Giants coming up small
After his team was battered, 9-2, by the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday afternoon at home, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy made one of the lamest comments of the season:
"Right now, their confidence is shaken," Bochy, according to the San Jose Mercury News, said about his players. "And that comes from not having success."
Phillies fans, after last week's trouble in Frisco, can agree. After all, the defending champions lost three of four to the Phils, and were pushed around pretty good in Saturday's brawl.
Bochy's lame comment was seconded by last year's World Series star, Cody Ross.
"We're kind of all in a rut," Ross said.
He should know. Ross played in three of the four games against the Phils and was in a rut throughout: He had one measly hit in nine at-bats and struck out four times. Ross did not play in Sunday's game, when the Giants managed to beat the Phils, 3-1.
Harper leads diva race
Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper is rapidly becoming the leading contender for diva of the year.
As a follow-up to his boorish behavior in June when he was with the single-A Hagerstown Suns, the 18-year-old threw a hissy fit this week after a called third strike and was promptly ejected.
It happened Wednesday in Harrisburg, in a game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The diva business began when Harper thought that a full-count pitch was a bit outside and was headed to first.
Home plate umpire Max Guyll called it a strike, and Harper came back, slammed his helmet, got in Guyll's face, and used his foot to draw a line in the dirt on the outside part of the plate. He followed that by shouting at Guyll in his face.
Who knows what was said, but it was enough to send Harper, who in 31 games with the double-A Senators is hitting a paltry .248 with just two home runs and nine RBIs, to the showers. The whole thing can be seen online at http://bit.ly/oVl2Zr.
About that June incident. Harper, who had been feasting on single-A pitching, hit a monster home run off Greensboro Grasshoppers pitcher Zachary Neal, flipped the bat, went slowly around the bases, and then blew Neal a kiss before reaching home plate.
That incident lives online as well.
Contact staff writer Francisco Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.