REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
We all remember when Tebow got the chance to start and he won games. It was huge for the NFL and all reporters, analyst, talk show hosts, and even people who weren’t fans of the game were interested in the story. It was great public relations (PR) for the sport. But next year Tebow will be a Jet and he will not be the starting quarterback. No more front page stories for Tebow. The NBA got started late and forced into a condensed schedule and because of this injuries and players taking time off became the norm. What did we get to witness because of it? The involvement of Jeremy Lin. The Harvard graduate turned starting point guard that helped turn the New York Knicks season around when they were suffering from injuries to their star players. They needed a spark and it became Linsanity! It was great for the game and for the NBA. Trust me for any sports fan that basically leaves their TV on Sportcenter we enjoyed “Tebow Time” and “Linsanity” when it first started but soon enough it was the most over analyzed and most publicized pieces of work. It became annoying. I had to stop watching TV for awhile to get away from it. Now I see that Bryce Harper, a touted baseball prospect since he was 17, getting called up to the big leagues for the Washington Nationals. I know this is going to be the huge PR story for baseball for quite some time now.
A little background on Bryce Harper: Discovered his junior year in high school by the national audience when he showed amazing power and arm strength at a baseball camp. Scouts said he would be the #1 draft pick if he was eligible but he hadn’t graduated school yet. So what did he do? He dropped out of high school and got his GED and started taking classes at a community college in Las Vegas. After having a good year there he was eligible for the MLB draft and the Washington Nationals organization were happy to take him with the first pick. Harper has had only one year in the minors and the general manager believes in progressing players from single A to double A to the Triple A level before moving them up to the majors. The Nationals are struggling with injuries this year on their pro level teams and they wanted a power left handed bat. Enter Bryce Harper, who at the time was in double A, as he now is a 19 year old guy in the majors. It is so incredibly rare that a player ever makes it to the majors in his teenage years. Its impressive if a player at 21, 22, or 23 is playing and producing. Scouts believe players should be in the professional level by the time they’re 25. Their prime is between 27-32. Just to name a few players who did enter the majors in their teenage years: Ken Griffey Jr. Adrian Beltre, Jose Reyes, and I believe Alex Rodriguez as well. That is pretty damn good company! All have been all-stars and at least two of them will be hall of famers at this point in their careers. To say this won’t be a continued story over even the smallest moments is ludicrous. I’ve enjoyed following him and will continue to as well, but how long will it be until he’s being interviewed after ever game and every time he makes what the media considers a mistake? There is a 162 games in baseball. They better not ruin this for me by making him the next PR darling.