Monday, April 21, 2014

Who The Good Guys Are

Once upon a time, everybody hated Bryce Harper. They hated him because he was cocky and arrogant and disrespectful (or possibly a 17 year old kid who had been told most of his life he was a transcendent talent and who was under an intense media spotlight from the age when it became possible for him to grow hair in awkward places).

This lasted for a while, until suddenly an idiot political columnist had a new idea: Bryce Harper, who didn't do underaged drinking and who went all-out on every play, even when that meant crashing into walls, was no longer Everything Wrong With Baseball.
Instead, he was Everything Right With It because he hustled so hard all the time (to the point of running into walls and breaking himself repeatedly). Everything wrong with baseball, you see, was Jason Heyward, the Braves outfielder who didn't visibly hustle as hard as the sainted Bryce did on every play. Heyward, you see, was lazy and unfocused and uncommitted and several other terms that, if you cocked your head and looked at it from a certain angle, could be identified as possibly-kind-of-racially-insensitive.

Except Heyward then went out and did things like play through a broken face. And his team signed B.J. Upton, who everybody knows doesn't hustle, to Hayward looked good again.

And out in L.A., Matt Kemp was public enemy number 1 for not hustling, until he had a monster season in 2011 and lost the MVP award to Ryan Braun, who used steroids. So Kemp suddenly became a shining example of everything that was right with the game. Except then he got hurt and didn't play as well, so he wasn't such a hero. But then Yasiel Puig came along and he was everything that was wrong about these young kids and their rock and roll music and how they got no respect for nobody, so suddenly Kemp was the seasoned veteran who was the model Puig should aspire to.

Oh, and Bryce Harper just got benched for not hustling.

You're welcome.
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