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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

YEE-HA (but quieter)

I'll never forget sitting at the computer a year ago, hitting refresh refresh refresh refresh a million times, waiting on the big news.

I don't know who reported it first. I saw it first on my bud Brian Oliver's great site, Nationals Farm Authority. I immediately went upstairs and started jumping up and down on my trying-to-sleep Son (the Braves Fan), yelling as loud as I could, "YOUR NIGHTMARE IS HERE," over and over again. And I'm pretty loud even when I whisper.

This year, I didn't do that. The main reason is my son no longer lives here and I didn't feel like driving 130 miles at midnight just to mess with him, fun as it would have been.

The other reason is I don't feel nearly as jacked as I did a year ago.

That's not a rip on young Bryce Harper. I'm glad he agreed to terms (has he actually signed anything yet?). But the differences between Harper and Jee-SUS go well beyond their position and the eventual money and all that.

Strasburg was about as sure a thing as has come along in ages, and he's done nothing to disprove that. You knew, knew he was going to be part of the Nationals very soon. You could see it, could see him playing with the same core of players. You could feel it. Jee-SUS was coming (though we didn't know that was his name just yet) and coming soon.

Harper? I have t-shirts older than Harper. He's a ways away from the majors, so we're told (though the major-league part of his deal is intriguing). It's just hard to get excited about something you can't readily see. Never mind that he's not as much of a sure thing. Even if he IS a sure thing, there's that when question.

Who will be the manager of the Nats when he finally arrives, probably in 2013?

How many of the current 25 will be on the team then? Six? Fewer?

Who will be President of the United States?

Will the Redskins be on their first or second quarterback since McNabb?

The Capitals will win 210 regular season games between now and Harper's arrival but how many Stanley Cups?

I'm not getting any younger. Will I still have all my faculties when Harper arrives? Will I still be alive?

Assuming I'm still here, I'll get more excited as the time draws closer. While I still need a telescope to see that time, I'll be a bit more subdued.

Of course, I'm the guy who wrote that he should have been in right field June 9. But no one ever listens to me.


bdrube said...

Mike - I understand your sentiment, but you should look beyond just Harper here. The Nats went way over slot on FOUR picks and may have actually scored four first round talents in one year. They may not all make it, but this organization FINALLY looks like it is getting serious about getting better, especially when you add the Maya signing. Counting Strasburg/Storen, what other team has added so much raw young talent in the past year?

I've been as negative and cynical as anyone about the Nats' ownership aseeming lack of willingness to spend money, but they really showed us something here. Of course, a Dunn extension would be icing on the cake. :)

MikeHarris said...

I'll have more to say later on the others. Harper is the big prize here. I was just doing the point of comparison between the No. 1 overall picks in back to back years.

A friend sent me a note last night and said the Nats have really taken advantage of their draft position. I agreed, though being the worst team in baseball two years running is a high price to pay for that position.

George Templeton said...

bdrube is right, one thing that you can't criticize the Lerners for is their approach to the draft. Year on year, the Nationals have been one of the biggest spenders in the draft. And that will pay off in the end.
I just can't believe the Nationals have done two successful deals with the devil (Scott Boras) in a row. Lets hope its worth it.

Stuart said...

I voted reasonable. I just love spending other people's money!
Tip o' the hat to everyone in the front office on 2010 draft and signings.

clarquito said...

why does everyone say Harper's years away, he needs "seasoning" etc. No one has ever come close to matching his amateur statistics. He was a man among boys in high school and JC, and my bet is that he'll be just that much better than the men he'll be playing with, and against.

MikeHarris said...

clarquito - I hear you. Hell, I wanted this guy starting in RF on June 9.

But what do we know?

Years is relative. Roger Bernadina spent like seven years in the minors. I think Bryce spends two and is the starting RF in 2013.