In GQ’s Baseball Spring Preview, Will Leitch asks “Is Baseball Ready for Bryce?”
Apparently not, since the Nationals’ center fielder was just optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said the 19-year-old is “close,” but apparently 8 for 28 in spring training isn’t close enough, especially when extra time in the minors this year means more time before Harper will hit free agency.
I’m looking forward to his major league debut, whenever it happens. Even though I’m an Orioles fan, I’ve been fascinated with this kid since he was the top prospect as a 17-year-old. There’s just so much to think about:
- Is he really a freak of nature or does he just seem that way because he’s been pumped full of some substance that has yet to show up on MLB’s radar?
- Physically, he can play, but is he mature enough to handle the game at the highest level?
- Whose GQ shoot was more awkward: Harper’s with the baseball in his mouth, or Mark Sanchez’s Baywatch moment?
- And who does he think he is with that eye black, and that attitude?
Everything I’ve seen from Bryce Harper so far - and it’s not much yet - suggests that he’s a cocky little punk.
Maybe it’s a maturity thing, something he’ll grow out of when he grows up a bit, but maybe that’s just Bryce Harper.
He’s brash and arrogant and immature and sometimes out of line and, to be honest, I can’t get enough of it.
As Miss Mary J. Blige said: “Bad boys ain’t no good, good boys ain’t no fun.”
Harper’s fun. He’s good-looking, talented, and entertaining - and he’s not even in the big leagues yet.
When he is, watch out. As he told GQ, he plays baseball like a linebacker: ”I want to hit you. I want to run your ass over. Sorry.”
Except Bryce Harper isn’t sorry at all, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What baseball means to me…
I will be honest. I don’t keep up with all the major league teams. I can’t give you stats on the best pitchers in the nation or the best batters. But God do I love the game. To me baseball is the chance to always find a safe haven in times of despair. I remember going to opening day with my dad when i was little. It was the greatest feeling in the world. Nothing was better than standing in the nose bleeds during the seventh inning stretch singing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” loudly off key with the my fellow fans. No memory is more special to me. Then when my dad past away; my love for baseball grew. I fell in love with the sport, the teams, and even the players… But every aspect of the sport entices me and awakens my senses. I’m in love with the sport in the worst way ever.