Andrew Cashner to a one-year deal on Monday. They had been trying to land him for a while. Meanwhile Cashner, a Texas native who went to TCU, has long been interested in Texas. Everyone always says nice things right after a contract is signed, but the words from both the club and the player this week are particularly effusive.
For Cashner’s part, he said something which, I suspect, will become a recurring theme with the Rangers:
“The biggest thing for me is getting to come to what somebody told me the other day is the best culture in baseball,” Cashner said. “That sets the tone for winning.”
It may not always be a welcome recurring theme. Ask Cardinals fans how much they enjoy the whole “Best Fans in Baseball” thing (hint: they really, really, don’t). It has a way of taking on a life of its own and becoming the source of mocking more than anything.
So, the next time the Rangers are reported to be experiencing a bit of clubhouse drama or find themselves on the wrong end of some unwritten rules controversy — especially if it involves Cashner, which it very well might — expect the whole “Best Culture in Baseball” thing to come back again.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.