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Sporting News: Harper, Papelbon more hated than Clemens and A-Rod


Sporting News: Harper, Papelbon more hated than Clemens and A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez plays for one of the most reviled franchises in all of sports and was suspended an entire season for using steroids, but, at least according to Sporting News, he isn't as despised as a pair of Nationals — Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon.

That conclusion was reached by Jason Foster of Sporting News, who recently ranked the 11 most-hated MLB players of the 21st century. And to him, Washington is currently employing two of the sport's least-loved guys since the decade began, guys who are also more unpopular than Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Ryan Braun, to name a few others.

"Until the 2015 season, Bryce Harper was an easy target for fan hate," Foster writes of the Nats' star who showed up at No. 5 on the list, one spot ahead of A-Rod. "He was a mega-hyped, can't-miss, all-ESPN-would-talk-about prospect who had mostly failed to live up to expectations early in his career. That, plus his seemingly cocky nature and weird hair, made for good schadenfreude. Now, he's pretty much a guy you hate because he's gonna do bad things to your team."

So, essentially, Harper is mentioned simply because he's really good and has a ton of hype around him. Uh, OK?

Papelbon, meanwhile, placed at No. 3, mostly for his attitude.

"Maybe you dislike Jonathan Papelbon because he's arrogant," Foster says. "Or maybe it's because he grabbed his crotch on the mound that time. Or maybe it's because he choked a teammate in the dugout...Whatever your reason, rest assured that it's helped Papelbon emerge as perhaps the most hated active player."

Sure, Papelbon and Harper — certainly to a lesser extent than Pap, though — do things that rub people the wrong way sometimes. But having them appear above admitted steroid users and pitchers who throw broken bats at opponents seems fairly ludicrous. These lists are all subjective of course, but Washington fans have every reason to hate the post that is overly critical of two of their players.


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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.