Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Pete Reiser moment for Harper
By Doug Mittler
Bryce Harper did his best Pete Reiser impersonation on Monday night, and escaped with a jammed left shoulder and a cut under his chin after crashing into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium.
The Washington Nationals say Harper is day-to-day and the 20-year-old will undoubtedly try to talk his way into the lineup Tuesday. Roger Bernadina took over on Monday and could get the start in right field if Harper needs a night off.
Given Harper’s value to the franchise, Monday’s mishap calls into question whether the Nationals will try to get him to play with a little less reckless abandon. “I don't see any problems with any of it. As he grows, he will learn what to do and what not to do," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman tells MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.
Never heard of Reiser? In Tuesday's Blog, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney explains why the former Dodger is relevant:
Buster OlneyIs it worth running into a wall?
"Reiser played in 58 games in his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940, at age 21, and the next summer, he won the National League batting title, hitting .343, with 70 extra-base hits; he led the NL in runs scored, with 117, and he finished second in the MVP voting. Leo Durocher was Reiser’s first manager and, years later, was the first manager for Willie Mays. Durocher would speak of them, in so many words, as equals in their talent. "Mays had everything,” Durocher said. “Pete Reiser had everything but luck." But much of Reiser’s luck was self-inflicted, because he had a tendency to run into outfield walls, in a seeming attempt to run through them in pursuit of the baseball. (He once fractured his skull running into the wall.) This was an admirable trait in some respects, because his effort was always at a maximum level. And, at the same time, the crazed pursuit of excellence essentially wrecked his career. Mays didn’t run into fences in the way that Reiser did, nor did Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio. They’re all in the Hall of Fame. Reiser is not."