Having lost Dan Uggla to eye surgery and Tyler Pastornicky to a torn ACL, the Braves are now prowling the waiver wire for a second baseman as they prepare for the post-season. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted this earlier:
Uggla was having the worst season of his career before he opted to have LASIK surgery, holding a .696 OPS and -0.4 WAR according to Baseball Reference. Pastornicky has not played much this season and was in the second game of his most recent stint in the big leagues before suffering the torn ACL.
Second base is not a position of excess, especially after the Phillies recently locked up Chase Utley for another two years, and the Royals acquired Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio. The Rays recently released Ryan Roberts, so he could be one option. In the meantime, the Braves have called up Phil Gosselin and put Paul Janish in the lineup at second base tonight.
When the Phillies go on the road, and even sometimes at home, outfielder Bryce Harper is a magnet for hecklers. Fans have been chanting things like “overrated” at him. But it hasn’t really been working.
Last night, Harper was being booed and ridiculed by fans at Fenway Park according to MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato. Harper shut them up with a two-run home run in the fifth inning which gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead, the score by which they would eventually win. Manager Gabe Kapler said, “I thought it was really interesting. There were some hecklers. I don’t know if they were Red Sox [fans] or who they were, but they were on him pretty good up until that moment. That was a pretty explosive moment for the dugout celebration.”
It is not the only time Harper has been heckled only to homer shortly thereafter.
Last week, Harper was 0-for-3 in a game against the Cubs. On his way back to the dugout, a fan yelled, “$330 million, 0-for-3.” Per TMZ Sports, Harper responded, “Shut the f–k up, stupid!” He would go on to hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Two weeks ago in San Francisco, fans chanted “overrated” at Harper. He promptly hit one of his two home runs in the Phillies’ 9-6 victory.
Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009, when he was 17 years old. Tom Verducci compared him to LeBron James, a comparison that has stuck with Harper ever since. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 draft. He’s more than used to being in the spotlight and more than used to hearing a little criticism. He lets his haters be his motivators. Maybe his detractors should approach it from the opposite angle — try killing him with kindness. Yelling, “Bryce, you have great hair!” might get him to go on an 0-for-54 skid.