Bryce Harper's Comments Continue To Resonate Throughout Baseball World
Those who love baseball "should be celebrating and applauding" Nationals RF Bryce Harper for breaking MLB's code that players "should treat the creation of offense as a sad, solemn occasion," according to Steve Buckley of the BOSTON HERALD. What Harper "is telling us -- teaching us, really -- is that players should be allowed to bring their own unique personalities and sensibilities to the game" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/14). MLB Network's Chris Rose said, "I’ve been saying this for a few years. It’s nice that somebody who actually plays baseball for a living is saying it as well." Rose: "We are telling young kids they can’t be who they are, that they can't express themselves. I don't care if it is baseball or anything else in life" ("Intentional Talk," MLB Network, 3/11). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck wrote there "really isn't an 'old school' and a 'new school,' just old players who view the past with rose-colored glasses and young players who are living in a social media world that magnifies everything they do" (Baltimore SUN, 3/13). In California, Jeff Miller wrote old people "have been lamenting bygone times for only as long as old people have existed." Miller: "The point is times change, always have and always will, the day absolutely coming when a retired Harper will look back and wonder what happened to the beloved game he once approached with hushed and humbled awe" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/12). ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski said, “Like it or not, Goose, the game is changing, the culture of the game is changing, the attitude of those who play the game are changing. And that’s okay, too" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 3/13).
STICKS & STONES: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes with the reaction to Baseball HOFer Goose Gossage's comments denouncing today's players, some would have thought he had "called for a replenishment of suicide bombers." Mushnick: "And so for three days, anyway, Gossage, having told an indisputable but impolitic truth, became a target of derision, condemnation and a front-office scolding. All-about-me immodesty, after all, is a good thing! Ask any fool" (N.Y. POST, 3/14). In Chicago, Rick Morrissey wrote baseball's "earthiness, tradition and, yes, respect, are exactly what set it apart from football, basketball and lots of other sports." Morrissey: "I don’t want every sport having the same practices, with players acting the same way." Harper thinks baseball "takes away from his Q rating." If his personality "were allowed to blossom publicly, perhaps more corporations would offer him big money to hawk their products" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/12).
ALL THE YOUNG DUDES: Orioles 3B Manny Machado said, “Respect the game, but at the same time you’ve got to have fun. Don’t take away the fun. They can’t take the fun away from our stuff. They’re taking away a lot of things, and they’ve got to keep having fun. ... Let us wear white cleats if we want to wear white cleats. If we want to wear something else, let us wear it. This game is about us" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 3/11). Mets P Matt Harvey added, "It’s just having fun. I think at no point whatsoever do you want to show up your opponent or show up the game. But having a little flair is never bad" (NEWSDAY, 3/12). But Mets LF Michael Conforto said, “There’s something to being a good sport, as we’ve all been taught growing up. To me sportsmanship is very important" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/13).