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Mike Rizzo and His Baby Boy

This Mike Rizzo/Bryce Harper/Cole Hamels business has buzzed about the interweb for the last few days, and I feel the need to chime in. Clearly, this woudn't be a story if Cole Hamels had lied, as is the unwritten rule in this situation. If Cole Hamels had lied, there would have been no suspension and no talking heads. 

In this case, baseball is a microcosm for society. Quietly lie and don't ruffle any feathers to get anyone in trouble, and you're all set. Continue along within the preestablished normative framework and you will be spared. Things are this way perhaps because people aren't very good at communicating, and so we attempt to limit the variables of expression and behavior. I love the fact that Hamels told the truth when asked. If you listen to the whole interview with Hamels, he had nothing but great things to say about Harper. Indeed, throwing at Harper's back indicates that Hamels is aware of the historic nature of Harper's talent. 

Harper handled it with class, too. The person who comes off ugly in this exchange is Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, lashing back as if Hamels had beaned his baby boy. Harper might be the baby boy of the Nationals franchise, but to react in the fashion that Rizzo did is expressly infantile. 

As for fantasy, you know the deal with Harper and Hamels. What of the plethora of injured Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies?

Mike Morse, 1B: I wrote a Valentine's Day piece on Mike Morse, encouraging my loving readership to swoon his way. Enter the bitter pill of an injured lat. The latest on Morse has him aiming for an early June return, when the Nationals will begin interleague play, thus allowing Morse to DH. Morse owners will likely be unwilling to part with him at a significant discount, given the waiting game they've been playing, but perhaps he could fill out a larger deal to your advantage. 

Chase Utley, 2B: Utley, unsurprisingly, does not have a timetable for his return. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com quotes Utley: "Once my body tells me it's ready to go 100 percent, that's when I'll go down to Clearwater." Zolecki's article does offer some reason for optimism, however. Zolecki also quotes Utley as saying:

"Being fairly pain-free and not having to think about it is the most important thing. I've built some strength over the past month, and will continue to do that with the things I'm doing. We'll see. I don't want to be a detriment in the field. I want to be ready to rock when the time comes."

Drew Storen, RP: As you know, Storen had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in April. The latest update on Storen has him "ahead of schedule." What that schedule is, however, remains a mystery, other than vague comments involving a return around the All-Star break. 

Ryan Howard, 1B: Howard has been rehabbing at the Phillies facility in Clearwater, Florida for a week and a half now, and is intensifying his workouts this week. Howard, like Utley, is without a timetable, but did begin taking batting practice on Monday. If Howard is somehow available on your waiver wire, by all means DL him. 



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