Bryce Harper’s Natitude worse than we thought

Thomas Boswell with some interesting clubhouse buzz:

The team was specifically told several days ago that the next guy who doesn’t run out a ball is coming out of the game. As to the quad, Harper missed a game on Weds that happened to be against Jose Fernandez. Other players always look for “coincidences.” The next game, he laid down a bunt against Wainwright, flew to first and looked fine. After he went 0-for-4, he threw his helmet. Turns out that 0-fer snapped a nine-game hitting streak. Not much of a streak. But teammates noticed. I assume his quad really did hurt him. But the Nats, over the last year, have certainly narrowed their eyes in looking at Harper’s motivations. The enormous benefits of the doubt — on whether he’s really more about the team or about himself or about both — that he got when he was 19 are not going to obtain  when you are in your third full year in the big leagues.

Remember, no manager would do this — it’s dramatic, unequivocal and got national attention — unless 1) the player involved had a history of similar behavior, 2) the organization supported the move and the manager knew that he would get full backing and 3) the team had been “refreshed” on the need to run balls out.

Consolation for Bryce: His beloved Heat and Yankees won yesterday.

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2 comments

  1. No phenoms are created equal. For every one Robin Yount, there are 10 Bryce Harpers. This is the baseball equivalent to high school players straight to the NBA. It will be three or four years before we figure out if Bryce Harper is Kobe Bryant or Kwame Brown. But I think his baserunning skills are horrid and he swings at too many bad balls.

  2. When I was a kid, Dick Williams famously fined Carl Yastrzemski $5,000 for loafing. By September of that year, Williams was gone.
    I will be interested to see who lasts longer in DC, the manager or the brat.

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