Wednesday September 30, 2015
Lancelot Links Chokes Bryce Harper
- So over the weekend the (recent) closer from the Washington Nationals, Jonathan Papelbon, called out the star of the Washington Nationals (and the best player in baseball) Bryce Harper for not running hard enough on an eighth-inning pop out. He kept at him. Harper said come get some. And Papelbon went for his throat. Literally. So teammates separated them.
- I first read Tyler Kepner on it, and he put a lot of blame on manager Matt Williams for allowing Papelbon to go out in the ninth and pitch. He thinks he should've sent a signal to the rest of the team.
- Joe Posnanski said much the same thing in his inimitable fashion—meaning with humor and sadness. He talked about when it's right to do this kind of thing and when it's wrong. He felt the Nats demonstrated the really, really wrong way to do it.
- Then former pitcher, and decent writer, C.J. Nitkowski weighed in with quotes from other players ... who backed Papelbon.
- Then Washington Post sportswriter Adam Kilgore weighed in, saying it was SO Papelbon's fault, don't even THINK it wasn't. Plus Harper did run out that pop-up.
- And Posnanski offers a further (rather classy) follow-up to Nitkowski's column. I'm sure there will be more to come.
- Elsehwere, meaning the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Mariners, who have now been absent from the postseason longer than any team in baseball (14 years and counting), have hired a new general manager: Jerry Dipoto, 47, who apparently resigned as GM of the Angels earlier this year because he favored analytics. More later on our new GM.
- Grantland's Alex Pappademas has a great piece on why the new “Muppets” suck. Then he goes further: “We are a terrible, dispirited society and we finally have the terrible, dispirited Muppets we deserve.” Fun! (Quibble: While I think Alan Moore critiqued the suphero-as-vigilante, I think Frank Miller bought into it from the get-go.)
- Nicholas Dawidoff (the heir apparent?) writes of another lost Red Sox season in The New Yorker. I question the “another.” The BoSox are tied with the San Francisco Giants for most titles this century (three) and won it all as recently as 2013. Twins fans? Haven't been, or won it all, since 1991. Mariners fans? Never won it all. Never been. How do you like them apples, Bahstan?
- Kevin McCarthy, another heir apparent, who shares a name with the star of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” apparently has loose lips. Essentially he's saying: Look how we torpedoed Hilary with Benghazi! Classy.
- A lot of reporters are giving John Boehner a pass as he heads off into the sunset. Not Jeffrey Toobin.
- How is America like the worst girlfriend in the world? Louis CK explains.