Let’s play “Translate Joe Torre.” Here’s what his mouth said:
“The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox. Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”
Here’s what he actually meant to convey:
“Look, we all saw what was going on because the TV cameras are awesome these days. The Red Sox saw it too. And I imagine the umpires did too, but I am going to say they didn’t ‘observe’ it because those are totally two different things and who wants to open up that friggin’ can of worms? Anyway, everyone uses sunscreen and pine tar and crap, and we are going to tell the Yankees that, lest they ruin it for EVERYONE, they had best make sure their pitchers are a little less bleedin’ obvious about it.”
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.