The Washington Nationals have their swagger back. I’m not sure you have noticed the change but they definitely have a different way of playing right now than they did before Bryce Harper came off of the disabled list. I know he hasn’t played that well but he has played hard and has played the right way. It won him more than just the start in the All-Star game. His style also ensured he didn’t get a day off from Davey Johnson.
I’ll go ahead and say that I don’t think the numbers Harper put up in his limited time on the field warrant him an All-Star start. I really think he stole the spot from Andrew McCutchen and Justin Upton among others. That doesn’t really matter right now though. His style is what people love and what got him the votes. That style also led to quite an interesting reaction when he heard his manager saying he was going to give him a day off.
Some players would sigh quietly and enjoy the day off, great players might even do that. Harper didn’t. He reportedly sent a text message to Johnson that read, “Play me or trade me.” Imagine the conversation that followed that little message. Can’t you see that look on Harper’s face walking in Johnson’s office? The legendary manager talking to the second year leader of his ballclub?
Johnson laughed it off and said basically that since he wasn’t about to trade him he was going to play him. Harper has already picked up his game or rather has started seeing results from his efforts that have never slacked off even for a moment. He is a true treasure to this game and even though I didn’t vote for him to start, I wouldn’t doubt he makes a huge play while in the All-Star line-up.