In late May the Washington Nationals lost the division race to whoever will win it. At least it seems that way looking from the outside. That was around the time Bryce Harper went down with a knee injury that had an open end to it. No one really knew how serious it was or how long it would take to return. Atlanta Braves fans said a prayer for Harper and then thanked God he wasn’t playing for a while. Nats fans are still praying for his return.
I’m not sure any team in Major League Baseball needs their star player as badly as the Nationals need their second year superstar. Harper brings something to the Nationals batting order and outfield that is almost tangible. There is a kind of grunge to their overall appearance that isn’t there in Harper’s absence. His numbers might not be the greatest but that isn’t where the greatness of Harper helps them.
Manager Davey Johnson said earlier in June that Harper was feeling no pain after doing what he called “unauthorized running”. Is that not Harper for you? Resting up huh? Nah, not Bryce Harper, he goes all out all the time. He brings hustle, attitude and much needed leadership to the Nationals and they cannot win the NL East without him. They are still close enough to win it with him however if he comes back and stays healthy.
Here is a good sign for Nats fans. In his rehab start Harper wasn’t relaxing around the base paths. No way. In a game for a single-a team Harper was hustling just as much as he would in game seven of the World Series. How can you not love the guy? That is why the Nats need him so badly. I guarantee they will look better when he returns. Braves fans might have to do a little more praying.