Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

Much was made last week of Bryce Harper‘s first full year in the Major Leagues. Harper made his big league debut on April 28th, 2012 at the tender age of 19. In his first calender year in the big leagues, Harpers owns a .281/.354/.513 slash line. He’s in the top 10 for fWAR among all Major League players in that time. He cannot yet legally order a drink in most ballparks in the league.

Last night, Bryce Harper had a quiet night at the plate, walking once in four trips. He did, however, add to the Bryce Harper highlight roll. Unlike most of his extraordinary feats, this moment in time serves to humanize Bryce Harper rather than elevate him.

It is a little tough to see on this angle but Bryce Harper more than helps Tim Hudson‘s home run over the fence in right field. While it didn’t quite bonk off his head like Jose Canseco, but hopefully this highlight will follow Harper around for a while. It is important to keep this kid humble, to keep him within our sights.

There is so much talent and ability in Bryce Harper, at some point we will take his humanity for granted. Not today, however. Today we revel in a moment almost entirely out of his control. A moment that a lesser player might not experience, lacking the foot-speed to get leather to Hudson’s slicing opposite field liner.

But Bryce Harper does. He has great range. He also had serendipity working against him. Last night was Bryce Harper’s first start in right field this season. Tim Hudson’s hit less than 20 balls in the air to right field since 2011. But here we are. Bryce Harper, let’s point and laugh. Gently, but we have to do it all the same. There won’t be too many moments where we can have fun at your expense (views on the Wave notwithstanding) so you need to permit us this moment of smugness.

And the rest

Nerd King Keith Law teams with Feudal Nerd Lord Tom Tango to examine who, and why, should hit second in the batting order on most teams. [ESPN Insider ($)]

Two good looks at the impact of John Farrell on Red Sox hurlers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz [Baseball Prospectus and Over the Monster]

Hard to argue with the results: no way 2012 Jon Lester throws hard enough to allow a fifth-deck home run. Hats off to President Farrell!

Kirk Gibson has some tough decisions to make. Tough decisions for the toughest SOB in baseball! [Arizona Republic]

Like scoring baseball games and having nice things? Get out your checkbook! [Gizmodo]

You guys, I think the Angels are having a rough go.

Don’t worry, things are bound to get better Anahei…

At least LA isn’t a deplorable sinkhole of culture and ho…

Psy? More like sigh, amirite?

TOTALLY. REDEEMED.

This is what Wrigley Field is going to look like at some point. Not pictured: all the tears this ends in. [Chicago Tribune]