(Will a deal get done? Bryce Harper, with Satan behind him. AP Photo.)
"He's a legend in my mind. I've never seen a young man with that kind of power."
(Scott Boras, via Las Vegas Review-Journal, 7/26/2010)
Less than 16 hours to go before the midnight EST deadline for signing 17 year old "legend" Bryce Harper. Seems obvious by now that Scott Boras doesn't have nearly the case to make for Bryce Harper that he had last year for Stephen Strasburg, yet the experts, like Peter Gammons, all continue to say negotiations will likely go down to the final seconds. Guess that's the nature of the beast.
And Bryce Harper keeps reading off of his Boras-penned cue cards, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday that he's looking forward to returning to College of Southern Nevada for another year of JUCO ball after reportedly bulking up to 225 lbs. from 205 lbs.over the summer:
"Practice starts Monday. I'm really excited about that. I'm getting ready for the season at CSN. That's where I want to be and that's what I want to do. We've got a really good club coming back, and I'm looking forward to it."
(Bryce Harper, via Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/15/2010)
Pffffttttt!!! Interestingly, fellow Boras client Stephen Strasburg had something to say about Harper on Sunday. Strasburg's comments must've had the effect of a 100 MPH heater up around Boras's eyeballs:
"I don't have any advice for him. It's his decision. If he wants to play here, he's going to play here. He doesn't need advice from anybody to convince him otherwise. If he doesn't want to play here, then we don't want him here."
(Stephen Strasburg, via NatsInsider, 8/15/2010)
Take that, Scott Boras! Score one for Mike Rizzo.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post got reaction from Ryan Zimmerman, who seems to be doing some early damage control and/or negotiation on behalf of his employer, just in case things fall apart between Rizzo/Kasten and Boras:
"Stephen was on a very different level from this guy. I mean, this guy has done well at a junior college. Obviously, he's very talented. But I think Stephen, there was a lot more to him. ... You have to try to sign all the good guys you draft. I think there's a point where you have to say, 'Enough is enough.' So you don't get him, you get the second pick next year? I don't know anything about the draft, but if you've got the second pick. ... We'll see. I'm not sitting here saying I hope we don't sign him. Obviously, he's good if we draft him first. They think he can help us. It would be nice to sign him."
(Ryan ZImmerman, via Nationals Journal, 8/15/2010)
Also from the Washington Post, Thomas Boswell looks at the dynamics of the Scott Boras-Nats relationship. Given all of the above, we're thinking a deal gets done well before the deadline. Let's say by 9 p.m., with a few hours to spare, both Scott Boras and Bryce Harper will be singing the praises of The Washington Nationals, Stan Kasten will be smiling but fuming over the $11 million of Ted Lerner's money Boras squeezed out of Mike Rizzo, and Ryan Zimmerman will actually refer to Bryce Harper by name, instead of as "this guy".