Bryce Harper, the recently anointed CHOSEN ONE according to Sports Illustrated, a 16-year-old who “does volunteer work, holds down a 3.5 grade point average and attends religious education classes nearly every morning before school” has made the decision – influenced by Scott Boras, perhaps? – to leave high school two years early, get his GED, and attend community college for a year in hopes of being drafted first overall (by the Nationals, obviously) in the 2010 draft.
“People question your parenting and what you’re doing. Honestly, we don’t think it’s that big a deal. He’s not leaving school to go work in a fast-food restaurant. Bryce is a good kid. He’s smart, and he’s going to get his education.”
You’re damn right they are, stage dad.
You know this claim is likely going to be made on one of those point-counterpoint ESPN shows, or maybe by Whitlock: There’s no age barrier for entry into “white sports” – golf, tennis, hockey, baseball, figure skating – while the sports whose players tend to come from a more urban background (NBA, NFL) must wait their turn to get paid. Somebody do something!
This is not to say we disagree with Harper’s decision or baseball’s lax age restrictions.
Angel Villalona, the San Jose Giants’ current first baseman, signed for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic as soon as he turned 16. Now, at age not-quite-19, he is in his third year of pro ball. Last year, the A’s signed Dominican pitcher Michael Inoa for $4.25 million as soon as he turned 16. But Bryce Harper, because he lives in the United States, isn’t supposed to want that kind of payday.