Bryce Harper Has a Point

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“Bryce Harper2015SD002” by Johnmaxmena2 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg#/media/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg

Despite the fact that I’m a traditionalist, I have to admit that Bryce Harper has a point when it comes to his assertion that baseball needs to inject a little more personality into the game. This week’s edition of the Sports Microscope podcast talks about that, and the rather unhinged comments by Hall of Famer Rich Gossage.

There is little doubt that the average age of the baseball fan keeps going up. There can also be no arguing that Major League Baseball needs to find a way to attract young fans and get kids excited about actually playing baseball. Players loosening up some of those unwritten rules about bat flips, etc. might be a good start.

Don’t get me wrong, some unwritten rules are good and necessary. Up eight runs and still trying to steal bases? The middle infielders covering second need to police that, or the pitcher needs to make the next batter wear a baseball. Not showing up the opponent should be the primary unwritten rule. Does flipping a bat, yelling after striking out an opponent, or strutting a bit after hitting a homer constitute showing up the opponent? I don’t think so. That kind of thing has been going on for years. Hell, wouldn’t Kirk Gibson‘s arm pumps after hitting the game-winning homer off Dennis Eckersley in 1988 be considered showboating?

There’s no easy answer here. Someone is always going to take offense at some perceived slight. David Price had perhaps the best solution – how about the shoes? Why not let player express their personality through their footwear? Why shouldn’t MLB change their policy that cleats have to be 51 percent of the team’s primary color? I like Price’s idea a lot and it brings the sport a little closer to what Bryce Harper suggests.

Also in this Episode:

  • Could Jered Weaver be at the end of the line?
  • Travis Shaw is hitting the heck out of the ball in spring training. What do the Red Sox do?
  • Jenrry Mejia must all think we are as dumb as he is
  • The mess in Baltimore continues as they sign human statue Pedro Alavarez
  • Brock Osweiler parlays seven career starts into 18 million a year
  • My pick for team of the week

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As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions here or at ggumbs@sbcglobal.net. Please let me know what you think!