Found July 03, 2012 on
This town is getting a new education in "negative campaigning."
Bryce Harper is one of five candidates for the final spot on the National League All-Star roster, and the team's unofficial slogan appears to be: "DO NOT -- UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- VOTE FOR OUR GUY."
Harper said he wanted future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones -- not himself -- to win the Final Vote competition at MLB.com. Nationals manager Davey Johnson all but made the same proclamation Tuesday afternoon. And it's understandable. The All-Star Game is a stressor -- albeit a happy one -- and we forget that many 19-year-olds are sleeping in their childhood bedrooms right now, working summer jobs at the golf course.
Harper ranked third in the voting as of Tuesday afternoon, behind Jones and reigning World Series MVP David Freese. But Harper is effectively second, since Jones was added to the NL roster as a replacement for the injured Matt Kemp later Tuesday.
In other words, the Nationals have more reason to worry that Harper might, you know, win .
When I asked Johnson if it would be good for baseball to have Harper in the All-Star Game, the manager replied, "It would be good for baseball if you just leave him alone and let him play here. Let him get his four days off, come back and play in Miami (to begin the second half)."
Just in case Johnson wasn't being C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E-L-Y C-L-E-A-R, he pointed out that Jones, a switch hitter, would be an ideal option off the bench in the late innings for NL manager Tony La Russa.
OK, OK. We get it already.
Harper's comments about his All-Star candidacy have further dispelled the notion that the rookie sensation is a selfish player. Jones sent Harper a text message to thank him for the initial show of support, after the Final Vote field was announced Sunday. Harper spoke reverently about Jones again Tuesday, saying he "wanted to be like him" after watching the Braves on TBS while growing up.
Of course, there is an element of self-interest in Harper's stance. Harper suffered a back injury last month and entered Tuesday with a .203 batting average and four extra-base hits over his past 15 games. He appears ready for a mental respite after facing almost unprecedented hype before and after arriving in the majors April 28.
Harper is so eager to go home to Las Vegas after the first half ends Sunday that he interrupted a reporter's question about his All-Star break plans. "I'm excited to go home," he said. "If I don't make the team, it'll be good for me to go home and get away from the world and just be Bryce. Hang out with the family, get some home-cooked meals, hit with my pop, just hang out. I want to be in the All-Star Game, of course, but if it doesn't work out hopefully I've got 20 years of my career to get back there."
Harper, savvy beyond his years, knows he will walk into a media crush if he makes the team. Harper vs. Mike Trout -- his 20-year-old American League counterpart -- would become a dominant storyline.
To his credit, Harper realizes he may not enjoy all of the questions.
"Physically, I think I'm good. Mentally, I think it's going to be a grind," Harper said, looking ahead to the second half. "It's something you've got to deal with. You guys (media) are great people. I love talking to you guys every day."
The wry line made the reporters laugh. Indeed, Harper has thoroughly entertained us for the past two months, charging about center field while amassing an .819 OPS and eight home runs.
Now, it's time to give the kid a break.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Rookie phenom Bryce Harper is the owner of customized Mercedes Benz CLS that features his initials and the team's logo, among many other bells and whistles.
CLOWN GESTURE, BRO
(Video above via @JakeRussell)
Because nothing says "Fourth of July" like Bryce Harper in his official Under Armour "Don't Be a Clown Bro" t-shirt, getting a shaving cream pie in the face from Jayson Werth on MLB Network after the Nats beat down the Giants.
(Screencap via @recordsANDradio)
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Bryce Harper debuted his new Under Armour “Don’t Be A Clown Bro” shirt during a MLB Network post-game interview this afternoon, but that wasn’t the real highlight. The original Nats bro, Jayson Werth, interrupted the interview with a shaving cream pie to Harper’s face. Yes, Bro Harper got clowned by Bro Werth and Internet bros totally lost it. Who’s rushing out to get...
Bryce Harper is believed by many to be the favorite to win the annual MLB All-Star Game Final Vote out of the National League. His steepest competition will be Chipper Jones, who has said that this will be his last major league season meaning this would likely be his final All-Star appearance. Chipper has made seven All-Star teams in his 19-year career, and many believe number eight...
Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Ian Desmond are All-Stars. Bryce Harper could be too.
Go here to vote for Harper in the NL Final Vote early and often. And don't listen to Harper, who is apparently voting Chipper Jones:
"I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star Game his last year. If I was going to make a vote, I'd go vote for...
That’s a clown pie, bro.
Jayson Werth gave the 19-year-old a shaving cream pie to the face after the Nationals defeated the Giants 9-4 on July 4th. It’s all fun and games right now in Washington as they have the best record in the NL and a four-game lead in the East. The Nationals haven’t seen this much potential since, I don’t know, 1994 when the team was in Montreal...
This season's National League Final Vote has its usual field of five candidates, but let's be real here, it's essentially a two-horse race between 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper and 40-year-old future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. The truth, however, is that neither player deserves an All-Star nod. If we're voting based on entertainment value, yes, Harper deserves...
The last spot on the NL All-Star roster is between Chipper Jones, Michael Bourn, Aaron Hill, David Freese, and Bryce Harper. It’s up to the fans to decide which of those five go to the All-Star game. 19-year-old sensation Bryce Harper said he would vote for Chipper Jones to have the final NL All-Star roster spot: “I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star game...
Bryce Harper, in all likelihood, will play in a whole bunch of All-Star Games. So there's not a huge rush to make his first Midsummer Classic appearance this season, especially considering who he'll have to beat out to earn the bid. Harper is one of five National League players on the Final Vote ballot for inclusion into next week's All-Star Game. Fans will have a chance...
Orioles and Nationals team up to have fans vote for Beltways Ballot of Hammel and Harper for the All-Star Game
The Orioles and Washington Nationals have partnered in an effort to help send the “Beltways Ballot” of RHP JASON HAMMEL and OF BRYCE HARPER to Kansas City for this year’s All-Star Game. Hammel and Harper are candidates on Major League Baseball’s...
JoeBryce Harper is one of baseball’s most known players right now, but don’t tell that to the Wizards first round pick Bradley Beal.
Bradley Beal, Friday: “I didn’t know who Bryce Harper was until I saw him on TV last night.” eyesradio.com/2012/welcome-b… (5:30 or so)
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 3, 2012
That’s pretty shocking even if you’re a basketball...
(Eds: Sports Columnist Jim Litke is on vacation. This is a replacement column. With AP Photos.) By PAUL NEWBERRY AP National Writer With apologies to Bryce Harper and the first-place Washington Nationals - not to mention the individual brilliance of everyone from Josh Hamilton to Matt Cain - the Pittsburgh Pirates are the best story in baseball over the first half of the season....
Yesterday was pretty much the ideal 4th of July, other than I had to return to work today. And I didn’t have even a drop of alcohol.
One of the things that made it perfect was there was baseball on starting at 11:00 AM ET in the nation’s capital. Bryce Harper, Mike Morse, Ryan Zimmerman (all fantasy teamers of mine) were destroying Madison Bumgarner (fantasy teamer I cut prematurely...
Sometimes, over at ESPN, I contribute to a thing called "Triple Play." Last night, I wrote three answers to questions about the All-Star Game, and today, along with the responses from Christina Kahrl and Logan Burdine, they published them. I bring this up entirely as a matter of self-promotion and as a demand that you go read everything I write.
Ok, no, actually, I bring...