Since Washington Nationals‘ Bryce Harper burst onto the scene in 2012, many have compared his hard-nosed playing style to that of Pete Rose.
However, in a recent radio interview, Rose said that Harper doesn’t play hard, but rather plays recklessly. Rose based his opinion on the fact that Harper doesn’t understand the differences in the different outfields since he was originally a catcher.
Now, don’t think that Rose was trying to slight Harper or put the 20-year old phenom down. Rose did, in a weird way, say that Harper plays hard — he just used the word reckless instead.
He does have a point. Bryce has had a bit of history with running into walls this season and it has caused him to miss some time. After running into the right field wall against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Harper eventually missed a month’s worth of action.
However, calling a player “reckless” is a little extreme. So he ran into one wall — you’re telling me that an “average” MLB outfielder hasn’t ran into a wall or two? After getting more time in the different outfields, Harper will get used to the different nuances.
Besides, he’s young — let him be.
After critiquing Harper’s style of play, Rose then offered up some advice for manager Davey Johnson. In a sense, he thinks Johnson should back Harper all the way up to the warning track. That way, anything that Harper needs to chase after and catch is in front of him. If he has to turn around, that means he doesn’t need to go after it and run the risk of running into walls.
That’s all fine and well … except a bloop single into left will become a bloop double.
Harper shouldn’t let Rose’s word affect him nor should he change his style of play. Harper’s all-out playing style has provided quite a spark for the Nationals in times of need, and it’s exciting to watch.