Bryce Harper is living rent-free in Tom Boswell’s head

Getty Images
31 Comments

Last week we talked about how Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times slammed Yasiel Puig on Opening Day. Today a Washington reporter slammed the departed star he once covered, Bryce Harper.

The slammer is the venerable Tom Boswell of The Washington Post. Like Plaschke with Puig, Boswell is not one of those weathervane dudes who turns on guys as soon as they leave town. He’s gotten on Harper’s case many times in the past, so it’s not like this is hypocritical or anything like that. Boswell is what he is and he’s old enough to not give a crap. There’s something admirable about that.

Still, you gotta roll your eyes a bit at this, in response to a question from a reader who interprets Harper’s nice words about Philly as a cheap shot at Washington:

I’ve never seen an athlete spend more time on drawing attention to himself. Maybe it’s just more obvious when he’s on a different team. His green shoes practically glowed in his first Phillies game. Completely stood out from any of his teammates. And after his second homer in two games on Sunday, he had a different home-run celebration “handshake” –or ritual– with each teammate as he went through the dugout. That takes practice! . . .I wonder what Rhys Hoskins thinks –really thinks. Two pitches after Harper’s HR celebration, he got thrown at for the 3rd time in that Braves series. The Atlanta pitcher (Carle) was ejected.

I’m guessing Rhys Hoskins is happy that he has a teammate who hit two big homers during a sweep of a division rival over the weekend, but I suppose you’ll have to ask him.

That ellipsis in the block quote takes out an arguably kind thing Boswell said about how Harper wants to make MLB big like the NBA or something and how baseball has a history of showmen, but you can tell where he really comes down on this. He thinks Harper is some kind of diva. Maybe a lot of people think that, I don’t know.

But I’m not sure why anyone should care. While people like to rip Harper for not being as good as Mike Trout or something, he has mostly backed up his alleged showmanship with production over the course of his career. And I can’t recall anyone ever calling him dirty or mean. Boswell’s own columns have contained anonymous teammates ripping Harper, but anonymous ripping seems to be the lingua franca of the whole Washington Nats scene over the past several years. Ask Matt Williams and Dusty Baker about how that works.

Anyway, you’d think that if Boswell was so bent out of shape about Harper being a self-promoter that he’d stop helping out by giving him a rent-free performance space in the head of the lead baseball columnist for the Washington Post.

And my God, I hope he doesn’t see this:

I eagerly await learning how being happy about having  a baby is me-first behavior.

 

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.