MLB League Notes: Boras Wants To Make Sure Bases Aren't Hazards After Harper Incident
Scott Boras, the agent for Nationals RF Bryce Harper, said that MLB "needs to take steps to ensure that wet, slick bases aren't a safety hazard for players during periods of inclement weather." ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick noted Harper stumbled over first base in the first inning of his team's game against the Giants on Saturday, and the injury stemming from the incident will "keep him out an undisclosed amount of time." Boras said, "This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick. ... In baseball, we have no one cleaning the bags between innings during inclement weather" (ESPN.com, 8/13).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? In Chicago, Paul Sullivan wrote MLB's Players Weekend is a "laudable effort" by the league in a sport where "many of the biggest stars frequently hide from the media during clubhouse access hours when presumably they could give fans a glimpse of their personalities through interviews." From Aug. 25-27, players can wear their nicknames on the back of their jerseys. They seem "enthused about the idea, the uniforms are being sold for charity and it never hurts to inject some life into the dog days of summer, especially when half of the division races are decided." Sullivan: "The tricky thing with next weekend's mass-marketing idea is baseball's presumption its players all have nicknames, or at least ones they care to display in public" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/13).
NOVEMBER RAIN: In St. Paul, Brian Murphy wrote baseball "should not be played in November," though MLB has "insisted on pushing the envelope into the year’s 11th month for the better part of a decade." Weather "should not play a role in determining your champion, especially if the decision-makers insist on playing chicken with the odds." Murphy: "How about owners and players genuinely reciprocate by having Doubleheader Sunday once a month during the regular season?" Monthly doubleheaders would "shave a week off the regular season and allow baseball to start its postseason the last week of September and guarantee a seven-game World Series would wrap up with a week to spare in October" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/12).