Nationals Baseball: Friday Quickie - Did Bryce say something

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Quickie - Did Bryce say something

I've been working and travelling so I missed this. Bryce wants to have fun while playing baseball and maybe make the game more demonstrative? Ok. That's fine.

I would be lying if I were to say that was my cup of tea. It isn't. I watch sport for the sport of it, not the ornamentations. But a little bit of demonstrativeness by a player, a bat flip, a stare, a fist pump, that doesn't take anything away for me. I haven't stopped watching other sports because of that, I certainly wouldn't stop watching the sport I love the most if it had more. If there were full out dance routines that take several minutes that may make me lose interest, but a short celebration when warranted? Not going to bother me.

You may feel differently. That's fine, too. It's entertainment. How well something entertains us is an ongoing decision process. Maybe the entertainment changes and we decide it's not for us. Maybe the entertainment doesn't change but we do and reach the same conclusion. That's how it works. The only way to be wrong here is assuming that what you think is the "correct" answer for how the entertainment should be and how everyone should react to it. It's the correct answer for you, nothing more.*

As for Spring Training - let's look at the stats and see if any heavily caveated things are going on:
  • Scott Sizemore is the only guy down there hitting homers so far (and 2 doubles).  I suppose at 31 he could blossom into... Danny Espinosa with average fielding? Someone that won't hurt but won't help? As he is at very best a bench player for the Nats really nothing to see here. Maybe another team will want to take a flier on him though.
  • Espinosa is hitless in 11 at bats with 5 Ks. He could easily be terrible this year as he was terrible just a year before so keep an eye on this. He doesn't have to hit much (he hit .125 last Spring), he just has to do not absolutely nothing.
  • Revere is clearly A-Team and Taylor B-Team. A quick lineup look tells you that. This will be the last mention unless something new happens. Who's A-Team 1B with Zimm out? Was Moore, more recently Clint. Too early to say anything has stuck.
  • I suppose pitching wise you could look at Cole or Solis, maybe? Honestly we're still in the 2-3 appearances max time frame so one bad outing can make you look terrible. Come back in a week (if they are still around). 
  • Zimmerman still hasn't played. Look - if you want to see a guy ease into Spring you only have to look at Werth. He's only played 4 games and only has taken 8 at bats. He's played DH some. He's clearly slowly getting back into the swing. Zimmerman? He's not slowly adjusting to playing baseball after the break. He's OUT.

*Well I mean I can see situations where the entertainment or the reaction to it could be damaging to society on a larger level but that's a more complicated discussion and doesn't apply very often.


Mick said...


yin yang said...

Zimmerman says the plan is for him to play in games within the next 10 days. So I'm watchful but not yet worried. If he's still not playing by this time next week, then I'll start worrying.

Harper said...

Mick - didn't work.

yin yang -

Time line
- pre ST games : casual mentioning of Zimm taking it easy.
- Once ST games started and Zimm not playing : "hope to get him playing in next couple of weeks".
- Almost a week later (present day) : "plan all along was to not play, taking extra (ed- assumed additional from this point) week to 10 days or so smart".

I'm not all that confident that it was just information not shared or questions not asked that was the issue. Seems like slow goalpost shifting. However, limited info means we can't write that off. Two weeks from like the 5th is roughly 10 days from now so it all could point to a set plan of a game start for Zimm on around the 20th. (I feel like I heard 2 wks of prep somewhere too which also fits into this)

We'll see. If there's any deviation from ~20th then we know for sure things have changed at least from where they were on the weekend of the 5th.

sirc said...

I didn't take anything negative away from that article in ESPN the Mag. I also didn't take away anything new. It was very well written, don't get me wrong. But the information contained within is old news to Nats followers. Bryce is BRYCE when it comes to baseball, right?

As the article points out, he's polarizing. There isn't a lot of middle ground with the man. Also, as the article points out, he likes it that way. Love him, hate him, he is the most talked about baseball player.

So, he wants to add base stealing to his repertoire in 2016. I wonder if he means Ian-like 20+ or first two years of Trout level 30-40+?

Unknown said...

I guess my take away wasn't so much that being more emotional and celebratory would make the game was that the ability and openness to do that would make the game appealing to more of today's yutes. I am far from youthful so I am not sure if this argument holds up or not but I think it is an interesting debate none the less.

Anonymous said...

Friday cuts: Cole

Tube Bar.

Is Cole there?

Cole who?


Bjd1207 said...

Just spent way too much time trying to decipher the meaning behind anon's post. I give up.

@sirc - On the topic of Spring Training promises to steal more:

Ryan DC said...

The article does mention Denard Span, but it doesn't mention his pre-2014 stolen base declaration which actually did bear fruit

Donald said...

Bryce clarified his statement with Barry Svrluga. I think he just wants it to be acceptable to express joy in a big moment. I'm all for that. And I'm pretty sure the owners and commissioner would give him a big wet kiss in concurrence.

Unknown said...

Brian McCann would like to humbly disagree with this sentiment.

Flapjack said...

The conundrum is that the enforcers of baseball's unspoken rules of decorum are pitchers, who intentionally throw dangerously fast objects at the offending players -- a criminal offense in any other walk of life. Meanwhile, the financial risks of injury have soared along with the average mlb salary (now above $4MM). Unpleasant enforcers -- like, say, Papelbon -- risk putting very highly paid stars (soon to include Bryce) out for a season, perhaps even ending their careers, for something as mildly offensive as ostentatiously admiring their homers. Were I an owner, I would be quietly pushing the players association and umps to up their game when it comes to protecting players. That would include tightening up the strike zone on the inside of the plate. It is all well and good, for example, to intimidate batters who make it a habit of crowding the plate (heaven forefend that batting averages should go up). But intimidating the highly compensated Werth arguably helped undo the Nats' very expensive 2015 championship dreams.

blovy8 said...

If Papelbum was allowed to do that idiotic jig after a postseason save, I think a guy like Joey Bats can strut a little after a homer. I had no problem with guys showing up Soriano untucking himself. It lends personality to things that is at least out there and not inferred like so much of fan hatred. It seems like this sort of "showmanship" has been around at least for relief pitchers and the batters are just now catching up because the bean ball is less in play. Al Hrabosky had a goofier schtick in the mid-70s than anyone pitching now, for instance. People didn't hate Mark Fidrych for spending a minute telling the ball what to do while the batter scratched his balls waiting around home plate spitting carcinogens.

Anonymous said...

Blovy8, that Mark Fidrych sentence is pure poetry.

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