Bryce Harper was hurt over the weekend when he stepped on first base. Harper suffered a bone bruise and is likely done for the rest of the regular season. This is a big blow to Washington as Harper is 2nd in runs scored, 9th in hits, 8th in doubles, 6th in RBI and walks, 4th in home runs, batting averaged and OBP.
The good news is that Washington Nationals are far enough ahead of the rest of the NL East and far enough behind the Dodgers that it shouldn’t affect the standings and Harper has a month and a half to recover before the playoffs. The bad news is that this could hurt Scott Boras’ earning potential. Via ESPN:
“We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it’s not wet and there are drying agents on the ground,” Boras said. “I don’t know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That’s certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick.
“In the NBA, when a player hits the floor and there’s perspiration on the floor, they clean it up immediately so the surface isn’t slick. In baseball, we have no one cleaning the bags between innings during inclement weather. Is there observation as the game goes where they would stop and make sure the bag is dry? We don’t do that. We don’t take measures like that for player safety that could easily be accomplished by the grounds crew and the umpires’ observations.”
Harper has one year left on his current deal and will become a free agent in the winter of 2018. He’s looking at a contract somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-a-billion dollars. If a wet base messes up this payday, Scott Boras is going to be furious. Why do we even play baseball in the rain anyway? It’s 2017. The NBA plays indoors. Why don’t all baseball teams? And we need to give each umpire a hair dryer.
Baseball truly is amazing. The sport is well over 100 years old at this point and there’s always something new that needs to be fixed. It’s kind of incredible it took so long for someone to complain about the dryness of the bases.