Sad news out of Kentucky.
According to the Associated Press, former major league pitcher Woodie Fryman passed away this weekend at the age of 70.
Fryman played 18 major league seasons from 1966-1983, spending time with the Expos, Pirates, Phillies, Tigers, Reds and Cubs. He had four career one-hitters and he left the game after the ’83 season with a 3.77 career ERA.
His best season as a starter — he pitched in relief later in his career — came in 1968, when he was a 28-year-old with the Phillies. He finished the year with a 2.78 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 213.2 innings.
The Expos inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1995 before relocating to Washington, D.C.
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.