Some of the Nationals feel that left fielder Bryce Harper plays with a chip on his shoulder, as if he has something to prove.
"To myself, yes," Harper says. "To everyone else, I could care less."
Another theory among certain Nats is that Harper is hell-bent on proving that he is better than the Angels' Mike Trout, with whom he shared headlines last season as Trout won AL Rookie of the Year while Harper took NL honors.
"We made it to the playoffs last year -- that's all I'll say about that one," Harper said.
Trout's club, the Angels, did not make the postseason in 2012 and is off to a 3-8 start, while the Nats are 7-4. Harper is among NL leaders in average (.372), homers (five) and RBI (10), while Trout is hitting .245 with no homers and one RBI.