Hello,everyone,it’s been a while,but I’m back with the latest edition of Odds & Ends. We begin this week with Bryce Harper ending our long national nightmare signing a record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies for $330 million over 13 years. The 26-year-old outfielder was also being courted by the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers for his services before he ended up signing in Philadelphia,staying in the same division as his old team,the Washington Nationals.
Harper explained why in the end Philadelphia was the right destination for him.
“At the beginning of the process, I told this guy I didn’t want [an opt-out] anywhere I went,” Harper said, motioning toward his agent,Scott Boras. “I wanted to be able to dig my roots somewhere, that was through the good, through the bad, through the ups and downs of the organization. It’s going to be tough for 13 years to win every single year, and I totally understand that. [But] I want to be a part of this organization. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I want to be a part of this family, this Phillie Nation.”
Harper will wear No. 3 with Philadelphia,noting that No. 34,which was worn by the late Roy Halladay,”should be the last one to wear it.”
“He (Halladay) was a great person and was one of the nicest people that I’d ever meet … For me, it’s Roy Halladay. He’s 34. He’s what represents that number in Philly,” said Harper.
While personally as a Giants fan I am a little heartbroken that he isn’t coming to San Francisco,I understand his decision to play for an up and coming team that,in all honesty,was a big-time player short of truly being scary good,and this Phillies team is going to be very good with him there. I don’t see them getting to the World Series or winning one this year,but they’re going to be around a while,and it looks like Harper wants to be around a while on this team,too. At least us Giants fans can agree that it’s good that he’s not a Dodger.
So where does this leave the San Francisco Giants? The team that has missed out on a big name slugger the last two offseasons still doesn’t have any real power bats on their current roster.
Their offer of 12-years and $310 million to Harper was a little short to bring the star slugger to the West Coast and it leaves wondering when or if they’ll ever land someone who can land balls into the stands and McCovey Cove instead of the gloves of two infielders for double play after double play after double play.
For fans who are “relieved” the team didn’t get Harper,let me ask you one question: Where,in the collection of .260 hitters who are past their prime on the current roster,do you see them getting more than 20 home runs from? Honestly,I don’t see it,especially when the team leader in home runs last season,Andrew McCutchen,didn’t even finish the year with them.
Let’s be clear,the Giants need a guy who can mash on this team. Yes,I’m aware that Oracle Park’s dimensions are hindering that necessity,but still,this team has hit 128 home runs in 2017 and 133 home runs last season,which ranked 30th and 29th respectively in those two seasons. Certainly,this team is trying to get those bats,but damn,they need to try harder and they need to overpay for them. I get that $300 million to land one player is a lot,but this team has the money to get it done. Remember,this is the same team that charges $20 for one beer at their own ballpark,if you’re charging that much for something,you’re more than capable for overpaying for a player who can send a ball into the stands in the bottom of the ninth time and time again and send fans home happy.
Something that didn’t make any Giants fans happy was the video of their CEO,Larry Baer,in a public physical altercation with his wife,Pam,on Friday in a San Francisco plaza caught on video.
The video shows Baer stepping over his wife, Pam, as she sits in a chair trying to grab a phone from her hand. She screams, “Oh, my God, no, help!” In the second part of the video,Pam Baer is heard saying, “Oh, my God,” and Larry Baer, holding a coffee cup, is shown saying, “Pam, stop,” before walking away from the plaza.
The video was captured by a worker in the area who said he witnessed the incident, but wanted to remain anonymous. He sold the publishing rights to TMZ who made it viral in a matter of hours after it happened.
Both the Baers and the Giants have issues statements regarding the incident and Major League Baseball is continuing to look into the matter.
The video is just the latest controversy in a tumultuous offseason in the team’s front office. In November, Charles B. Johnson, the Giants’ principal owner, had difficulty explaining his political contributions to Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who joked about her wishing to attend public hangings, and to an organization that aired a racist radio ad in Arkansas.
So,what happens to Larry Baer now? Does he resign? I don’t think he will nor should. He’s overall a decent guy who was caught in a bad moment. Does he gets suspended? I think he should incur one based on what happened. He is,after all,responsible for his actions and what he did,just like any player would be if they were in the same situation. But I think,most of all,he and his wife have some work to do on their marriage. Witnesses said that they discussed going to counseling that day and maybe that’s what they need. I don’t know how troubled their marriage is,or if it is,but clearly as we all saw in this video,this was not anything that looks good in any light to him,his wife,or now the team.
Finally this week, as many of us expect,the Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly set to sign former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to a multi-year deal once the league’s new year begins next week.
Foles,30, has filled up for oft-injured Eagles starter Carson Wentz the last two seasons,the former being a Super Bowl winning season and the latter a return trip to the postseason,a trip cut short by the New Orleans Saints. He will lead a Jacksonville team a season removed from an appearance in the AFC Championship Game only to finish 5-11 in 2018,which saw the end of the Blake Bortles-era in North Florida. He’ll also have a powerful defense that’s ready to make another playoff push.
I think it’s great that Foles is able to find a team where he can be the full-time starter. We already know he’s capable of leading a team in the playoffs,but the real test is to see if he can stay healthy and consistent. If he can do that,the Jaguars may be in good shape and a threat to be a team that can win the division among the likes of their three rivals in it.
Also,the Jaguars could use a veteran quarterback who can take over now rather than a rookie signal caller who may or not be able to get the job done.
That concludes this edition of Odds & Ends,we’ll catch you next time!