This was Bryce Harper’s year.
This was Bryce Harper’s year.
What should the Nats do with Bryce Harper? Coming into his walk year, he is posting some unusual numbers: .214/.365/.468. The OBP and SLG are good, if not a bit low for him, but that BA … wow. Is this the player teams are lining up to throw 10 years and $400m at? With the emergence of The Truth (aka La Verdad) Juan Soto, the off-season discussion is rather complicated. Before we throw Bryce out with the bathwater, how bad has he been, really? Is it just that he’s 2016 Ryan Zimmerman, waiting to blow up next year?
On Monday, in a meaningless display of athleticism that was witnessed by a select few, Bryce Harper took ground balls at first base, a position he does not, and has never, played.
Harper, in the short clip MASN showed before Monday’s game, looked fine playing the position one of my high school coaches once claimed could be manned by a trained monkey, but the fact that he’s taking ground balls there at all is exciting.
Watching Sunday’s loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers, I was struck by something said by color commentator F.P. Santangelo – and not in a head-scratching way.
He was talking about Bryce Harper’s struggles at the plate in recent weeks, which are only magnified by the fact that he has not been the team’s best hitter this year (or in 2017…or in 2016) and is potentially on his way to the largest contract in the history of the sport.
Last weekend, Bryce Harper’s legacy as a Washington National was further cemented, as the Nationals Dream Foundation dedicated Bryce Harper Field in Northwest DC, at the Takoma Community Center. The city was able to open the field with a donation from the Nationals Dream Foundation and Harper himself. The Nationals Dream Foundation plans to donate a field to the community every year, and so far they’ve made good on that promise, with Bryce Harper Field joining Ryan Zimmerman and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Field.
(Update: We regret to inform you that the video was a marketing stunt. Maybe next time, kids.)
Bryce Harper has very good hair. Our compliments to his mom, who is clearly responsible for the golden thread growing out of our unseated MVP’s head. When his baseball career winds down in 237 years, and before he is inducted as the grand master of the Hall of Fame, he could probably have a long and fruitful career as a (hopefully not-creepy) Johnny Bravo impersonator.
In retrospect, riding camels might not have been a good substitute for working on the fundamentals. This a common refrain surrounding the Washington Nationals’ 4-5 start, including streaks of four wins to open the season followed by a five-game losing run. Still, not all is lost (Nats Reddit disagrees, of course), as there have been some positives, most namely that it is still so early that Mother Nature has yet to realize the season has started. Let’s go over a few of the important points thus far.
Bryce Harper got his hair done in Miami, posted a picture of it on his Instagram story, and the entire internet has decided this means another year without a Nats NLCS appearance. And well, we’re inclined to disagree, but it’s hard to really blame them.
(Author’s note: All stats as of 08/07/17, he has had two walks while I wrote this…..so, yeah)
“…any other man stops and talk, but the walking man walks.” — James Taylor
What happens when a baseball player is one of the best in the league at a certain skill set, a career building skill set, and then suddenly he stops doing it? Perhaps the answer is that a baseball demi-god becomes mortal.
With about two more months to go until the regular season ends, and with the postseason picture becoming more clear, it’s become obvious that unless something changes drastically, the Nats are going to play the winner of the NL Central in the playoffs. And right now, it’s looking like that team is going to be the Cubs (unless the Brewers can fulfill my chaos-fueled wishes and unseat the Cubs).