Found August 02, 2013 on Reading Between The Seams:
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.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

For the Washington Nationals, a young core provides hope for the future

Bryce Harper (Photo Credit: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) By all accounts, the 2013 season has been a disappointment for the Washington Nationals up to this point. However, the season still has two months left and the team certainly has time to make a run at the NL’s second wild card spot. Assuming the Nationals do not make the postseason this year, (which realistically...

Bryce Harper tells his band of rogues & regulators to ‘saddle up’ and then antes up with a homer

It was after the Nationals last game played that Bryce Harper told his teammates it was time to ride. Tonight, Harper responded with a ballgame. The Nationals won the game 4-1 in Milwaukee, and Harper deposited a ball in the second deck off my former teammate’s teammate Burke Badenhop. The home run was Harper’s 16th of the season – which you figure if he gets extremely hot...

Nationals’ Bryce Harper ties Ken Griffey Jr with home run

  Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper tied Ken Griffery Jr for 3rd on the all-time home run list for players under the age of 21 years old. In the top of the 6th inning with a 3-1 count, Harper took the pitch over the right field wall to put the Nationals ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0.   Bryce Harper’s 38th career HR ties him with Ken Griffey Jr. for 3rd-most HR...

Nationals: Mike Rizzo promoted to president of baseball operations

The Washington Nationals have promoted general manager Mike Rizzo to the role of president of baseball operations. Rizzo has also been given a new long-term extension. It has been common practice for team to promote an existing general manager to the role of team president or give a general manager that role in order to add/keep other highly desired personnel (Braves, White Sox,...

Davey: "I don’t regret saying, ‘World Series or bust'"

"I don’t regret saying, ‘World Series or bust ...It looks more like bust, but this is my last go-around anyway. I want to do what’s best for the organization." (Davey Johnson, via Washington Times, 7/31/2013) Tigers 11, Nationals 1:  If it looks like a bust, quacks like a bust, then... Another embarrassing loss for Davey Johnson's heartless Nats...

Harper Homers In Nats' Victory Over Brewers

It wasn’t dominant or polished, but the Washington Nationals (53-56) pulled together a much-needed 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers (46-63) on Friday night, their first win since Sunday. Though not his sharpest start, Jordan Zimmermann did his part to earn his career-high 13th win by shutting the Brewers out over six innings and keeping his team in the game. Zimmermann limited...

Brad Lidge retires as a Phillie

Brad Lidge, who was perfect as a closer during Philadelphia's 2008 World Series championship season, formally retired as a member of the Phillies on Thursday. Lidge hasn't pitched in the majors since last June with the Washington Nationals. He spent four years with Philadelphia from 2008-11, saving 100 games in that span. ''That game and that postseason will forever...

Nationals give GM Rizzo new contract

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has signed a new contract and been given the title of President of Baseball Operations. The Nationals announced the deal in a news release on Thursday night, when the team did not have a game. A year after winning the NL East and leading the major leagues with 98 wins, Washington is 52-56 and entered Thursday trailing the division...

Nationals' Ross Ohlendorf likely has inflammation, won't be used this weekend

The Washington Nationals have turned to Ross Ohlendorf to help bolster their starting rotation.  However, as Ohlendorf moved from the bullpen to the rotation, he saw a drop in his velocity.  The drop caused some concern, but Ohlendorf says he's fine.  As Amanda Comak points out, Davey Johnson, Nats manager, says he won't use Ohlendorf this weekend to give him some rest...

Brewers aim to beat up on struggling starter Dan Haren

In the midst of what's shaping up to be the worst season of his career, Dan Haren experienced a rare outing consisting of mostly positives the last time he took the mound. The similarly underachieving Washington Nationals hope there's more where that came from. Haren will be on the hill as visiting Washington looks to send the Milwaukee Brewers to a third straight defeat...

Nationals 3, Brewers 0

Dan Haren pitched seven strong innings and Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos hit home runs to lead the Washington Nationals to a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. Haren gave up just four hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. It was the second straight strong outing for Haren (6-11) as he allowed one run and three hits in seven innings of a 4-1 win over the New York...

Brad Lidge Retires As A Phillie as Former Team Looks For Win Over Giants

(Photo: @ToddZolecki) He went 41 for 41 in save opportunities. He carried the success through the post season, securing 7 saves in as many opportunities for a total of 48-for-48. He did the unthinkable and the unimaginable. He did something that one man, Tug McGraw, did 28 years prior. Brad...

Nats Shut Out Brewers In Series-Winning Victory

The Washington Nationals (54-56) maintained their continual climb out of their sub-.500 hole on Saturday night, as power hitting and prime pitching helped them defeat the Milwaukee Brewers (46-64) in a 3-0 win. Dan Haren pitched seven shutout innings for the Nats, and continued his stretch of strong starts since his return from the disabled list. He gave up only four hits and...

d’Arnaud’s Moonshot Lifts B-Mets Over Senators, 3-2

Binghamton 3, Harrisburg 2 The Binghamton Mets took an early lead, and held on to beat the Harrisburg Senators, 3-2 on Saturday night at Metro Bank Park. Logan Verrett won his 10th game of the season, and Binghamton picked up their 20th series win in the process. The B-Mets didn’t waste any time in getting on the board against Nathan Karns. Danny Muno led off the game with a single...

Bucky Dent's Kid Breaks Up Spinner's Pefrecto

Cody "F." Dent, (Auburn Citizen Photo)Last night, a trio of pitchers for Boston's Class A Lowell Spinners was two outs away from a perfect game. Then, Cody Dent came up to the plate for the Auburn Doubledays—the single A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Dent is the son of Russell Earl Dent, better known in these environs as "Bucky F. Dent". In case...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.