The alarm I had set the previous night refused to cooperate and I woke up half an hour after I was supposed to start work. I rushed to get ready only to realize I had the day off, but I was in fact, even later for a rather important meeting with a professor in my department. I arrived at the meeting place a full hour-and-a-half after I was scheduled to be there and of course, the professor was nowhere to be found.
This caused a chain reaction of awful things to happen that nearly led to my failing of a class I desperately needed to garner my undergraduate degree. I got home, fearful that my little snafu might cause me to take an expensive summer course, and angry that something as simple as an alarm clock was the principle cause (well, that and my unrivalled ability to procrastinate the entire semester).
At this point, the reader should note that I am not a particularly angry person. I don’t make it a habit to throw things in disgust or malignly punch and kick at walls. I find it counterproductive most of the time. But I wasn’t in a reasonable state of mind that day.
I angrily unplugged the offending appliance and headed outside to rid myself of its insolence once and for all. I found a suitable brick wall on the outside of my building, wound up (with perfect biomechanics, I might add) and threw the clock against the wall as hard as I could.
Being that it was made of plastic, the clock immediately shattered into dozens of fragments. One of those fragments, a sharp piece of clear plastic, spun wildly toward my face and struck me in the eye, scratching my cornea. For the next few days of rather extreme eye pain, I wore a patch and worried for my long term vision (it’s fine, by the way).
My point is, sometimes when we’re angry, we displace that anger on to an object – or for some particular brands of scum, a person – and when we do such things, we are often running the risk of injuring ourselves through our own violence and lack of forethought.
Last night, while facing the Cincinnati Reds, 19-year-old phenom outfielder Bryce Harper had a bad game. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, and after the fourth at-bat – a groundout to second base – Harper retreated into the tunnel beyond the Nationals dugout and took out his frustration on an unsuspecting wall. He’s certainly not the first baseball player to do such a thing.
Turns out, as I found out that day a few years ago, that walls can be jerks. The bat bounced off the wall and struck Harper in the head above his left eye. He needed ten stitches to stop the bleeding and came out for his at-bat in the ninth with blood streaking down his face (which I have to admit, was kind of badass).
Harper is apparently fine, although manager Davey Johnson did say he may sit for a game or two for precautionary reasons.
Queue the drum-beat ‘Harper is a brash, out-of-control lunatic’ narrative.
Of course, we’ve seen just about every player lose his cool at one point or another, and many have done so in far more outlandish ways that Harper did last night. Any other time, the bat hits the wall, misses his face and we never hear about it.
Getting Blanked contributor Wendy Thurm wrote a piece this morning about the narrative set in place regarding Harper and how many have a problem with the phenom specifically because he doesn’t conform to what we’re told is a proper baseball player should be. She rightly points out that Harper tends to get chided by fans and the media because he seems to play the game differently. Of course, no one would care if he was terrible. Harper is a villain because he’s very good at baseball, and he achieves his success in unconventional ways.
I, for one, already have Harper near the top of the list of my favourite players. He’s brash, confident, and really good. Would I be friends with him? Probably not, but I’m not asking to be. There simply aren’t many players I’d rather watch play the game right now.
And the rest:
The Dodgers are rearranging the deck chairs on the Good Ship Mediocrity; Juan Rivera is set to go on the DL with a torn hamstring and could miss two months [Dylan Hernandez, LA Times] while the team continues to stockpile replacement-level infielders signing Aaron Miles to a deal [Ken Gurnick, MLB.com]. Apparently Mark Ellis, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Uribe just weren’t bringing enough heart, hustle and suck to the team.
Speaking of overemphasized intangibles, Tony LaRussa had his number 10 retired by the St. Louis Cardinals last night [R.B. Fallstrom, AP].
Brewers closer Jon Axford is more awesome than you [Jordan Schelling, Twitter].
Speaking of the Brewers, it was kind of a crazy day for some of the players and their wives [Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal].
Josh Hamilton has tied the Major League record for most home runs through 33 games with 17 [ESPN Stats & Info, Twitter]. He’s hit eight home runs in his last five games. He’s pretty good at baseball. He’s also due to fall apart and land on the DL at any moment.
Clay Buchholz actually pitched well last night, you guys [Michael Vega, Boston Globe].
The Boston sports media is the absolute worst. This is a real survey that appeared on the Boston Globe today.
Sticking with everybody’s favourite train wreck, the Red Sox acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Phillies for cash considerations. He’s headed for AAA-Pawtucket. [Ken Rosenthal, Twitter].
Angels DH Kendrys Morales will sit for a few days with discomfort in his Achilles’ tendon [Mike DiGiovanna, LA Times]. Sorry Angels fans, he’s simply never going to be the same player he once was.
Marlins catcher Brett Hayes had a brush with a mad man in Miami yesterday [AP].
One week after announcing he would be moved back to the bullpen, White Sox lefty Chris Sale has been moved back to the rotation after an MRI on his tweaked elbow revealed no damage [Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune].
Probably the greatest thing of all time ever [Dustin Parkes, Getting Blanked].