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Bryce Harper got a little emotional during his MVP speech

News & notes for Monday, January 25, 2015.

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Here's to a great week!

Harper gets emotional during MVP speech (Townsend)

Bryce Harper gave an emotional speech at the BBWAA Awards while accepting his National League MVP award.  The slugger spoke often of his parents' sacrifices, from countless groundballs to his mother's love.  Well done.

Looking ahead to Mark Shapiro's 2017 free agent dilemma (Sinclair)

Shapiro and the Blue Jays will likely be faced next off-season with tough decisions to make on Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.  Both will be free agents and be in line for some huge paydays.  Toronto probably won't be able to sign both, so which one should they chose to resign?

More arguments for the DH in the National League (Decker)

Recent comments from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about the possibility of the designated hitter in the National League has sparked plenty of debate.  Here's another opinion piece, this one in favor of the DH.  From Decker:

Last year 86 pitchers in the MLB had 20 or more at bats. Thirty of those pitchers hit for an average less than .100, including Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Mike Bolsinger, who finished the season with a .026 average. Only 12 pitchers hit for an average greater than was greater than .200, the highest being .292 by veteran Mat Latos.

Who wants to watch that? Who wants to watch a "hitter" be successful (get a hit) less than 1.5 times out of 10? That's half as much as what position players strive to hit for every year.

I'm all for knowing how to lay down a good bunt, but haven't we reached a point where a "hitter" that can only bunt and strike out is a waste of an at bat that could've been better used by someone that can hit the ball over the fence or at least has a decent chance of hitting the ball the other way to drive in the runner from second?

Pitchers are paid to pitch. Not to hit.

Making the case for Justin Upton over Yoenis Cespedes (Meister)

Here's a comparison of recent free-agent signees that ends up favoring Upton's age and consistency.  It is written by a Detroit Tigers blogger, so there is that small-fact, but his conclusions don't seem too far fetched to me and I still wish the Tigers hadn't signed Upton.