Posts Tagged ‘Bryce Harper’

Eating My Words: It Tastes Like Victory!

July 15, 2012

I must bite my tongue. Hard. I must offer all apologies to the Oakland A’s and Bryce Harper. Separately, of course. Or is it too late to apologize?

Either way, it takes a real man to admit he was wrong. And I think I qualify. *Looks down.* Yup. Let’s go:

A long time ago, I made a couple of not-so-bold proclamations. First, I told the world via podcast that the A’s would lose 100 games. As of today, they sit just a game out of the second Wild Card position, three games over .500.

Luckily, I’m a fair weather A’s fan so the sting is taken out of this admission. But…*shudder*…I was so, so incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong; the Green and Gold are not a 2012 playoff team. But they are certainly going to play spoiler down the stretch. The young pitching has been incredible (cheers to Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin especially – if you’re even old enough to drink).

And the offense has really surprised me. After a decade of Billy Beane trading away top talent for high-potential minor league players and then flipping those players for other prospects of similar rank, we may finally be settled with a lineup he likes.

It became a revolving door in Oakland for a while, but it seems like Beane really struck gold by trading away Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill last season. From the Diamondbacks, the A’s received Parker, outfielder Collin Cowgill, and new All-Star closer Ryan Cook.

And Milone, catcher Derek Norris and two high-level pitching prospects came from the Nationals for Gonzalez. The A’s splurged to get Yoenis Cespedes from Cuba, then went out and snagged power hitters Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes and Josh Reddick through free agency and trades.

Just like that, the formerly punchless A’s had four batters capable of hitting 25 home runs. Add in long-time top prospect Chris Carter (who Beane would not trade away over the years) being recalled from Triple-A and absolutely mashing in his third big league stint, and you have the makings of a pretty solid lineup.

If Jemile Weeks, Coco Crisp and Norris can hit for decent numbers, the A’s actually might contend for a Wild Card spot. It seems that Beane has finally put together a team that could make a deep run into the playoffs again.

So I hereby formally apologize to the Oakland A’s. I know you’re all reading this, so please accept my sincerest mea culpa.

Now to part II of my apology extravaganza. Bryce Harper…I’m sorry. You really are a (very young) man among boys. And I’ve been impressed with your savvy, respectful presence thus far.

Forget the fact that you ripped your own helmet off rounding first base like a 10-year-old at recess. Or that you said your number “isn’t 34 – it’s 3+4=7 like Mickey Mantle.” Or even that you smashed a bat against a wall and injured yourself. 

Because all I was expecting out of your personality was prima donna whiny bull shit. Instead, we’ve gotten an immensely talented player on both sides of the ball who has handled nearly every road block with class. You made Ozzie Guillen look like an absolute fool last night for cussing at you, and you just stood there and took it with a smile.

Harper has continued to prove me wrong this season – not on the field, because I was sure he’d tear it up. But off the field. For example, when asked about which National League candidate he’d vote for in the Final Vote (he was up against Chipper Jones and three others), he told the reporter, “definitely Chipper. He’s a Hall of Famer.”

That poor journalist’s smear campaign story on Harper was probably ruined. Poor guy. And Harper even showed up all other rich athletes by adding a useful, awesome trunk accessory to his car, instead of a TV/xBox/turntable/nightclub-in-a-box get up.

So, Bryce. Keep mashing. Keep proving me wrong. Keep being a class act who is being way too good for his age at life in general. And if you could maybe give me the contact information of whoever installed the bat rack in your trunk? Thanks, buddy.

We are buddies now…right?

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When Haircuts Go Bad

May 17, 2012

Honestly, I could use a trim myself. I can’t decide between going full Bryce Harper or half-Manny, half-Coco Crisp. What do you think? Personally, I’m fond of the latter combo (commonly known as the Afred…Afro Dreads).

No matter which janky SuperCuts I go to though, I guarantee they can’t pull off the artistic magic that someone in San Antonio did for this middle schooler.

First of all, let’s just take a second to stare in wonder and amazement at the ridiculous carvery in that young boy’s hair. The resemblance is uncanny. Secondly, I don’t know much about basketball, but I DO know that Matt Bonner is NOT a big deal. So it’s hilarious that this kid worships a role player.

But hey. To each his own. I worship Alex Smith and I think we all know I’m in the minority there.

Now let’s get to the real issue here. Aside from jealousy over this mystery hair stylist’s marvelous skills, why in the world would school officials at this kid’s middle school be considering an in-school suspension for him (which, funny enough, is even worse than a normal suspension…as the article mentions, who doesn’t want to be sent home from school at that age?)?

It’s not gang-affiliated, nor offensive in any way. Well, maybe to fans of other teams in the Western Conference, who are tired of getting smashed by the Spurs. Is there something menacing about a red-headed, soft-spoken back-up NBA player whose only previous claim to fame is that his last name nearly resembles a word that makes me giggle?

I don’t see it. If schools are going to restrict the type of clothes students wear, I understand. But mandating what kind of haircut is legal is ridiculous. The only thing Matt Bonner is guilty of is being too boring. There is nothing associated with a picture of Bonner that should make school officials offended or squeamish. Hah. Bonner.

By all means, administrators…go ahead and continue to let kids bring switch blades to school, text test answers to each other and smoke pot under the bleachers. But God forbid you allow anyone to shave a picture of their role model into the back of their heads. Riots might ensue!

Lastly, I just want to point out that while school officials everywhere are certainly flexing in the mirror, they are overlooking something rather important.

Bonner is boring, yes. But he was also a straight-A student his entire academic career until he received one “B” in college. If anyone should be a role model for your young students, it’s a public figure such as an NBA athlete who actually has a college degree and good study habits.

Long live the Bonner cut. I dig it.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Bryce Gets a Timeout

May 11, 2012

If you don’t knowwww, now ya know! That Bryce Harper is still a little punk bitch.

Have ya heard? Harper smashed his own face with a bat! Seriously? And to think I had started to like the kid.

I had gotten past the fact that he pulled his helmet off while running to 2nd base against the Dodgers. Yes, like a middle school girl does in softball.

And I had even learned to live with Harper openly rooting for the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys and Duke. Or that he says his jersey number isn’t actually 34, it’s 3 + 4 = 7, “like Mickey Mantle.” Douche.

It was easy enough to ignore such shortcomings because he had been relatively, quietly humble so far in the Majors. And his talent is way too much to ignore.

But this is just pathetic. I don’t think Harper realizes how many times some players (I’m looking at you, Adam Dunn) have gone 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts. Get over it, kid. Shit happens. No need to bust your own face over it.

That’s a sure sign of startling immaturity from Harper. I know he’s young, but I didn’t stab a No. 2 pencil through my eye every time I failed a test when I was 19.

Manager Davey Johnson needs to reel Harper in now, because it’s a slippery slope with guys who have bad attitudes. Exhibit A: Milton Bradley.

The Nationals have a golden opportunity to shock the baseball world in 2012, but they will need the kid to chill out and hit baseballs instead of his own ugly face.

At least Harper’s teammates are having fun with the whole incident. Apparently, shortstop Ian Desmond has bestowed the nickname “Bam Bam” upon the hot headed rookie.

Ah, yes. Bryce Harper. The rookie who hazes himself!

Thanks for reading another edition of Jam Shots and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman! Until tomorrow, watch out for that wall.

Wrigley and Wrivalries

May 7, 2012

Like that impressive spelling? Let’s just call it klever. So this weekend I was in Chicago (that’s why Jam Shots took Saturday and Sunday off). Among bars, pizza, sightseeing and all that jazz, I went to the Dodgers vs. Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

This was a milestone for me. First of all, it was the tenth ball park I’ve visited. That puts me in double digits! Just 20 more to go. Besides Wrigley Field, I’ve gone to games in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, New York (Yankees), Boston, Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

And let me tell you, Wrigley was one of the best so far. It’s a classic stadium with wide open seating, and one of the better post-game atmospheres. I guess if you’ve lost for 103 and a half years (and counting), every day better be a party.

Way to be optimistic, Cubs fans. Anyway, the game was absolutely fantastic, especially because the Dodgers won 5-1. There isn’t a ton to see at the actual stadium, but the bleacher boys in left field sure put on a drinking show, and I felt like I was sitting in a ball park for a game in the 1950’s.

And yes, the ivy is exceptionally luscious.

Now on to a little more baseball news. I hear there were a couple little tiffs? I’ll give my take on the two young guys and the two old guys feuding and who is in the wrong.

So apparently Chipper Jones, he of the 2012 victory lap, and 49-year-0ld Colorado staff ace Jamie Moyer (now that Jeremy Guthrie went down) are upset at each other. Apparently, Chipper cheated at shuffleboard the other day and Jamie is not happy about it.

Or something to that effect. More like Chipper was accused of stealing signs by Moyer. Well, I hate to break it to the old(er) man, but that’s part of the game. It’s not like he was in center field with binoculars, picking off the catcher’s signals. This is something everyone tries to do, and rarely succeeds at. When the runner IS successful, it’s often the catcher’s fault.Winner: Chipper

And then there are a couple of guys who don’t even combine to equal Moyer’s age. Cole Hamels beaned teen phenom Bryce Harper the other day, and then admitted he did it on purpose. He said it was “old school” and welcomed the rook to the bigs. Hamels wins this argument (five-game suspension resulting be damned) for multiple reasons.

First of all, he’s right. It IS old school. When a young kid like Harper comes up and displays over-swaggage, he is taught a lesson by opposing pitchers. Bud Selig is a huge, wet, sopping…nevermind. Because a five-game suspension hardly affects a starting pitcher. But suspending him anyway was just stupid. Two decades ago, it was accepted. No. Expected, for Harper to get beaned. I’m surprised it took that long. Winner: Hamels

Thanks for reading, and tune in again tomorrow! Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman.

 

 

Hating on Haters: Myself

May 1, 2012

Three games is a small amount. But damn if I shouldn’t hate on myself for my hating on Bryce Harper. Sure, the kid’s haircut is douchey, he roots for front-runners, and he may or may not have an attitude problem (hint: he does). But I just can’t bring myself to hate him.

Have you seen Harper play yet?

Against the Dodgers, he absolutely crushed the ball, made laser-like throws from the outfield and hustled his ass off. When he’s off the field, I hate him. On the field, he’s incredible. So far.

But as it stands now, Harper pretty much hits everything within a ten foot radius of home plate, chases down every ball in the outfield, and scores from second base on any play he wishes.

It hurts to say, but Harper may just be the real deal. If he keeps this up, he’ll be the hands-down choice for NL Rookie of the Year. The Natural is real, just be sure to turn off the TV whenever he does a post-game interview.

 

Busch, Bryce and Beer Pong

April 28, 2012

I just got back from my first trip ever to Busch Stadium, courtesy of my lovely girlfriend (@KelseyShea11). The Cardinals pulled out a 7-3 win over the rival Milwaukee Brewers in a day filled with home runs, sunshine and lots of Game 6 replays.

St. Louis is doing a good job trying to prove to me why it’s known as Baseball Heaven. The fans clearly are in LOVE with their Cardinals, and the stadium and atmosphere were really fantastic. One of the better ones I’ve been to. It didn’t hurt that we sat 14 rows behind the first base line, just off from the home team’s dugout.

Kelsey’s boy Yadi Molina went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer, and David Freese hit a solo shot on his birthday. One of my favorite things on the day was seeing Molina get his Gold Glove award presented to him before the game started. There is no better defensive catcher in baseball right now.

Speaking of baseball, there’s a tiny little story developing in Los Angeles. It’s just this little, baby, teensy-weensy story about some dude named Bryce Harper making his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals against my Dodgers tonight. How will he fare? I don’t know.

But I hope, as a Dodger fan and hater of douchebags (yes, Harper is one), that he goes 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, and misses so badly on one of them that he falls to his ass in the batter’s box. That’s what he gets for rooting for (yes, this is true…Google it) the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys and Duke. *RAGE*

Thanks for reading…now leave me alone, I have to beat Kelsey’s family at beer pong with her. Ciao.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

April 27, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie…

…the Nationals will call up a rookie.

If you give that rookie a chance…

…he’ll get a kick in the pants.

If you kick him in the pants…

…the rookie will go on a rant.

If he rants like a little bitch…

…he’ll get hit in the head by a pitch.

If that pitch is thrown by a Dodger…

…the Nats may as well not bother.

If they bother to retaliate…

…Matt Kemp will make them pay.

If Matt makes them pay…

…it’ll ruin the Nats’ big day.

If you haven’t yet figured out…

…who the hell I’m talking about.

It’s that little punk ass Harper, Bryce…

…getting called up to play tomorrow night.

If Harper thinks he is here to stay…

…he’ll get a reality check in L.A.

Go Dodgers. Screw Bryce Harper. Thanks for reading.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman for more awful poetry!

Episode 4 is in the Books!

March 27, 2012

Whoaaaaa…accidental pun! Score! Episode four of Three Up, Three Down is our best yet, if I do say so myself. We’ve got the typical divisional news, a little over/under action and we discuss our three “up” teams and three “down” teams. All in all, it was a fantastic show. Please check it out on iTunes, and don’t forget to like the Facebook page. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @3u3d for regular updates on the podcast.

Now, I’m working on a piece for the 3u3d blog right after this. It’s going to detail my picks for all the major awards. And you lucky readers get a sneak preview here:

NL MVP:

Matt Kemp -Come on, was it really going to be anyone else? He’s driving hard for the unprecedented 50/50 season. And if being snubbed in 2011 doesn’t light a fire under his ass, I don’t know what will.

NL Cy Young:

Clayton Kershaw – I know you WANT to call bias, but you can’t. He’s the reigning Cy winner and has all the makings of a repeat run. Give me 23 wins and 220 K’s this year, Clayton!

NL Rookie of the Year:

Bryce Harper- I hate to do that. The sexy pick. Ew. Especially a little douchebag who roots for the Lakers, Yankees, Duke and the Cowboys? Well, I can’t deny the kid’s talent.

AL MVP:

Miguel Cabrera – You know what they always say! Getting hit in the face by a baseball builds character! Right? Either way, Miggy is going 40/120 and leading the Tigers to the ALCS this year.

AL Cy Young:

C.C. Sabathia – The Yankees got better, and Sabathia was already a freak. He’s going 22 wins this year and will edge out last year’s winner, Justin Verlander for the award in 2012.

AL Rookie of the Year:

Jesus Montero – A fair trade for the Mariners, finally getting a promising young bat. I don’t think it will be a monstrous year by any means, but Montero will rake like no Mariner has raked in years.

There you have it. Head over to the Three Up, Three Down blog to get a more in-depth analysis of all my picks, as well as my final predicted standings! Give the podcast a listen and feel free to send in all your comments, criticisms and questions.

National Treasure

March 1, 2012

I hate myself for that title. Cool movie, but anything with Nicolas Cage in it is going to piss me off. Anyway, it has nothing to do with the actual film. This is more a matter of sports, as a post of mine should be. If you missed it, I’ve already locked in my predictions for the 2012 Major League Baseball season. This isn’t what I think will happen, this IS what will happen. Wait and see.

My boldest prediction is that the annual N.L. East doormats in D.C. are going to win the division this year, after getting healthy and stacking their rotation with the likes of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson this winter. Call me crazy, but they are the overall most talented team in the division. Yes, better than the new-look Miami Marlins, the powerhouse Phillies and the consistent Atlanta Braves.

You’ve got to love this offense – young guys at shortstop, second base and catcher that can absolutely rake. They’ve got Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman to beef up the middle of the order, and potential game-changing guys in AAA in Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon. And if Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche or Rick Ankiel put it together for a full season…watch out.

So the news today is this: Nationals manager Davey Johnson says ‘Fire me’ if Washington misses the playoffs. And I love it.

Swag is a good thing. You want your players to have confidence on the diamond, why not the guy directing them? And why not say it? First of all, Davey Johnson isn’t getting fired no matter what happens. So it’s an empty offer. But secondly, this team has a legitimate chance to contend.

The fact that these young Nationals are so set on making the playoffs and their manager is so confident in their abilities is setting the table for a special season in the nation’s capital, methinks. Looking at the National League, I see nine serious contenders: Arizona, San Francisco, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Philly, Miami, Atlanta and Washington.

By a mile, the Nats would be the biggest surprise team out of those nine to make the playoffs. But beating four of them should be very do-able for such a talented roster. Their pitching is as good or better than the D’Backs, Reds and Marlins. And their offense definitely matches up or dominates teams like the Giants, Phillies and Brewers.

All I’m saying is this team has the makings of something special in 2012. I think people underestimate how good their rotation will be with Stephen Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannan. It’s going to be young and they will have their struggles, but if the Nats aren’t at LEAST in Wild Card contention in the last week of the season, I will be shocked.

And apparently, so will Davey Johnson. Long live the dark horse!


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