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Harper’s bare hands, plus new unis

Oct 28, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT

A couple of Thursday morning thoughts while you try to comprehend how a World Series game started by Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum wound up featuring 18 combined runs and 12 combined pitchers…

Bryce Harper's performance in his third Arizona Fall League game didn't quite match those from his first two. The 18-year-old right fielder went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts yesterday in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 7-6 loss to the Mesa Solar Sox.

Not that an 0-for-4 showing is worth getting all worked up. I believe Adam Dunn's had a few of those in his career, and I also believe a majority of you out there still want the Nationals to re-sign the big slugger.

Actually, the three most notable things about yesterday's AFL game as far as I'm concerned were the following…

1) Harper threw out a runner at the plate.

2) Mike Rizzo was in attendance at HoHoKam Park to watch Harper and other Nats prospects in person.

3) Harper doesn't wear batting gloves.

I'm surprised that second point hasn't been noted by anyone before. Apparently, he's been doing it for a while — though he did use gloves at the instructional league in Viera because it was so humid there — Read more »

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Mark,This will be Sammy's third start. He gave up one run in 3 innings in his first start and was roughed up in his second start.

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Whoops, thanks NatsJack. Sorry for the mistake.Hey, in your time watching Harper in Viera, did you ever notice him hitting without batting gloves?

  3. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    I thought the Sports Illustrated article noted that Harper didn't wear batting gloves. In Florida, he didn't wear them when I went to see two games. He grabs a handful of dirt between virtually every pitch to keep his hands dry.

  4. Sue Dinem - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    We've also been keeping tabs on Mr. Norris, and it might also be noteworthy that he's stolen more bases (two) than he's allowed (one). He thrown out seven.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Mark… in the 6 games I watched him play, he never wore gloves. I have pictures from 4 of those games and he's not wearing gloves in any of those at bat pics.

  6. joemktg - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    The big change from what I've seen via video since his JUCO stint has been his load. Whereas at the JUCO level he would move his right inward, now he is taking a full leg up/leg down/hands go approach. So the question is: did the crew at Viera make the adjustment, or is this something Harper did on his own?

  7. Doc - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Harper has his routines, like the pro that he is. He knows what he wants to do with a bat. I seem to recall a previous article that noted up to a certain age he slept with his bats.The kid's got it!!!He'd be doing even better in AFL if got into games more than 2x/wk.!

  8. JD - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I,m really getting a good feeling about Derek Norris developing into a solid 2 way catcher; I don't think that he will ever hit for average but his OBP will be very solid and he will have above average power; I don't ever recall a 21 year old having such a good eye and so much patience at the plate; very refreshing. Norris needs one solid year at AA (with an end of season at AAA) to be considered major league ready and he will only be 22 going into 2012 potentially giving us 2 stud young catchers. This is a really important position to have covered; if our shortstop candidates pan out we will have come a long way toward a solid lineup as other positions are easier to fill.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    joemktg… The only person that worked with Bryce on hitting in Viera that I saw was his Dad. The staff left him alone when it came to the batting cage.

  10. JD - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Doc, I still think that Harper has a lot to work on; he swings at every pitch and as such good pitchers will get him out; he needs to learn the strike zone and work the count more. This is not a knock on the player who will undoubtedly become the heart of our lineup; I'm just introducing some caution to the discussion. I don't think he'll be ready for the majors any time soon.

  11. Pilchard - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Sue,Great stat! Norris has thrown out 7 out of 8 basestealers? Wow. With acquisition of Ramos, fear that Norris may be one of the key pieces that the Nats offer to attempt to land a starting pitcher.

  12. Harper_ROY_2012 - Oct 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Mark: Will the Nats take an interest in Lance Berkman or Nick Johnson as a 1B option given the decreasing likelihood of a Dunn signing??There are several players who do not wear batting gloves, mostly Latin players, but it is not a complete oddity in the league.On the uniforms, how about starting a new traidition WINNING, the Nats have always been LOSERS with the Curly W, why not go back to the CLASSIC and CLASSY 1924 Washington Nationals World Series Uniforms with pinstripes and a BLUE (to match the stadium) cap and a WHITE BLOCK letter cap.Script is so 1970s…U-G-L-YAlso this fact about the Nationals place in uniform history:First in War, First in Peace, and First to Display Their NicknameThe first major league club of the 20th century to spell out their team nickname on their uniform was the 1905 Washington Nationals (later known as the Senators). The club wore the nickname “NATIONALS” across the front of their jersey for two seasons, after which the club did not display a nickname until 1959, when their jerseys proudly displayed “Senators” in script lettering with a flourish below. Though the new nickname was officially adopted prior to the 1957 season, both “Nationals” and “Senators” were interchangeably used throughout the club’s history.

  13. Jimmy - Oct 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    I'm sure the new uniforms will not be what they should be; if you saw the Twins in the playoffs they wore the nicest uniform our old team in Washington wore. Our new uniforms should be Navy pinstripes with the curly W on left breast, BLUE ounlined in red. Lower right, number in Navy oulined in red and number on back Navy outlined in red. No names on back, at home, our fans should know our players. Away uniforms, script Washington Navy outlinded in red. Numbers and names on back Navy outlined in red. Navy socks and only use our present Navy hat, always. Put some history into this team! City named after George Washington. He was our Continental Army General and wore BLUE. Not red they were the British who also burnt down our White House. The Cold War was with Russia (THE REDS) and now our adversary "The RED Chinese". So, why does the team who represents the free World wear red? The only thing red represents in Washington is our National Debt! So, Mr Lerners' and Mr Rizzo please use your heads and make things right!

  14. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Mark, I agree wholeheartedly with you belief on the new home jerseys. The block Nationals home jersey did not jive well with the new and improved scripted Washington away jersey. But, hopefully this jersey, along with the away one, will stay as the basic apparel for Nats for years to come. We need to start establishing tradition and it can start with these new logo and jersey designs.

  15. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Actually . . . when I see red on a baseball uniform, I don't think of the English Redcoats, or the Cold war . . . but, alas, I think of the Phillies, who I despise. That, alone, is why I'd much much much prefer Navy Blue. Or *any* medium or dark blue!

  16. A DC Wonk - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Hey! — the picture here:http://www.federalbaseball.com/2010/10/27/1778821/washington-nationals-afl-update-bryce-harpers-arm-derek-norris-eyeShows Harper with a red batting glove. What gives?

  17. Stew Magnuson - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    No batting gloves?Worked for George Brett!

  18. Section 3 - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Jimmy, I'm pretty sure we've forgiven the British for that whole "War of 1812" thing, even if we do still occasionally make fun of the way they ran thru the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go. And has anybody called it "Red China" since the Nixon administration about forty years ago?How's these?http://tinyurl.com/yf3a5ud

  19. Section 3 - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    They're the Washington, DC team. DC's flag and colors are white with red, because that was Washington's coat of arms.Red unis.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_George_Washington"The design (three red stars over two horizontal red bars on a white field) is often said to have inspired the Stars and Stripes and has been used since 1938 as the coat of arms and flag of the District of Columbia."

  20. raymitten - Oct 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    I don't think the unveiling event is for season ticket holders — at least I haven't gotten an invite and I've been a full STH since day one. I think it was for select members of the media only. (Can anyone confirm?)

  21. N. Cognito - Oct 28, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    raymitten said… "I don't think the unveiling event is for season ticket holders — "It is not. It is by invitation. I was not invited.

  22. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I was invited and I go to two games a year.

  23. Sunderland - Oct 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Jimmy:Not agreeing, not disagreeing, but certainly appreciating****The only thing red represents in Washington is our National Debt!

  24. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    I wasn't invited and called the marketing dept. This is an invite only event I was told and while a very small number of season ticket holders were invited, this is more for the team VIPs which I can read between the lines means the High Rollers.I don't take issue with that. When they did the last jersey unveiling at the ESPN Zone luncheon, it was open to everyone and I think there was a small crowd.The only reason people want to go to this is that once you make it 'exclusive', that's when people want to go.

  25. Richard - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    A topic like Harper's bare hands puts me in mind of other body parts — Lincecum's face and its intensity during games. (Speaking of torture, how about that segue!) Last night was a good example. … What National has ever shown a similar intensity? They seem to lack leadership up and down the lineup, with the possible exception of Desmond. Losing is not so bad. Sometimes ya win, sometime not. The would be leaders seem content to flop around in the whirlpool and swap fishing and/or golf stories or future contracts. I guess I'm envious of the intensity that got the Giants and the Rangers to the World Series.

  26. JD - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Richard, I think it was more lousy pitching and lousy hitting.

  27. Anonymous - Oct 28, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    The current Nationals home uniform was designed by someone in the offices at MLB in Fall '04 in an afternoon – and looks it. The in-house debate has been whether the script front shoukd have an upper case "N" or a lower case, like the "Natstown" signs.

  28. Mark - Oct 28, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Mark, are you covering the jersey unveiling and will it be televised?Can I buy tix off of StubHub. LOL

  29. Anonymous - Oct 29, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Mark, as far as the home uni's are concerned, you and I think alike. That really is the only way to go. Script "Nationals" just won't look natural. The only difference I would make is perhaps have the curly W a blue color outlined in red. Home red caps with a blue curly W, outlined in white.I'll be relieved if it doesn't look as bad as the Toronto Blue Jays home uniforms.

  30. Arlington Big Fish - Oct 29, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    Jeez, am I the only one who likes the block letters? As I said in another thread, those letters sort of evoked the columns that DC buildings are famous for. On the red v. blue issue, we could make the case that DC is very definitely a "Blue" jurisdiction, being about 85% Dems ;-)

  31. Big Cat - Oct 29, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Saw Norris a lot at Potomac. Not sold. AA Harrisburg will be a good test for him

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