Bryce Harper, Phillies agree to 13 year, $330 million deal

It took Bryce Harper nearly four months to find a new home in baseball, but the hunt is finally over. Thursday the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to sign the former Nationals outfielder to a 13 year, $330 million deal.

I found the hat I will be buying two years from now

This morning I bought a fitted (size 7 3/4) Los Angeles Dodgers 2016 All-Star Game hat from Lids.com. It normally retails for $39.99, but I got it for only $20.00 because it’s now on clearance. I like nice looking baseball hats, but I find it morally reprehensible to pay full retail for almost everything, especially nice looking baseball hats.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2016 All-Star Game hat.

I’m cheap. Even if I won the lottery and became a multimillionaire, I would still gravitate towards the clearance area when entering a store.  It’s who I am and it’s what I do.

While on the Lids website, I saw this year’s MLB All-Star hats. This year’s All-Star Game will be played in Washington D.C. at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals. I’ve been there only once. I didn’t enjoy myself. Our seats came with cup holders mounted on the back of the seats in front of us. My cup holder was where my left knee should have been.  I’m taller than a normal male human. It made for a very uncomfortable experience.

I’m not a fan of the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, Nationals Park, or their cup holders, but this year’s All-Star Game hat looks pretty nice. Technically, it’s the “work out” hat.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 All-Star Game hat.

It retails for $39.99. That’s too salty for my blood. That means I will have to wait two years to purchase one. I just hope in 2020, there will still be size 7 3/4 hats available. I realize waiting like that will be a roll of the 20-sided dice. Even if this hat will be on clearance by then, they might not have my size.

That’s just one of the risks of being a baseball hat cheapskate.

Washington Nationals sign Matt Wieters to a two-year deal

Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is now a member of the Washington Nationals. He signed a two-year contract with the choice of opting out after one season. That may work out in Wieters’ favor if there is a demand for 31-year-old low average, switch-hitting catchers next season.

Matt Wieters will make $10.5 million this season. That’s a pay cut when compared to the $15.8 million the Orioles overpaid him last year.

Matt Wieters never turned out to be the player the Orioles hoped he would be when they drafted him with the 5th overall pick in 2007. His lifetime batting average is .257. When the Orioles signed him, he was supposed to be the next Joe Mauer. Matt Wieters was never Joe Mauer. He did win two Gold Glove awards, in 2011 and then again in 2012.

Watching Orioles games on TV and hearing the way color commentator Jim Palmer talked about Matt Wieters, one might think that Wieters was baseball Jesus. It was obvious Palmer had a severe man-crush on Wieters. Like most things said by Palmer, it was annoying to listen to. When Palmer speaks, you can almost hear the Grecian Formula drip from his head and puddle up on the broadcast booth countertop. Someone should tell Palmer that it’s not natural for 71-year-old men to have a full head of jet black hair. Palmer looks like he’s cosplaying Ronald Reagan.

Tonight is Game 7 of the World Series

The Chicago Cubs (103-58) and the Clevland Indians (94-67) face off tonight in a World Series Game 7. Even though the Cubs won nine more games than the Indians, they don’t have home field advantage. Because the American League beat the National League in the 2016 All-Star Game, the Indians have home field advantage.

The All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series has got to be the most stupid rule in baseball. Considering that baseball is a game full of stupid rules, that’s saying something.

The All-Star Game use to be just a fun exhibition game between players that almost never played against each other. The advent of interleague play ruined all that. Now teams play teams in the other league every day. For example, the American League Baltimore Orioles play the National League Washington Nationals six times a year because both teams are geographic “rivals.” They aren’t rivals. We went to an Orioles game in Washington a few years ago and not only were there about an equal amount of fans from both teams, but a lot of people were also wearing both Orioles and Nationals gear. For instance, an Orioles jersey with a Nationals hat.

Both interleague play and the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series was the doing of one man: former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Bud Selig
Bud Selig

Selig was an awful commissioner. He was at the helm during the 1994 player’s strike. He was also in charge during the so-called steroid era. The idea that his stupid ideas would remain in effect even after leaving the commissioner’s office seems dumb.

Personally, I don’t mind interleague play, but it does make the Word Series a bit anti-climatic when one team for the National League and one team from the American League face off to decide which team is the world’s best. The Word Series use to be exciting for no other reason then you would get to see teams play each other that you never got to see play against each other.

The Chicago Cubs won 103 games this season. That’s tough to do. Every year, one team wins the World Series.  Usually, no team wins  100 games in a season. The idea that the Cubs could win 103 games and then have to play Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland in front of Indian fans seems all sorts of wrong. The Cubs should be able to play tonight at Wrigley in front of Cubs fans.

Usually, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t care who wins this Word Series. I don’t hate either team or even more importantly, I don’t hate the fans of either team. Typically a match-up like this would invoke nothing but neutrality within my heart. Because the Cubs and their fans are getting jobbed with home field advantage, I want the Cubs to win.

No team that wins 103 games in a season should be forced to play Game 7 of the Word Series on the road unless the other team somehow won 104 games. That didn’t happen, so I’m rooting for the Cubs.

Bryce Harper drags foot over Braves logo

Spoiled brat Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals took some much deserved heat Saturday night from Atlanta Braves fans when he intentionally dragged his foot over the giant stylized letter “A” behind home plate. Evidently, this was done in retaliation for Braves fans booing the immature outfielder every time he made his way to the batter’s box.

Harper, of course, lied about it after Saturday’s game. That’s what he does. He acts like a punk and then lies about it after he’s called out on it. It’s the Harper way.

It’s hard for me to put into words just how much I dislike Bryce Harper. I can’t even watch Nationals games anymore. Living here in Maryland, I can watch every Orioles and National game on TV. I used to, pre-Harper, watch quite a few Nats games when the O’s weren’t on. Not anymore.

As of this morning, Harper is batting .249 and has only four home runs. Harper has struck out 65 times. Being the Bryce Haper hater that I am, maybe I should start watching Nationals games again for the schadenfreude.

Manny Machado to start minor league rehab assignment Friday in Frederick

Baltimore Orioles Platinum Glove third baseman Manny Machado begins a rehab assignment this Friday for the Frederick Keys, the Orioles High-A minor league affiliate. Machado had surgery on his left knee during the offseason and had been in Sarasota at the Orioles’ spring training facility recuperating.

Tickets for this weekend in Frederick are still available, for now, at the Frederick Keys official website. As more area Oriole fans in the area learn about the assignment, tickets should go pretty fast. Manny Machado is to the Orioles what Bryce Harper is to the Washington Nationals, except Machado graduated high school, and he isn’t a spoiled jerk-face.