Say What?

Harper’s star falling: nothing to hit, he F-bombs an ump

The Washington Nationals’ mega-powered Bryce Harper doesn’t see many strikes, and after he was ejected for disputing one, he returned to the field to celebrate the win and F-bombed umpire Brian Knight.  This seemed out of character for a player who often wears a “Make Baseball Fun Again” cap.  He’s 23 and is acclaimed for role-modeling, a recent good deed being to hand a jar full of money to a homeless woman as he was about to board the team bus.  But a day later came his bomb launch that’s probably related to lack of explosion in the batter’s box.  He’s hitting .260 for the first fifth of the season, with a paltry 1.5 Wins Above Replacement.  He walked six times in a game against the Cubs, whose manager, Joe Maddon, ordered his pitchers to throw him no strikes.  That said, the pitch from the Detroit Tigers that ignited Harper was on the corner, or close.  He overreacted and drew widespread rebuke and calls for a fine and suspension.  Instead of expressing contrition for poor sportsmanship, which was captured by television, he told reporters: “Let him hear what I have to say.  Let him hear it again.  So what?” 

Between the Lines: MLB isn’t saying how much it damages the product to see the New Face of Baseball getting no chance to drive the ball and then being an arrogant, immature punk.


Tainted Palmeiro abandoned by baseball community

Rafael Palmeiro was a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best-liked players in baseball.  But although he passed several drug tests, he failed one of them, which he blamed on an injection he thought was vitamin B-12.  That one slipup, along with a book by Jose Canseco that listed him as a steroid user, was enough to make Palmeiro a pariah.  His baseball pals, including Bud Selig and George W. Bush, have shunned him.  His life spiraled downward; he filed for bankruptcy.  Did he get a raw deal?  He surpassed two milestones that in most cases would have ensured Cooperstown immortality: 500 home runs, 3,000 hits.  And there may be reasonable doubt he did anything improper.

Click here for Fox Sport’s Flinder Boyd’s in-depth profile of Palmeiro.


A&M assistant coach tweets recruits: ‘y’all boys soft’

When QB Tate Martell, Texas A&M’s top recruit for the class of 2017, posted on social media that he was decommitting, Aggies assistant coach Aaron Moorehead tweeted about disloyal recruits: “y’all boys soft.”  He also wrote, then deleted: “People talk about leadership, and this generation flip-flops like it’s nothing.  That’s a real issue.  My dad would’ve whipped my ass.”  A&M’s recruiting class, which had ranked 11th nationally, has fallen to 41st after a flurry of decommitments.  Head coach Kevin Sumlin sharply reprimanded Moorehead: “I’ve addressed it with Aaron, and we’re still working through it.”   

Between the Lines: Moorehead, 35, wears out his welcomes quickly.  Since leaving the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, he’s worked for four schools.  He’s been at A&M for 16 months. 


Paterno knew of Sandusky’s pedophilia in 1976?

Joe Paterno, Penn State coaching legend who in 2002 failed to protect young boys from molestation by one of his assistants, may have been aware of Jerry Sandusky’s pedophilia as early as 1976. Sandusky, 72, was formerly Paterno’s defensive coordinator and is serving 30-60 years in prison after being convicted of molesting 10 boys from the early 1990s through 2009.  The scandal resulted in Paterno losing his job in 2011.  He died of lung cancer in January 2012.  But his legacy has come under more fire.  Penn State’s trustees are discussing allegations that a child told Paterno in 1976 that Sandusky sexually abused him.  The victim’s attorney apparently reached a cash settlement with the university but agreed to a confidentiality agreement that kept the matter secret until last week.  NBC reported that as many as six of Paterno’s assistant coaches witnessed molestations by Sandusky in the athletic department’s locker rooms.  Sandusky met the underage boys during his work operating a charity.


Russians used steroids to train for Sochi Games

A former worker at Russia’s anti-doping laboratory told CBS’s Sixty Minutes that at least four gold medalists at the 2014 Sochi Olympics were using performance-enhancing drugs.  Vitaly Stepanov said the country’s anti-doping agency kept a list of athletes who were using banned substances, but he did not identify any of them.  Russia’s track and field team is currently suspended from international competition, three months before the 2016 Summer Olympics begins in Rio de Janeiro.

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