Apparently Dusty Baker needs to teach Bryce Harper “how to be a man”

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You would think that, after putting up a season which will almost certainly lead to him winning the MVP Award, the old game of bashing Bryce Harper as some sort of immature kid who hasn’t lived up to his hype would become inoperative. But nope, there are still some who think that trope has legs.

Here’s Steve Kettmann writing at Forbes about the Nationals hiring of Dusty Baker:

In Dusty Baker the Nationals are getting a man who understands people and knows how to work with young superstars to take them to the next level. Make no mistake: The single key to turning the Nats into a World Series team is not studying lefty-righty matchups, or contemplating WAR, but teaching Bryce Harper how to be a man . . . Under Baker’s guidance Harper will be the best player in baseball next year.

Harper was the best player in baseball THIS year, but I suppose we can let that go. As for teaching Harper “how to be a man,” well, I suppose we have to let that one go too because Kettmann doesn’t explain how he is lacking in that regard either. This smells an awful lot like off-the-shelf Harper criticism rooted in inferences made about a teenager six years ago.

Kettmann doesn’t write his column with the purpose of burying Harper — it’s more about praising Baker, whose book the small imprint Kettmann owns just published — but I find the autopilot “Bryce Harper is an immature kid” stuff to be beyond tiresome at this point. And, worse, divorced from reality.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.