Bryce Harper completes first professional season with a championship

11/30/2010 12:15 AM - Devo

Bryce Harper 3.jpgBryce Harper, the first-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals, added an Arizona Fall League championship to his already impressive resume. 

Since being praised as quite possibly, the future of the game of baseball, Harper has been doing and saying all the right things on his way to becoming the face of a Washington Nationals club in dire need of some good fortune.

Harper, who followed Stephen Strasburg as another Nationals number one draft pick, is slowly but surely putting all the pieces together while putting in his time with the Nationals instructional league team and the AFL Scottsdale Scorpions. 

Harper compiled a .319 average and led the Nationals Instructional league team in RBI.  According to Fantasy Windup, the Nationals did not want Harper sitting around till spring training and decided the Arizona Fall League was the ideal situation.  You can say they made the right choice. 

Obviously Harper, who just turned 18, has a long way to go.   

His swing has been called lengthy / violent and his defensive skills are continuing to evolve since switching from catching and moving to the outfield. 

This had to have been a shock to the “Phenom” who was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 16. 

Despite hitting 500 foot homeruns in batting practice, lighting up the radar gun at 96 mph, and literally become a legend in his home state of Nevada, Harper has another reality check, since becoming a professional: batting seventh in the Scorpions line-up. 

Batting seventh, in a line-up filled with prospects all gifted in their own way, did not phase Harper in the least. 

In 35 at-bats Harper batted .343 (12 for 35), with half of hits coming via extra bases.  A .410 OBP and a .629 SLG proves the kid has the talent, but can he sustain those lofty numbers and expectations for an entire season?

 As far as I can tell, the Nationals do not appear to rushing Harper along, and if in 2011 he can continue to develop, a stint in Double-A Harrisburg isn’t so much a dream but a reality.

 Dare I say MLB starter by 19?  Maybe!

Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of  Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.   Devon is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network

Devon is a
Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com and is now a member of the Yarbarker Network.

He is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.

Devon is a former student within
Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

 Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com , thegmsperspective@yahoo.com ordevon@businessofsportsnetwork.com

**Devon is member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada**
**Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**

 

 


Jose Canseco and the Impact of the 2005 Congressional Hearing

11/25/2010 5:45 AM - Devo

LEGAL 2.jpgRecently I wrote an article asking a very interesting question: “Did Jose Canseco save baseball?” 

I had numerous comments and appreciate everyone who took part in the process.   

Answers like “yes he did”, or “no, he only contributed to the problem”, are just two of the many sides that one can take on the situation. 

From my point of view, “the chain of events” that led up to that fateful day in Congress deserves to be looked at more closely. 

Canseco obviously played a big role in the steroid fiasco.   

He penned a tell-all book claiming that steroid use was rampant in baseball dating back to his glory years with the Oakland Athletics during the mid-to-late 1980’s.  And when Canseco was subpoenaed to testify, he was one of the first to comply. 

Bash Brother #2, Mark McGwire, was once the golden-boy of baseball along with Sammy Sosa and several other superstars that helped return baseball to the “America’s Pastime” status that it had desired for so long.  Unfortunately, for baseball and McGwire, a bottle of “Andro” was seen in his locker during one of his interviews.  The rest is history. 

As I was saying in my previous piece, 2005 was to be a monumental year for Bash Brother #1, yet a devastating year for the game in general. 

By the time the book came out, everyone was aware that something was indeed wrong with the game.  Statistics between 1998 and 2004 resembled something out of a video game and their biggest stars were under unrelenting scrutiny; Barry Bonds and BALCO and Jason Giambi’s damnation after his 2003 admission of steroid use to the federal grand jury. 

Why was Congress investigating baseball in the first place?   

According to a 2005 article from the Washington Post, “Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, said the main motivation for the investigation is the rising use of steroids among the country's children”.  Thomas M. Davis III was also quoted, claiming the games’ integrity was on the line, and here was its opportunity to clear its name, 

"There's a cloud over baseball, and perhaps a public discussion of the issues, with witnesses testifying under oath, can provide a glimpse of sunlight." 

It was time for the game’s biggest names to set the record straight, end the rumours, and prove that Canseco, who was facing unrelenting heat for the “outrageous” claims in his book, were in fact, lies. 

The congressional hearings turned out to do the exact opposite. 

Mark McGwire did not want to speak about the past. With his historic 1998 campaign several years removed, perhaps he misremembered?  I’m not quite sure. 

The Rafael Palmeiro denial, (“I have never used steroids. Period”), was obviously not the case, and Sammy Sosa, who proclaimed that he did not break any rules of the United States or the Dominican Republic, was out of the game less than two years later, a shell of his former self. 

If the hearings were meant to clean up the game, it failed miserably inflicting irrefutable damage that has yet to wear off. 

Turns out that Canseco told the truth, the question remains: Did Jose Canseco save baseball? 

I think a little bit from column A and a little but from column B would suffice.  What Canseco did while playing was inexcusable, however, his book and willingness to testify did provide some resemblance of sanity during a whirlwind of confusion. 

The game had been tarnished and the congressional hearings solidified that the 1998 MLB season was “magical”, unfortunately for the game to move forward, talking about the past is something that couldn’t be pushed aside.

  Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of  Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.   Devon is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network

Devon is a
Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com and is now a member of the Yarbarker Network.

He is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.

Devon is a former student within
Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

 Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com , thegmsperspective@yahoo.com ordevon@businessofsportsnetwork.com

**Devon is member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada**
**Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**

Did Jose Canseco save baseball?

11/21/2010 1:36 AM - Devo

Jose Canseco 2.jpg2005 was indeed an interesting year in the baseball world. 

The Chicago White Sox won their first World Series since 1917, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols were again having monster years, and Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey Jr., again rose to prominence. 

2005 was also a break-out year for the former MVP and six-time All-star, Jose Canseco.

In 05’ Canseco rocked the baseball world by admitting to steroids, pointing the finger at many former and current players, and releasing a tell-all book; Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big

Whether it was to again enter the spotlight, regain the glory that was once his, or simply get the guilt off his chest, he sure did drop a bombshell, not only on the game of baseball, but the sports fraternity as a whole. 

There are certain unwritten rules in sports, and revealing locker room insights or the off-filed antics of your teammates are two of the most highly regarded. 

Many dubbed Canseco a rat, and a selfish egotistical former all-star looking to get back at the game that no longer needed him. In fact Canseco did break the code, in spite of this; he lit the fuse that ignited a clean-up that many deemed necessary. 

Canseco’s admission started a chain reaction, a string of events that led to Congress and MLB working together to try and fix the game led off its rightful path. 

Many remember that fateful day when Mark McGwire stood before Congress and almost certainly sealed his fate confirming what many believed; he was a user and abuser of steroids.  And how could you forget the finger pointing protest of Rafael Palmeiro claiming that “I have never used steroids. Period”.  We all know how that ended. 

The Congress fiasco turned out to be a dark day for the game.  Childhood heroes were revealed as frauds and the innocence that encompasses every baseball fan was again shattered. 

When looking back, in light of the circumstances, Canseco’s admission was the best thing that has happened to the game in a long time. 

As witnessed in the year of the pitcher, the game is again on an even keel. Six no-hitters, including the two perfect games, pitchers enjoyed their best season since before the “steroid era”.  The average runs per game for each team in 2010 was nearly a run lower than in 2000 (5.39 compared to 4.44), and an enhanced drug policy enforcing a more regulated testing system has shown the fans that game can be played clean. 

Dubbed the “Godfather” of steroids, and while that may be true, enhancers have been part of the game for years yet never been fully discussed.  That is until Bash Brother #1 decided it was time to open the lines of communications for one reason or another. 

Steroids have made a huge impact on the game, one that will never be forgotten, one that will be remember in infamy long after we are gone.  Future players, managers, executives, and GM’s will hopefully learn from the mistakes that were made. 

Canseco changed the game by what he did, and again by what he did.   

With any bit of luck, this new “Pitchers Era” will bring back the excitement of the chess match that many have been longing for. 

Who knew the cleansing of the game would be started by the man you least expected?

 Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of  Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.   Devon is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network

Devon is a
Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com and is now a member of the Yarbarker Network.

He is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.

Devon is a former student within
Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

 Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com , thegmsperspective@yahoo.com ordevon@businessofsportsnetwork.com

**Devon is member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada**
**Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**

 

 

 

 

Derek Jeter: A Yankee till the end

11/17/2010 7:24 PM - Devo

DEREK JETER 2.jpgI previously wrote that Derek Jeter is as reliable as they come.  That is correct despite some commenting that his lack or decline of defensive skills makes him a liability.

Both statements are inherently correct. 

There is no sufficient replacement for the Captain at this point in time.  And since he is close, precisely 74 hits away from an automatic Hall of Fame induction, I give the chance of Jeter re-signing with the New York Yankees at 100 percent.

Loyalty is a rare in today’s game and you can count on one hand the number of home grown talent that has been with their original club till the end.   

I will not implement a numbers approach to this article, and will not try to convince any readers by sitting on one side of the fence or another.  My point is, for the good of the game, Jeter is a Yankee, and will always be a Yankee, whether you like it or not. 

I can only comment on what I see as a fan, I cannot comment on knowing Jeter personally, yet as fans, enthusiasts, writers and analysts we always assume that we are in the inner circle of this game. 

Like many others I get caught in the thrill of our favourite player shattering records, going four-for-four, winning the CY Young, and finally climbing that mountain, winning the World Series.  We let our hearts lead the way and not our mind.  As a young fan growing up, I was torn with the fact that Jesse Barfield could ever be traded, but as ten-year-old you do not know any better. 

Yet twenty-two years later, I still allow myself to think that way; how could the Atlanta Braves ever break-up Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.  Absolutely unimaginable!?

But when you compare this Jeter scenario to the one the Braves dealt with, they are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum.  I understand now, that in a business, which is baseball, Jeter will remain a Yankee till his career is finished.   

It sounds as if I contradict myself.   Jeter is in the later years of his career just as the Braves trio was. 

If Maddux can get traded, so can Jeter, right?  The answer is no.  This is where this new situation takes a different path, one with more strategic intentions. 

New York is a different market than most,  the Mecca, you might say, and Jeter is, in all meaning of the word, advertising; Gillette, Gatorade, and GQ.  Other players are more dominant; yet not as marketable. 

More of a brand than a player at this late stage in his career, Jeter ultimately fits in with the club he plays for. 

The New York Yankees are the most marketable, profitable, and valuable franchise in the game.  Combine that with arguably the most advertised and publicized player the game has seen since Mickey Mantle, and you have never ending recipe for success. 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

 Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of  Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.   Devon is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network

Devon is a
Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com and is now a member of the Yarbarker Network.

He is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.

Devon is a former student within
Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

 Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com , thegmsperspective@yahoo.com ordevon@businessofsportsnetwork.com

**Devon is member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada**
**Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities**


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Myles Jury