Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All-Star door opens back up for Harper

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper doesn't have to contend with Chipper Jones in the Final Vote anymore.
He's spent the better part of the last three days insisting he didn't deserve to go to the All-Star Game over Chipper Jones, but Bryce Harper doesn't have to worry about that anymore. And the Nationals rookie outfielder might just wind up in Kansas City next week after all.

Major League Baseball announced this evening that Jones has been added to the NL All-Star roster, taking the spot of injured Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. That removes Jones from the five-man "Final Vote" competition that also includes Harper, and perhaps paves the way for the 19-year-old to win the online balloting process and a ticket to the Midsummer Classic.

Harper sat in third place when MLB released its first balloting results earlier today, behind Jones and Cardinals third baseman David Freese but ahead of Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill and Braves outfielder Michael Bourn. He'll still need to leapfrog Freese before voting ends at 4 p.m. Thursday, but perhaps he'll experience a surge now that fans don't need to take his advice and vote for Jones instead.

Earlier today, Harper reiterated his belief that Jones (who announced he'll retire at season's end) should be in this year's All-Star Game.

"I think so, definitely," he said. "He's a Hall of Famer and he's been an All-Star for 20 years. He's the face of that Braves franchise, and for his last year, I think he should be able to be in that game, definitely."

Though he'd happily accept an All-Star berth and a chance to play alongside the game's best next week in Kansas City, Harper also admits he wouldn't mind some downtime at home in Las Vegas over the break.

"I'm excited to go home, definitely," he said. "I think if I don't make the team, it'd be good for me to go home and get away from the world and just be Bryce, be normal. Just hang out with the family and get some home-cooked meals and hit with my Pop and just hang out."

Manager Davey Johnson seemed to have even stronger feelings on the matter, preferring that his rookie get a physical and mental break after starting in all but one game since he joined the Nationals on April 28.

"I'm sure he'll get banged up, but I don't think he's tired," Johnson said. "But I would like to see him get the time off. Because it is a demanding position. And even every time I get a chance, I'll move him to one of the corners to basically just rest his legs."

As for the now-defunct Jones vs. Harper argument, Johnson didn't hide his feelings.

"I think Chipper should be on it, period," the manager said. "Not somebody with 200 at-bats, first year."

11 comments:

natsfan1a said...

Chipper should have been on there from the get-go.

JayB said...

Time for a patented Rizzo injury....hip, back, finger....whatever it takes but Bryce needs to go home over the break....it is best of the team so that is what is best for Harper.

JayB said...

As for Chipper......nobody should be in the all star game based on past work.....if he is such and icon...and in my book he is not....then he should be honorarily captain....he has not earned it this year....or for several years really.

Tcostant said...

I hope Harper goes, I remember the nonsense that first year with Stras and he needed to wait until after tj surgery. He was a top sp at all star time in 2010.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

So, they didn't replace Chipper in the Vote-In list?

Next question for Davey: If you don't think a rookie should go, and Chipper is off the list, NOW who are you voting for?

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

As for "past work"--compared to what, future work? OF COURSE he goes in for past work. Question is, how far in the past do you go? Personally, I think career numbers are valid.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Put it another way: Just because the game is held annually, that doesn't mean career stats aren't valid to consider when voting. If a guy has a good year, maybe not the best at his position, maybe not even the second or third best, but he does it every year for 20 years, that kind of consistency is worth celebrating, and the ASG is one place they do that.

Section 222 said...

I'm with JayB on this one. Honorary captain, fine. But both Hill and Freese have had better years. I'll be Freese holds off the Harper charge, unless Chipper endorses Harper, which he might....

NatsNutty said...

Hey Section 222. Chipper already endorsed his teammate, Bourn, for the All-Star Final Vote. Did you REALLY, REALLY think he ever even considered endorsing Harper, REALLY?!?!?

natsfan1a said...

Good points by sec3. :-)

mayhemnsuz said...

So they tell Chipper he's in and he goes out and gets 5 hits in one game....

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