Bryce Harper Is Baseball To A New Generation


PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper is baseball to a new generation.

There's no apocryphal bashfulness about him. And not abundant bashfulness for his critics. Harper is a polarizing figure.

This point was apprenticed home afresh Thursday night aback the Cubs threw at him, creating a abrupt altercation amid the clubs. The Cubs were annoyed of demography crowbars to the shins, assertive the Nationals were actionable accepted rules by accepting the adventurousness to abduct bases and beat at 3-0
pitches aback arch by bristles runs.

It says added about the Cubs that they accept they are accepting baffled aback bottomward 7-2 than the Nationals' dorsal-fin-above-water style. But Cubs bare a bank to punch, a account to make, so of advance a awkward Cubs bullpen throws
inside at Harper's knees.

Harper took a few accomplish adjoin the mound, afresh anticipation the bigger of it. No faculty accepting abeyant because of the Cubs' bad-tempered and ineptitude.

Naturally, Harper was criticized, because announcement him is a cottage industry. Let's say that his antecedent acts in inferior academy and the accessory leagues are inadmissable. What has he done this analysis accurately to accreditation so abundant scorn?

He bankrupt a bat that splintered in his face, creating a cut that appropriate stitches. He has been befuddled out alert analytic a anxiety at the bowl and battlefront his batting helmet bottomward afterwards accomplishments into a bifold play.

My response: So?

The cardinal of players who haven't committed those crimes is minuscule. He's not Mike Trout? Get over it. Trout carries himself with quiet aplomb and goes through activity in a yes-sir, no-sir manner.

Harper, for me, is Pete Rose with added God-given talent. Harper runs the bases like somebody pulled a blaze alarm.

"That kid plays with intensity," Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre said. "If you clamber at all on a single, he's at additional base."

Against the Phillies this season, Harper denticulate from third aback Cole Hamels threw to aboriginal base. Thursday, Harper raced home on a groundball to the pitcher. Not on a acquaintance play. That would accept been foolish. He appropriately apprehend it, and aback the bullpen looked him aback he didn't accord ground. So aback the bullpen tossed to aboriginal base, Harper scored.

"I actually adulation the way that he plays," Rockies adept Jason Giambi said. "He hustles all the time. How can you not like that?"

That's my point: We ask kids all the time to actualization up and accord effort. Afresh this kid runs like he drank a boom of Red Bull and we demand to characterization it eyewash? My admired recollections of arena baseball are sliding arch first. I did this because of Rose.

Harper plays hard, alarming kids. I accept apparent it apprenticeship kids. Harper's not disrespecting the game, pimping home runs like Oakland amateur Yoenis Cespedes. Umpires, in my opinion, authority Harper to a altered standard, acquisitive to accumulate him in his abode because we all apperceive that the admirers came to see the ump show, not one of the best accomplished adolescent players aback Ken Griffey Jr.

Harper acts out because he cares, and by all accounts, wants to win. Talked to a few teammates about him, and they say the kid listens and is accommodating to learn. If he's acceptable in the clubhouse, plays with affection and attitude, why does it amount if he wears a "Suns Out Guns Out" beef shirt aback hitting off a tee?

Harper and Trout can be baseball to a accomplished new army of kids. One is electric, the added acoustic. Harper is arena baseball like he's aggravating to get his aboriginal aerial academy letter jacket. Let's acknowledge that rather than authority him to some arbitrary letter of the law.

Footnotes. Hope Mark Reynolds brand backtalk cakes, because he ability not breach out his acclaim agenda for one again. He has become a band hero with his eight home runs adjoin the Yankees entering Friday. Reynolds and Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg are the alone players with three two-home-run amateur adjoin the Yankees in the aforementioned analysis aback 1918. ... Alike if Nolan Arenado is not alleged up this month, it won't avert him from aggressive for the Rockies' starting third abject job abutting spring. ... The Braves' Chipper Jones, a belled Mets killer, insisted that he didn't name his son Shea because of the accident he did at Shea Stadium area he hit his aboriginal home run. "We would accept called him Shea if I played my absolute career in the American League. I like the name," Jones said. "My dad called me Larry. I had to accord him article to assignment with." ... Former Fountain-Former Carson basic standout Hunt Headley has blossomed into a brilliant this season. The third baseman is a prime ambition for the Red Sox this winter. Headley has bent the Dodgers this season. ... The Bobby Valentine adventure in Boston will end at season's end. There's no way the Red Sox administration can accumulate him and leave the actualization that they ancillary with Valentine over the players.

Background: Felix Hernandez didn't abruptness anybody with his big-league success. Carlos Gonzalez faced Hernandez aback the two were teenagers in Venezuela. "What do I bethink about him? He threw hard. Really hard," Gonzalez said. Hernandez bankrupt into the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 2005. He won his aboriginal Cy Adolescent Award in 2009 and is authoritative a allegation for his second. Nothing like a absolute bold to about-face absorption to the Pacific Northwest and all the appropriate things the right-hander is accomplishing afresh for the Mariners.

What's up: Hernandez's acceleration is climbing, ambience up two of baseball's best adverse accessory pitches: his 88 mph changeup and a capricious breaking brawl he can bandy for first-pitch strikes. Hernandez is on the blazon of run that is actual with trophies. He's 9-1 with a 1.62 ERA over his aftermost 15 starts, arresting out 107 in 116 ⅔ innings. He fabricated bristles starts in August and delivered three shutouts. This is the affectionate of assignment that fabricated Ubaldo Jimenez acclaimed in April 2010. Hernandez has crept aback into the Cy Adolescent chase, a acreage led by Tampa Bay's David Price.

Renck's take: Watching Hernandez in bounce is a ambiguous exercise, like a archetypal assuming afore putting on apparel and makeup. He's so acceptable that March is practice. He wobbles through the Cactus League not clashing Tim Lincecum. The aberration is that Hernandez's being reappears during the season. It's absurd to hit him consistently aback he's throwing his fastball for a strike. Hitters accept to adapt for heat, abrogation them abandoned aback he takes his bottom off the gas. The Mariners are inching adjoin respectability. Hernandez wants to be allotment of the future, cogent me as abundant during the all-star break. It's acceptable to be the King, and it will be alike bigger if he spends the aggregate of his career as a Mariner.


1. Orioles: Adam Jones, Matt Wieters both should accept MVP votes for their role in this year's goose-bump ride.

2. Angels: This is why they acquired Zack Greinke, to angle able-bodied aback it mattered most.

3. Phillies: Poised for a backlash abutting analysis with a brace of key acquisitions.


1. Yankees: Squandered 10-game analysis lead. Aftermost September's Red Sox jokes aback not as funny.

2. Red Sox: But Boston accouterment affluence of new actual in Bobby Valentine's final weeks on the job.

3. Athletics: Tremendous story, but agenda agnate of walking through blaze this month.

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