Bryce Harper benched for being Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper has shown he’s more than willing to run his cranium full speed into the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard, but not so much when it comes to running to first base on a groundout. Harper dogged it in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and was benched because of it. Harper was removed from the game in the sixth inning and replaced with Kevin Frandsen.

When asked about the move, manager Matt Williams told reporters after the game that Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” was the reason for the benching. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo later told reporters that he agreed with the decision.

Have they forgotten who Harper is? Anyone employing the baseball talents of Bryce Harper had better get used to him taking plays off. Anyone who remembers his time here in Hagerstown knows that Harper often lacks dedication. That’s putting it nicely.

If the Nationals wanted a player who always played hard and played with hustle, they should have taken a pass on Harper and instead drafted Manny Machado. The Nats had the first pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and the selected high school dropout Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles had the third pick, and they drafted Manny Machado.

The Nationals should have drafted Machado.

New comic retailer advocacy group named after a snake

There’s already a comic retailer advocacy group, ComicsPRO, but according to comments made by Dennis Barger, ComicsPro is only looking out for themselves.

Dennis Barger, owner-operator of Wonderworld Comics in Taylor, Michigan, announced on Facebook the formation of a new comic book retailer organization, the Comic Book Retailer Alliance, or COBRA for short. Continue Reading

Me whining about the weather makes the national news

I blogged a couple of days ago about how annoying this year’s winter has turned out to be, and it resulted in me being quoted by NBC News. From the article:

Wether you’ve been hit by the polar vortex, punched by an Arctic blast, snowed in, iced over, frozen in place, left powerless or stuck at home, new research confirms it’s been a particularly fierce winter for most of the country, leaving many people in a state of general malaise.

“I normally enjoy all four seasons, but this winter has been mind-numbingly brutal,” said Rick Rottman, who lives in Hagerstown, Md. “I can’t count how many times it’s snowed.”

Mental health experts say they’re hearing much more grumbling about the winter season than usual this year, with patients struggling with lower mood, cabin fever and a sense of hopelessness. And a weather report nicknamed the “misery index” shows they have good reason: The Winter of 2014 is one of the most miserable on record.

Mental health experts?

The phrase “mental health experts” appeared in the article immediately after my quote. It makes me sound crazy, and not the good kind of crazy.

A. Pawlowski, the writer of the article, contacted me on March 4. She said she read my blog post about how miserable this year’s winter is, and she wanted to know what winter has been like for me and how frustrating it’s been. I finished the blog post with, “Winter sucks, and I hate it.”  What more do I need to say? Never to pass up the opportunity to complain to a stranger. I was a Good Guy Greg and complied with her request.

Snow Psychology: Wicked Winter Ups America’s ‘Misery Index’ [NBC News]

DirecTv says installer will be here between twelve and four, fails to show up

Up until a month ago, we were DirecTv subscribers. We switched back to Antietam Cable, the local cable TV provider for the Hagerstown area. The price was a bit cheaper, but that wasn’t the driving force behind the desire to switch. I wanted to switch because of the NFL Redzone. With DirecTv, to get the NFL Redzone, you have to pay for the most expensive NFL package they have available, Sunday Ticket Max. With Antietam Cable, you only have to pay for the basic sports upgrade, less than eight dollars a month.

After we switched, we realized pretty quickly that the difference between DirecTv and Antietam Cable was like night and day. After only a couple weeks of Antietam Cable, not being able to watch one program and record another, we realized we made a mistake. The tipping point was last Saturday morning when we turned on NBC Sports to watch the English Premiere League and discovered we suddenly didn’t have the channel. The sports package, the reason we switched back to Antietam Cable in the first place, had been mistakenly turned off.

When we signed up for Antietam Cable, they gave us a free month of HBO and Showtime. After a month of free service, last Saturday, they turned the channels off. The problem is that they also turned off all our other premium channels, the ones we actually paid for, the ones we actually wanted, including our sports package.

We decided then and there to go back to DirecTv. Afterall, they had been hounding us with special offers, both in the mail and over the phone since we canceled. Instead of watching soccer last Saturday morning like I had planned, I called and reordered DirecTv. The “professional” installation was scheduled for Saturday, August 24, from noon to 4:00 pm.

The installer never showed up.

At 5:15 pm I called DirectTV. After explaining everything to the customer service representative, she apologized and said our installer must be running late and she would contact them to “axe” how much longer they were going to be. She also credited $50 credit towards my bill to make up for the delay.

Is a fifty dollar credit worth wasting a Saturday afternoon? I don’t think it is. At that point, it had been five and a half hours of standing by, waiting for someone to show up. That works out to be less than $10 per wasted hour.

At around 6:00 pm, I got a call from an installer. He said that my job had just been dropped into his queue and the earliest he could possibly be here was in two hours. He then proceeded to complain to me about having my installation sprung on him like that.

I told him not to worry about it, that he could just forget about even coming here. I then called DirecTv and cancelled the reorder.

We wasted all day Saturday for nothing. The ironic thing is that the installation would have been a snap. Since we are prior subscribers, we already have the dish on the roof and pointed in the right direction. The cable is already run to the junction box outside. All the installer would have to do is connect it to the cable going into the house. That, and connect the DVR to the TV. I doubt the whole job would have taken more than 15 minutes.

At this point I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go back to Antietam Cable, and I don’t want to ever give another penny to DirecTv. I guess there’s always Dish Network. Their DVR is supposed to be really nice.

Bryce Harper will play hard even if it kills him, unless he’s playing in Hagerstown

Players who respect the game don’t talk about not being too focused and wanting to leave their team.

Washington Nationals 20-year-old phenom Bryce Harper took to the Twitterverse Tuesday to comment on Monday night’s attack on the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard with his chin.

This is what he Tweeted on Twitter:

Take that players who choose to play safely and sanely, players who heed the warning presented to them by the existence of the warning track under their feet, or as Harper probably calls it, the go even faster track.

Harper plays baseball hard? Harper will never stop playing hard, even if it kills him? Harper respects the game?

Those are some strange statements coming from someone who admitted in an interview to not being too focused his last 20 games while playing here in Hagerstown because he didn’t want to be here. “Not too focused” and “wanting to get out of there” are the polar opposites of playing hard to the point of death. They’re also the polar opposites of someone who respects the game. Players who respect the game don’t talk about not being focused and wanting to leave the team they play for.

At least the smart ones don’t. Then again, smart players don’t run full speed into the out-of-town scoreboard, resulting in an injury that requires stitches and time away from the game they claim to respect. Smart players don’t do something stupid and then pretend they did something to be admired.

Speaking of stupid, why are the Nats claiming Harper didn’t suffer a concussion Monday night? It’s hard to watch the video of the incident and believe that Harper’s brain wasn’t concussed, even a little bit.

Bryce Harper will play hard even if it kills him, unless he's playing in Hagerstown

Players who respect the game don’t talk about not being too focused and wanting to leave their team.

Washington Nationals 20-year-old phenom Bryce Harper took to the Twitterverse Tuesday to comment on Monday night’s attack on the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard with his chin.

This is what he Tweeted on Twitter:

Take that players who choose to play safely and sanely, players who heed the warning presented to them by the existence of the warning track under their feet, or as Harper probably calls it, the go even faster track.

Harper plays baseball hard? Harper will never stop playing hard, even if it kills him? Harper respects the game?

Those are some strange statements coming from someone who admitted in an interview to not being too focused his last 20 games while playing here in Hagerstown because he didn’t want to be here. “Not too focused” and “wanting to get out of there” are the polar opposites of playing hard to the point of death. They’re also the polar opposites of someone who respects the game. Players who respect the game don’t talk about not being focused and wanting to leave the team they play for.

At least the smart ones don’t. Then again, smart players don’t run full speed into the out-of-town scoreboard, resulting in an injury that requires stitches and time away from the game they claim to respect. Smart players don’t do something stupid and then pretend they did something to be admired.

Speaking of stupid, why are the Nats claiming Harper didn’t suffer a concussion Monday night? It’s hard to watch the video of the incident and believe that Harper’s brain wasn’t concussed, even a little bit.