Remember Anthony Varvaro? Braves fans probably do. The righty reliever appeared in 153 games between 2011 and 2014, posting a 126 ERA+ in those seasons.
Following the 2014 seasons he was traded to the Red Sox, where he appeared in only nine games before being waived a month into the season and claimed by the Cubs. Who, in turn, returned him to the Red Sox after an MRI revealed that he had a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. He’d gut through a few more minor league games in 2015 and 2016, but that was it for his career. He retired this past June.
But his second career is just getting underway. The police department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced over the weekend that Varvaro, who is from Staten Island, was one of 80 officers in its 2016 training class. The Port Authority police force, which consists of over 1,700 officers, patrols the trains, subways, seaports, airports in the New York area.
It stinks that his shoulder didn’t cooperate with his pitching career, but it’s nice to see someone find something to fall back on.
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.