Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/14/12

He compares himself to Joe Namath and blows kisses to opposing pitchers after home runs, all before he’s seen a single pitch in the Majors. Bryce Harper‘s arrogance is tremendous and undeniable. Much so, in fact, that even his own GM won’t deny it. But Mike Rizzo wants you to know that Harper means well even though the Nationals’ budding phenom has episodes of douchiness.

“There’s not a malicious bone in his body,” the Nats GM said to The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Now, there’s a cocky bone in there. And there’s an ego bone. And there are other bones … but there’s not a malicious bone in his body.”

Rizzo also said that the club is working closely with Harper on how to improve his public relations. But even though Harper is still only a teenager, Rizzo expects the outfielder to hold himself to a higher standard.

“We’re not just saying that he’s a 19-year-old kid and that he’s making typical 19-year-old mistakes,” Rizzo said. “He’s a different case. He’s a special-case scenario. This guy is in the public eye. … When this guy tweets it out, or says something, it can go viral. There’s a difference here. We recognize it.”

Harper, who was drafted first overall in 2010, has a chance to make the Nationals out of Spring Training this year despite never playing higher than Class AA. So, some advice to him: Don’t be a headache for D.C. sports fans; Leave that to Daniel Snyder.

Photo credit: US Presswire

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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