The buck stops… well, over there somewhere

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Mark Whicker told Poynter Online that it’s the “speed and the enormity of the Internet” that forced him to apologize for a column noting sports topics that developed during the 18 years in which Jaycee Dugard was being held captive and raped.
While the piece truly wasn’t intended to harm, Whicker’s misguided effort landed him the title of one of the World’s Worst Persons on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Of course, there’s more than one person deserving of blame when such a poor idea makes it way into a newspaper. Still, no one is taking credit for that, either. Orange County Register assistant sports editor Todd Harmonson said only that someone was filling in for him when the column was submitted, refusing to name his replacement.

Jake Arrieta was not a fan of Bryce Harper’s behavior last night

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As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.

We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:

“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.

“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”

For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.