In GQ’s Baseball Spring Preview, Will Leitch asks “Is Baseball Ready for Bryce?”
Apparently not, since the Nationals’ center fielder was just optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said the 19-year-old is “close,” but apparently 8 for 28 in spring training isn’t close enough, especially when extra time in the minors this year means more time before Harper will hit free agency.
I’m looking forward to his major league debut, whenever it happens. Even though I’m an Orioles fan, I’ve been fascinated with this kid since he was the top prospect as a 17-year-old. There’s just so much to think about:
- Is he really a freak of nature or does he just seem that way because he’s been pumped full of some substance that has yet to show up on MLB’s radar?
- Physically, he can play, but is he mature enough to handle the game at the highest level?
- Whose GQ shoot was more awkward: Harper’s with the baseball in his mouth, or Mark Sanchez’s Baywatch moment?
- And who does he think he is with that eye black, and that attitude?
Everything I’ve seen from Bryce Harper so far - and it’s not much yet - suggests that he’s a cocky little punk.
Maybe it’s a maturity thing, something he’ll grow out of when he grows up a bit, but maybe that’s just Bryce Harper.
He’s brash and arrogant and immature and sometimes out of line and, to be honest, I can’t get enough of it.
As Miss Mary J. Blige said: "Bad boys ain’t no good, good boys ain’t no fun."
Harper’s fun. He’s good-looking, talented, and entertaining - and he’s not even in the big leagues yet.
When he is, watch out. As he told GQ, he plays baseball like a linebacker: ”I want to hit you. I want to run your ass over. Sorry.”
Except Bryce Harper isn’t sorry at all, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(via Bryce Harper: MLB Baseball Spring Preview: Sports: GQ)