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.