I have been vocal about nothing else so much as Bryce Harper for the past 7 years. While watching him in a Nats uniform would have been fun, both for the circus he creates and the mammoth homers,
I am glad he is somewhere else. He represents everything I despise in athletes, and in people in general. (Watching him on DC TV today, I am also appalled at his cliché-spouting and teenage-like verbal fillers such as “and things like that” in every sentence. I know I will now not patronize Silver Diner or the Italian Store again.)
Regardless of the he said/he said about contract negotiations, we all knew he would leave because he would always take more money and more attention. Ignore everything about where he wanted to be forever, or to raise a family. He wanted to be wooed and paid more than anyone, though he got screwed in the latter. Remember, he did not choose Washington; he was an obvious No. 1 draft pick. He did choose to leave. And he left with two strikeouts in his last two at-bats.
He is Donald Trump in a baseball uniform. Everything is about him. He is dishonest. He wears brand names on every piece of clothing, waves the flag on his bat, has designer spikes, trademark hair, and a clinically destructive narcissism. I assume Phillie fans are clued in enough to give him a standing ovation the first time he hits a cutoff man. The drunk cretins at Citizens Bank Park will probably just further enable his hair flipping, head first sliding, and bazooka throwing past the third baseman.
Showmanship is fine in sports, to a degree, but not to the point where the outcome of the game and the season is secondary. The Phillies may win it all, but a large part it would be due to other additions they made. They probably will not, just as the Nats WITH Harper, Werth, Zimmerman, Scherzer, and Strasburg did not. Baseball, as the sages know, is unpredictable – especially with rule changes that allow almost any lucky .500 team to become world champions.
I hope Harper fails in every endeavor, not because he chose Philly over DC (we may never know all the details of that), but because he represents everything wrong with sports, and he is bringing to baseball what has killed football and basketball, for me. A universe where wins don’t matter, only marketing.