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Player Poll: Bryce Harper is the most overrated, Manny Machado is the dirtiest

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For the second year in a row, The Athletic has published the results of a 30-team survey in which players were asked all manner of questions, ranging from who are the most overrated players, who are the most underrated, who is the dirtiest and who would they least like to fight if fisticuffs broke out in a game.

There are also all manner of questions about baseball labor and money, the DH, which managers guys would want to play for the most and the least, which cities they most and least like to visit and tons of other interesting topics.

The Athletic pays its bills via subscriptions, so I’m not gonna give their stuff away for free, but as a teaser I will note that . .. .

  • Bryce Harper was voted the most overrated player in the game. Which he always is. Back in 2014 and even before that guys were rating him that way in other surveys. The guy was super hyped at 16, everyone decided he didn’t deserve that and, I suspect, he will thus always rate that way on these polls, even if he’s the MVP or hits for the triple crown or something;
  • Manny Machado was voted the game’s dirtiest player. Chase Utley got nearly 10% of the vote, though, even though he’s retired. Which is weird because usually people say Utley “played hard” not that he was dirty. Wonder why other dirty players don’t get that treatment?
  • Most players are unhappy with the state of labor issues and finances in the game. Some very much so, some only mildly. Most think there is fishiness in the market but a plurality stop short of calling it “collusion” even though some of them, in saying it’s not collusion, say that what is happening is “x” in which “x” actually describes collusion; and
  • Gabe Kapler is not gonna win any popularity contests among managers.

That’s it. You’re gonna have to go to The Athletic to read the rest of it. It’s funny as hell and revealing too. I don’t get a commission for recommending this, but this is the sort of thing The Athletic does really well and you should subscribe to ’em for that reason.

Jimmy Nelson to undergo back surgery

Jimmy Nelson back surgery
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Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo lumbar surgery on his lower back on Tuesday.

Nelson, 31, signed with the Dodgers on an incentive-laden one-year, $1.25 million contract with a vesting 2021 option back in January. With incentives, Nelson could have pushed his 2021 option from $2 million to $9 million. The Dodgers can instead buy him out of his contract for $500,000.

At the beginning of spring training in February, Nelson was battling groin and lower back issues and ultimately exited a late-February bullpen session due to back issues, ending his chance to win a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Nelson missed the entire 2018 season due to a shoulder injury and briefly pitched for the Brewers last season. Across 22 innings, the right-hander allowed 17 earned runs on 25 hits and 17 walks with 26 strikeouts.

David Price recently opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the Dodgers’ rotation appears to include Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, and one of Ross Stripling, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin.