August 17, 2009
Chosen One, my shoe!
Playing in Sunday's Aflac All-American Classic, Bryce Harper went a disappointing 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, posting a line more suitable for the kid next door than the 16-year-old phenom he's supposed to be.
Yeah, yeah, his RBI groundout in the top of the 10th inning forced the final tie score of 4-4, he did throw out a runner and he was named the winner of the 2009 Jackie Robinson award as the nation's best high school player.
But with his status as someone who will skip his final two years of high school and will enroll at the College of Southern Nevada in hopes of entering the 2010 draft, I have to say that expected much, much more from this
man machine boy.
Say, 6-for-6 with 8 home runs, 32 RBIs and a perfect game called from behind the plate.
OK, so I'm being intentionally ridiculous with my expectations even though they might mirror the hopes and dreams of some fans. (Let this be a lesson to you, young Bryce!)
However, I'm not sure if Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review can say the same.
Writing in Sunday's editions, Starkey argues that the Pirates should tank the rest of the season so they can get the first pick in the 2010 and then draft Harper.
"Does everybody realize what's at stake here, heading into the final quarter of the season?
"It's incredible that more people aren't talking about it: One of the most tantalizing prospects in recent baseball history is expected to be the first pick in next year's draft, and the Pirates might get him if they simply continue to do what they do best.
"Lose, lose, lose.
"The chant at home games ... should be, 'Let's Fold Bucs!'"
Starkey seems to be writing with some of his tongue in his cheek, but I'm sure the hunger to sign Harper is really there, especially since he makes a Sidney Crosby comparison.
Still, there's a ways to go in the Bryce Harper Derby and the Royals and Nationals aren't going to lose this thing lying down (or should I say, standing up?) Plus, you throw in a couple of more 0-fers from Harper and the Pirates may have to reconsider the notion entirely.