I have no idea how ballplayers function when stuff happens with their families while they’re on the road:
While in Denver on Thursday, Rafael Furcal got an alarming call from
his wife. Authorities had issued a mandatory evacuation of their
Flintridge neighborhood as the raging Station Fire approached, and she
didn’t know what to do.
“I tell my wife, ‘You know what, get clothes for the kids and
take the car and get out of there,'” Furcal said. “Life is more
important than anything.”
Furcal’s house was spared and everyone was alright. Torre didn’t start Furcal against the Diamondbacks last night, in part to give him a mental break.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.