By Justin McCahren
Tonight, we witnessed one of the drawbacks of having a 19 year-old phenom in the Major’s: Immaturity. During a frustrating 0-5, three strikeout night, Bryce Harper went batty in the clubhouse tunnel in Cincinnati. Harper unleashed his fury upon a bat, which was no doubt the reason why he was 0-5. Young Bryce wildly bashed his bat into the tunnel walls, and then the bat decided to bite back. During his moment of John McEnroeitis, (Yes, that’s an official medical condition) the barrell of the bat struck him above his left eye.
You do have to give it to Harper though. Until last nights temper tantrum he had handled himself well, on and off the field. This is just part of the learning process. As a Major League Baseball player, you’re tantrums have to be more precise, more calculated and with less chance for error. He’ll learn that as he grows.
Lets face it, you just can’t be like former Yankees and Reds outfielder Paul O’Neill in your first rodeo. O’Neill’s legendary explosions included flying gatorade coolers, bat racks and dixie cups. Yet, O’Neill never ended up with ten stitches above his left eye. Harper vows to be better next time. We do have to cut him a little bit of slack though, he saw the movie “The Avengers” earlier in the week. During his wild tunnel swings, witnessess claimed to hear him yelling “Hulk Smash!” The feminine shriek after the bat hit him was inspired by Richard Simmons.
The Washington Nationals youngster is only batting .233 so far, but he has shown a high baseball IQ. He’ll no doubt hit the film room and study what he did wrong in that tunnel. He’ll be sure to check the walls of all clubhouses and dugouts before a tantrum. The walls in Cincinnati were apparently made out of super bouncy ball rubber. He’ll study the old footage of the greats. He’ll call Paul O’Neill and Lou Piniella for advice. Don’t worry Nationals fans, Harper will make you proud next time.
Nats manager Davey Johnson simply said after the game, “that’s what ballplayers do. They break bats and throw helmets.” Somewhere in there Davey, I think hitting, catching and running play a part as well.
Tim Tebow meanwhile is in the news again. Anything Tebow does is apparently newsworthy. If Tebow buys a cup of coffee, we need to know how many sugars. If Tebow gives Mark Sanchez a wedgie, we want to know if it was an atomic wedgie. If Tebow is Tebowing in his backyard, we have to know what kind of grass seed he uses. And by golly, if Tim Tebow renames his dog, that is headline news.
Virtually every news outlet had it scrolling on their “bottom line,” streaming accross the bottom of the screen. The scrolling line that is now part of most news broadcasts is notorious for following a serious story with something menial. As an example, you’ll watch the bottom line and see “Seven homicides in the city last night.” Right after it will be something like, “See news anchor Herb Stinkyfoot at this weekends chili cook-off!”
Today while watching the local NBC 4 news, I was reading the bottom line. Sure enough, something extremely serious “A young girl kidnapped from her home.” Then after that urgent bit of news, “Tim Tebow changes dogs name from Bronco to Bronx.” I turned to CNN, their bottom line scrolled, “Plane crashes into side of a volcano.” Followed up by, “Tim Tebow changes dogs name from Bronco to Bronx.” I turned to MSNBC, “Stocks face a tumble.” Right after, you guessed it, “Tim Tebow changes dogs name from Bronco to Bronx.”
If Tim Tebow does anything, it’s a trending topic on Twitter. The only thing that isn’t trendy about Tim Tebow are his passing mechanics.
Hide your women and get your children some ear muffs, Metta World Peace is back from his suspension. After James Harden of Oklahoma City inexplicablly walked into World Peace’s celebratory elbow dance, NBA commisioner David Stern suspended the model citizen. It was clearly an accident. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t get close to someone who’s doing the elbow dance.
In any event, after serving that suspension, the artist formerly known as Ron Artest returns for a huge Game 7 playoff clash against Denver. The Lakers players and coaches spoke glowingly about what Peace’s return will mean to the team. They used words like stability and described him as a calming influence and player who leads by example. If that’s the case, then he needs to show Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol the elbow dance posthaste.
Andrew Bynum has been outplayed by the smaller front line of Denver in the past several games. Pau Gasol meanwhile, has maintained his playoff consistency. He is consistently known as Pau Ga-soft when the physical brand of playoff basketball arrives. This year has been no different. Metta World Peace’s only option to get this team going may be to just do the elbow dance in their faces. Pau may play better with a concussion, because at times he’s pushed around in the paint like he’s already in a coma.
The Lakers will host the Nuggets 10:30 eastern time, Saturday night. Elbow dance, brawl in the stands, World Peace eating Ty Lawson’s ear…anything is possible with Ron Ron. While he is back, the Lakers are just hoping Bynum shows up…
If you happen to see Andrew Bynum, be sure to call Mitch Kupcheck or Jerry Buss immediately.
Pau Gasol’s brother Marc and the Memphis Grizzlies meanwhile, are getting ready for a game 7 of their own. The Grizzlies had the audacity of defeating David Stern’s favorite team in Game 6 Friday. The commisioner will no doubt give the referees some “suggstions” prior to game 7 to prevent it from happening again.
After an offseason in which Stern orchestrated the best trade in Clippers franchise history, Los Angeles is looking for it’s second playoff series win in team history. They will now have to do it in Memphis, TN rather than the cozy confines of the Lakers Center…I mean, Staples Center. The commisioner’s center piece in his off season Clippers rebuilding efforts was the acquisition of Chris Paul. The point guard is currently slowed with a hip injury. Lob City teammate Blake Griffin is nursing a bum knee as well. David Stern will no doubt fire the Clippers trainer and team doctor in the offseason. Rumors are that Stern is eyeing Dr. Oz and the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy to take over next season.
The Clippers and Grizzlies will square off this Sunday in a winner-take-all game 7. David Stern is getting nervous.