Ask Gary: Comparing Trout and Harper, Young Stars

by Gary Shelton on August 8, 2015 · 1 comment

in NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning

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Is Bryce Harper going to have a career comparable to Mike Trout?

Scott Myers

I think the two of them are going to be compared for a long time. Mays-Mantle, that sort of thing. Right now, at this instance, I think

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Trout probably has the edge as the best player in baseball. But Harper is having a monster season. He’s hitting .334, and he has 29 home runs. His on-base percentage is .461.  He already has 68 RBI.

Here’s the big question: Which one would you rather have in your team’s uniform? Like I said, this very instant, it’s Trout. But in a year? Two? Who knows? If Harper can stay healthy — he has a tendency to hurt himself by running into walls — there is no ceiling.

It’s just a shame than, in different leagues, they face each other so seldom.

I’m thinking of taking a baseball themed trip next year. What are the top 5 baseball stadiums I should visit on such a trip? Yes! Yes! I’ve already been to the Trop (he said with a straight face).

Howard Powders

I’d start out with a classic. How about Fenway Park in Boston? The Green Monster is iconic, and it’s cool when the crowd sings “Sweet Caroline.” I’d go from there to Wrigley Field in Chicago to watch the Cubs and check out the Ivy-covered walls.

From there, it gets a little harder. Yankee Stadium isn’t as much fun as it used to be, but it’s still in New York, and you still doses of the history. AT&T Park in San Francisco gets rave reviews from everyone. For the fifth spot, I’d go with Busch Stadium in St. Louis, just ahead of Camden Yards in Baltimore. Of course, the crab cakes are good in Baltimore.

What’s your feelings about the new Bucs’ marketing efforts – the “seige” and the “red” women’s movement? I’ll tell you up front that I don’t understand the former and the latter seems pretty much condescending to me.

Cecil DeBald

I wrote about this morning. It’s amazing how a few words can take a decent idea and create a backlash. I honestly think the Bucs had good intentions. They wanted to reach out to their female fans (who have a lot of disposable income), but mentioning cooking and fashion in the statement was a train wreck. Play clock? How many women don’t know what a play clock is? Why not just have a fan experience, men and women, and go with it?

Any word on progress, or lack of it, regarding the Lightning and Steven Stamkos?

Cecil DeBald

None. And it’s getting a little troubling. Again, I know there is no hurry, that he’s here this season regardless. But if Stamkos goes into this season unsigned, it’s going to be troubling.

My gut feeling is that it gets done. Stamkos likes playing with this team, and there will be a lot of money for him here. But every week that goes along creates another doubt, doesn’t it?

In the end, Jeff Vinik has done everything right. You have to have trust in him here, too.

Is the time going to come (already here?) when no city or country in the world capable of hosting the Olympic Games will want to? And if and when that happens, what will happen? Will the Olympics downsize their demands? Will there be no games? What are your thoughts? 

Cecil DeBald

I think there was more of a threat when cities like Montreal were taking a bath hosting the games. London found a lot of ways to cut corners when it hosted. I think Sydney would love to host again. I think China would. And every time it comes up, it seems there are a half-dozen cities in the U.S. that line up.

A bigger threat, to me, is the paring down of the games. We’ve already lost baseball and softball. Might we lose, say, cycling and judo? The Games are wonderful. I covered 10 of them, and I loved every day of it. But I don’t like the trend toward getting celebrity athletes in them, baseball and tennis and now golf. But that’s just me.

What is your take on the Bucs Red programm the outreach to women fans?   They are getting a lot of grief over it.

Jim Willson

The words were clumsy and condescending, no doubt. But if you just the intent, it wasn’t much different than what they do in Baltimore, where they have a woman’s fan club where women are invited to discuss the team. If they had taken references to fashion and cooking out of the release, I think it would have been a lot better received

As I mentioned earlier, I’d just make it a fan club. If the general manager wants to talk about blitz pickups or a receiver’s route tree or how a quarterback recognizes coverage, I think a lot of fans would welcome the discussion.

I don’t think the Bucs think women fans aren’t smart. I think they think all fans aren’t smart. That’s a curse of those in sports. They don’t think anyone knows what they’re doing. Some of the brightest fans I know are women.

 What do you think about the NHL possibly adding 2 teams?   Seems to me like they already have a few teams with attendance  problems.
Jim Willson
Leagues love expansion because of the instant cash relief that fees bring. And I could see where the NHL would be interested in going to say, Seattle. Maybe a second team in Toronto.
But I’m with you. The league feels full to me. The trouble is, you have to have some stability, so you can’t just move around searching for a new market here or there. I do think it’s an idea we need to get used to.
 Why don’t the Glazers bring Manchester United here for an exhibition match?  It’s never mentioned.
Jim Willson
 I think it would be a good thing. My oldest son has always loved Man-U, even back before the Glazers bought them. Maybe we could get him home from the Navy for a weekend. I don’t know why the Glazers don’t discuss it. There are times of the year when the town doesn’t seem saturated with sports, and as a one-off, I think it would draw well. Goodness knows, the Rowdies cause excitement. Can you imagine what Man-U would do?
I would hate to think that we’re not a big enough market. Tell you what: How about an American series between Man-U and Liverpool, the team owned by Patriots’ owner John Henry. One here, one in Boston, maybe one somewhere else like New York. Cool, huh?

Who will in the SEC East Division?

Ed Scott

Don’t you have to make Georgia the favorite? It used to belong to Florida, but I’d sat Georga. After them, it’s anyone’s.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rick Martin August 8, 2015 at 9:03 pm

I haven’t followed the Red Campaign, but understand there’s a ton of criticism. Can’t anyone understand that the NFL has a pretty poor image among women right now and it should be applauded when they try to open up the game to women.


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