Originally written on Reading Between The Seams  |  Last updated 10/19/14
He may only be 20 years old, but reigning National League Rookie of the Year OF Bryce Harper may already be the locker room leader of the disappointing Washington Nationals.  After being thumped by the Detroit Tigers in a two-game series (combined score 16-2), Harper appears to have had enough, and, according to Washington Post columnist Adam Kilgore, delivered a fiery speech in the locker room following Wednesday night’s loss to the Tigers 11-1: Afterward, he stood at his locker and called for the Nationals to play harder and with more cohesion, aiming his fiery message not only at teammates but also at Manager Davey Johnson and the first-place Atlanta Braves. “We got our [butts] kicked for two games,” Harper said. “That’s something you don’t want to have happen. But you got to have heart. That’s the biggest thing right now. You got to play with heart. You got to play as a family. Everybody’s got to want it, starting with the manager on down – everybody. Everybody wants to win this and keep going. “We need to get going and play better, hit better, have better ABs in certain situations and pitch better also. It’s just something we need to do. We play the Braves nine games. This [expletive] ain’t over. I really don’t think it’s over. We just got to keep going, keep grinding and turn into the family that we were last year.” Harper had left Wednesday’s game with a hip spasm, which might have given him the opportunity to sit back and simply observe his team fall apart.  Or just made him more angry, whichever works. And his words don’t appear to just be an “in the moment” reaction.  When his teammates showed up for Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, they had T-shirts courtesy of Harper waiting for them (details courtesy of Kilgore via Twitter): Bryce Harper made up new shirts for the Nats. They read: “To the last minute, to the last second, to the last man, we fight!” — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) August 2, 2013 According to an interview on MLB Network Radio (via FederalBaseball.com), Nationals manager Davey Johnson has noticed and appreciated the youngster’s passion and enthusiasm for the game: “The thing about Bryce,” Johnson said, “… some of my key players are a little more passive — not as aggressive on the field as I’d like — and I think he gives them that energy, because, if anything, he goes overboard with energy. And so, he was missed. Not just what he does with the bat, but just his way and approach to [playing] the game of baseball.” All that is great, but the bad news is that the Nationals have really nose-dived in the past couple of weeks, and the NL East leading Atlanta Braves have been red hot.  That combination has the Braves with an 11.5 game lead over the 2nd place Nationals, who are 4 games simply below the .500 mark. Bryce Harper is emerging as Nationals leader in the clubhouseCredit: US Presswire No doubt the Nationals are going to need to catch fire quickly, if they are to do so, this attitude and leadership from Harper may be the starting point.  He needs to stay healthy down the stretch though, something he hasn’t been able to do. Reading Between the Seams Part of the Sports-Kings Network Follow @lhd_on_sports Follow @RBTS_baseball Follow @realsportskings The post Bryce Harper makes up T-shirts for teammates, refuses to give up on 2013 appeared first on Reading Between The Seams.

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due of Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart


Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Five most surprising NFL players through seven weeks

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.