Posts Tagged ‘Bryce Harper’

Okay, I am a day late but wasn’t a dollar short for parking on my commute this weekend. I was really hoping that by this weekend we would have the contracts/signings for Harper and Machado. But noooo!
My prediction is that he will go or stay in DC. Under Armour is headquartered there. I don’t think any team is going to match the supposed 10 year $300 million offer and if they get close, I’m positive the Nationals will counter to keep him. I know, I know but he’s posted on Instagram once a picture of he and Kris Bryant with #backtoback or what about the picture with him wearing a Chicago Bulls hat. He’s not coming to Chicago. I of course would like to see it just like everyone else here but it’s not happening. Tom Ricketts, despite the cancellation of the owners panel at the Cubs Convention shut down that topic as well as Joe Maddon. Cubs fans I ask, who gets left off this roster to make room for Harper? There’s a thousand different scenarios but he’s still not coming here. The one thing I found most interesting is the lack of positioning on behalf of the Scott Boras agency this year as opposed to last years off season. There has not been reports of Boras handing out a 75 page document on why you should sign Harper. The one team aside from the Nationals to be in position to sign Harper, the Dodgers. They opened up right field with the trade that sent Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to the Reds.
For me personally, his performance in the postseason was a real turnoff. What i saw was a guy swinging for his next contract and not looking at winning a World Series. Of course, I don’t know him, so I could be wrong. He obviously not going back to Baltimore and with the Dodgers already having their short stop, he’s not going there either. With all the buzz surrounding him and what information we have, I think it is narrowed down to the White Sox and the Phillies. I am not a fan of a Mystery Team because every team should be looking at themselves and trying to figure how he works in their system. I would be surprised if a Florida team signed him, but that’s a whole other topic. The Phillies have come out and said they are willing to spend “stupid money.” Which would make it really interesting if in the next two weeks they signed Harper then Machado. They have a relatively young staff and after last year, they look like they are ready for a post season run over the next few seasons. The White Sox are almost their mirror image on the AL side with the hitting being a little subpar. For either team, I think 7 years would be ideal, but then again I don’t think a 10 year contract makes much sense. Options could be added to the end of the 7 years that are incentive based and of course you’ll have to have at minimum one opt out. With the financial position both teams are in, i can see them front loading as much of his contract as possible, especially in this upcoming season, to the tune of minimum $35 million because entering the 2021 season is when both teams will have to re-evaluate team and their contracts going forward. This would also make it slightly easier toward the end of the contract to be able to move him if necessary.
What do I know though, maybe the Tampa Bay Rays will sign Machado and the Miami Marlins will sign Harper.

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It took 13 innings, but the Chicago Cubs found a way to extend their winning streak to 7 with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win also gives the Cubs a sweep of the 4-game series.

After a Kris Bryant double tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th both teams had opportunities to score, but couldn’t get that hit they needed. Finally with 2 outs in the bottom of the 13th inning Blake Treinen hung a 2-2 slider to Javier Baez and Baez sent the ball into the left center field bleachers for a walk off 4-3 win.

Jake Arrieta started for the Cubs while Tanner Roark was the starter for the Nationals. Both of them where long gone by the time this one ended. While it looked as though the Cubs had an advantage on the mound going into the game it didn’t start that way. Arrieta had one of his worst outing in who knows when. He lasted just 5 innings giving up 3 runs with 2 of then being earned. He also walked 4 while striking out 7 and it took him 100 pitches to get through those 5 innings. Roark lasted 1 inning longer than Arrieta and gave up just 1 unearned run while walking 2 and striking out 7. It was in the hands of the bullpens after that. The Cubs bullpen pitched 8 scoreless innings while the Nationals bullpen went 5 1/3rd scoreless innings before the Baez home run ended that streak and the game. Travis Wood picked up his 1st win of the year and Treinen (2-1) took the loss.

Kris Bryant had 3 hits and 2 RBI’s for the Cubs with 1 of his hits being a double. Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell each had 2 hits for the Cubs. Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa each had 3 hits for the Nationals and Ramos also drove in a run while 1 of Espinosa’s hits was a double. Daniel Murphy also added 2 hits with 1 being a double for Washington. Bryce Harper tied a major league record by walking 6 times on a game. Harper had no official at bats in the game as he had the 6 walks and in his other plate appearance he was hit by a pitch.

Washington (19-12) gets t head home after a 10-game road trip. They face the Detroit Tigers tomorrow. The Cubs (24-6) get to stay at the friendly confines as the San Diego Padres come to town to start a 3-game series on Monday.

@Burketime
The Podcast

The MLB

The Major League baseball season got under way Sunday with 3 regular season games and 1 exhibition game. I’m always going to bring that 1 game up because it was so stupid I just can’t let it go. Now I watched all 3 games on Sunday and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time watching the free preview of the MLB Extra Innings package. I don’t have any issue sitting down watching an out of market game to see what other teams look like. Now we’re just 2 games into the 2016 season and it’s way, way too early to start taking away anything from these games, but fans will. I understand the excitement of a fan when a player starts the season out with a hit and he thinks he’ll hit 1.000 for the season. There’s also the negative side where if a player takes an 0 for 4 in Game 1 of the season there are fans who think he’s not going to get a hit all season long. Now with fans it’s just the rooting interest for that team inside them that brings it out. Now when a teams announcers do it; it’s just plain stupid. After Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman homered for their respective teams on opening day I heard an announcer from one of the tams mention that there both on pace to hit 162 home runs this season. Now I’m guessing this announcer thought it would be cute or funny, but it’s not; sadly it’s just plain stupid to say. Let the fans make those kind of statements and you spend your time giving us useful information about the players. This wasn’t the only example I saw. As the Chicago Cubs where on their way to a 2 game series sweep over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim they couldn’t help pointing out that there next opponent the Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten of to an 0-2 start and a couple of there off season additions Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller had rough outings. While I don;t know how much it affected his pitching performance, but after the game it was revealed that Greinke had the flu. As far as I know Miller just had a rough outing to start the season. I don;t understand why you’d post these stats on the screen when your team is playing so well to start the season. Are we suppose to believe that Greinke and Miller are going to be this bad all season long. I’m guessing the Cubs announcers where pointing this out because the Cubs will face Greinke and Miller in there series against the Diamondbacks, but it seemed as though they expected to pitch the same way against the Cubs. I actual wondered if there was some bitterness on the Cubs part as they had a couple of chances to acquire Miller, but couldn’t get a deal done; so they want to point out to there fans that they did the right thing. Now maybe they both will go out and have another tough outing against a Cubs team that can really hit the baseball, but even if they do it’s only 2 starts of 30 plus they should make this season. Of course this is also the Diamondbacks opening series at home for the 2016 season and they could both easily come out and have quality starts against the Cubs. Now if your a Cubs fan you know that it can be difficult to keep their television announcers focused on what’s actually going on in the game. They have a tendency to wander off topic for one reason or another, but I’m hoping since the Cubs are suppose to be a very good team this season that won’t happen as much. I’m sure there are many, many, many more examples of this, but these where the two that stuck out to me. Please stop doing this and just call the damn game. Oh by the way sorry Cubs fans, but the St. Louis cardinals will win some games this season.

NCAA

The NCAA basketball season ended for the men on Monday night and the woman last night. The men’s game featured a great finish to the game between North Carolina and Villanova. Now I wish I could say that I saw every minute of the game and it was the greatest tournament final of all time, but I can’t. I turned the game on just in time to see Marcus Paige of North Carolina hit that split legged 3-pointer to tie the game up. I was smart enough to stay with this game to watch the final play. Villanove inbounded the basketball with 4.7 seconds left. They rushed the ball down the floor and Kris Jenkins hit buzzer beating 3-pointer to give Villanove the win and the national championship. Seems to me like I flipped over the game at the perfect time. Now I didn’t see any of the woman’s championship game, but looking at the final score it went like a lot of people have been saying it would. The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Syracuse Orange woman 82-51. I believe Connecticut had been beating teams in the tournament by an average of 40 plus points; so this game was closer than people thought it might be. I wish I could crag as I did pick Connecticut to win the tournament in my women’s bracket, but given the fact that they where dominant all season and undefeated coming into the tournament; I’m guessing they where a very, very popular pick. The Connecticut victory capped off a great college career for Breanna Stewart. She was part of 151 victories and only five losses at Connecticut. She was Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four an unprecedented four times. She won the Wade Trophy twice. Stewart, fellow senior Moriah Jefferson and red-shirt junior Morgan Tuck, became the first college basketball players, men or women, to win four titles.

NBA

With a handful of games left in the NBA regular season and the Golden State Warriors 4 wins away from setting the record for most wins in the regular season you have to wonder if they should go for it. Golden State has loss it’s last two home games. One to the Boston Celtics and then last night in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Is it time for Golden State to give their starters some rest and focus on defending there NBA championship or is the wins record that important. Golden State was untouchable at home and now to have dropped two games to teams that most people think they shouldn’t of lost to has to bring up that question. If Golden State gets that 73rd win and sets the record, but doesn’t win the NBA championship was it worth it. While records are nice; they can be broken. Championships however go down in history.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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The New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-2 last night in New York. In the bottom of the 1st inning Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod) hit his 13th home run to right center field off of Justin Verlander to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. It was the 667th home run of Rodriguez’s career, but more importantly on this night it was his 3000th career hit. With his home run Rodriguez became the 29th player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 3000 hit milestone. Rodriguez is also the 3rd player who’s 3000th hit was a home run; the other 2 are Wade Boggs and A-Rod’s former teammate Derek Jeter. Rodriguez, who will turn 40 next month and is the first player to reach 3,000 hits since Derek Jeter did in July 2011. Compared to the celebration four years ago for Jeter’s accomplishment, there was noticeably less buildup for Rodriguez’s chase of 3000 hits. Rodriguez’s previous admissions of performance-enhancing drug use and season-long suspension in 2014 created a much different feeling. Four years ago, the Tampa Bay Rays applauded in unison for Jeter’s homer; on Friday, the Tigers mostly declined to acknowledge the moment, though a few opponents did tip their caps. After the game’s final out, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera offered Rodriguez a congratulatory hug. Rodriguez joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro as the only players to log both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Rodriguez, who played seven seasons (1994-2000) in Seattle Mariners and three (2001-03) for the Texas Rangers before collecting 1,465 hits and counting with the Yankees.

Zack Hampie is the fan who caught Rodriguez’s 300th hit and he has told the Yankees that he won’t be giving the ball back. On his Twitter account Hampie posted a picture of the baseball mention that he “Got it authenticated by @MLB” and also said :I’m keeping it”. Hampie elaborated further on why he wouldn’t give the baseball back to Ropdriguez to http://www.NJ.com saying “I think that someone like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, who has made half a billion dollars in his career, doesn’t really need a favor from a normal civilian and a fan like me” Hampie went on to say ” I don’t know right now if I’m going to sell it. I mean, depending on what the Yankees could offer, I would consider giving it back. I’m not giving it back for – I don’t plan to give it back for a chance to meet him and fully autographed bats, because I don’t collect bats, I collect baseballs. Just having this baseball is so meaningful to me. I can’t believe that I got it. If you had caught Rodriguez’s 3000th hit; want would you do with the baseball?

Now that Rodriguez has reached the 3000th hit milestone; who’s next on the hit list. Ichiro Suzuki has 2886 career hits; so it looks like he’ll be the next player to get to 3000 hits. After Ichiro it’s Adrian Beltre with 2657 hits, Albert Pujols with 2587 hits, Tori Hunter with 2386 hits and Carlos Beltran rounds out the list with 2373 hits. I would think we’ll see Beltre and Pujols become members of the 3000 hit club before their careers end, but I’m not sure if we’ll see Hunter or Beltran get to 3000. Including Rodriguez these are the Top 6 players in career hits right now; so those 5 players are the closest to 3000 hits.

How do you feel about Rodriguez joining the 3000 hit club? I consider myself a fan of the Seattle Mariners and used to root for him. The Mariners selected Rodriguez with the 1st pick of the 1993 amateur draft. As I mentioned before Rodriguez did miss all of last season because he was suspended for P.E.D. use. While Rodriguez has won a slew of awards and made countless All-Star teams; he’ll also be coming up on 700 home runs very soon. All of these numbers are tainted for me as I always wonder where he’d be if he hadn’t taken P.E.D.’s.

How much more can the Washington Nationals take? Some how the Nationals are just 1/2 game out of the lead in the National League East behind the New York Mets. I’m not sure if any team has had more injuries to key players than the Nationals have. The Nationals season started with Anthony Rendon missing the first 2 plus months of the season along with Jayson Werth missing some time. Denard Span also missed some games at the start of the season. Werth returned played 27 games and then fractured his left wrist and will be out until at least August. While Span has returned to play full time Rendon suffered a set back working his way back and while he has returned he’s been in only 15 games for Washington. 1st baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with left foot plantar fasciitis and there is no timetable for hi return. Nate McLouth was going to be the Nationals 4th outfielder, but he hasn’t played a game this season due to injury. McLouth was just moved to the 60-day disabled list as he felt pain in his shoulder earlier in the month while swinging a bat. The pitching staff hasn’t been immune to the injury bug either. Doug Fister is just returned from his injury on June 18th pitching 5 1/3rd innings against Tampa Bay. Fister struck out 3 gave up 9 hits and 5 runs while taking the loss. Steven Strasburg has a left  trapezius strain and has just started a minor league rehab assignment and the Nationals expect him back in the starting rotation by the end of June. Craig Stammen got off to a great start out as a set up man this season. Stammen got in 5 games covering 4 innings and hadn’t given up a run until he had an issue with his forearm. Stammen ended up needing season ending surgery on that forearm. Aaron Barrett was working out of the Nationals bullpen and has appeared in a team high 30 games this season. Barrett ended up on the disabled list this week with a  right biceps strain. There’s no timetable set for Barrett’s return. Then there’s Bryce Harper. Harper hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, but he did suffer a mild left hamstring strain when he slipped on the outfield grass making a throw home. Now this brought out a lot of talk about how baseball handles rain delays and especially the way they remove the tarp. After seeing replays of Harper’s injury I’m not sure the way they removed the tarp had anything to do with Harper getting hurt; it really just looked like he didn’t get good footing making a throw and injured his leg. Even if you’re not a fan of the Nationals or Bryce Harper with the season he’s having you don;t want to see him get hurt. Now if you are a fan of the Nationals can they handle an injury to Harper were he misses time? Being a baseball fan I understand that teams are going to have to deal with injuries, but a lot of those teams weren’t picked to go to and in some cases win the World Series.Can the Nationals live up to those expectations? and will they suffer any more key injuries this season?

So how was your week?

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So in our leagues the outfielders are position specific; so I’m going to try and focus on the guys who will play that outfield spot.

The Best; Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians. There are two camps on Brantley heading into this season. You’re either in the camp that last season was a breakout year and he’ll continue to play at a high level. Then there’s the group that believes that last season was a fluke and he’ll drop way off in 2015. I’m not sure that Brantley will hit .327 this season, but if he can get close to .300 that’s fine. There’s a chance if Cleveland has improved that his RBI’s will go up from the 97 last season. Brantley has good enough power to stay at the 20 homer level as well. I’m in on him this season; so while I may not believe he’ll be a star for years to come I think he’s the best for 2015.

Underrated: Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers. While Davis didn’t hit for a high average last season .244 he did have 22 home runs, 69 RBI’s and added 37 doubles. The Brewers have a very solid line up; so Davis isn’t called upon to carry the team and that helps him put up his numbers. Davis hit .279 in limited action in 2013; so if his batting average could meet somewhere in the middle it will make him a quality fantasy player especially in bigger leagues. If his average can come up a little his other numbers should come with it. It wouldn’t take much improvement to get to 25 home runs and 75 RBI’s

Bounce Back; Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals. Harper’s games played have dropped every year since his rookie season. He played in just 100 games last season. If he can just stay healthy he should have a bounce back season. I’m not sure if Harper will show the power some people are predicting for him this season. He has a career high of 22 home runs, but I’ve heard some experts say he’ll hit 30 or 35 home runs in 2015. I’d like to see Harper get his batting average closer to .300; he’s a career .272 hitter. If Harper could find his way close to .300 with 25 home runs and 75 RBI’s I think most fantasy owners would take that from him. The question is; can he stay healthy enough to do it.

Stay Away from; Alejandro De Aza, Baltimore Orioles. For whatever reason managers like to put De Aza in the lead off spot. His career high in steals is 26, he’s never walked more than 50 times in a season and he’ll strikeout 100 plus times a season. I’m not sure it’s the bat you want at the top of the order. He’s a career .268 hitter and probably won’t get to double digits in home runs. Even in a position specific like yours there are plenty of other outfielders ahead of De Aza.