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Latest Bryce Harper Items
The Washington Nationals know what they have in Bryce Harper.
Bryce Harper made his return to the Washington Nationals' lineup Wednesday night, but it was in a new place: center field. The outfielder, who missed the past six games with a tight left calf, played just 20 of his 109 minor league games last year in center.
The word "Detroit" is stitched across the chest of Prince Fielder now. He wears the navy and white uniform his father once wore and has made himself at home with his new team.
Most mornings, Bryce Harper sits at his locker inside the Washington Nationals' clubhouse and chats quietly with Jason Michaels.
Bryce Harper knew this was coming. When he arrived at the clubhouse for Washington's first full-squad workout of spring training, his teammates sent him a not-so-subtle message.
With third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's deadline for an agreement on a contract extension looming, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo met with Zimmerman's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, on Thursday.
For months, Bryce Harper waited for this day. The disappointment over being cut from major league spring training in 2011 stayed with him so long that in his first comments to the media in 2012, he mentioned it. It's not something he'd like to experience again.
If there was ever a winter to truly be had in the mid-Atlantic this offseason, it'll come to an end Sunday for Washington Nationals fans when the team's pitchers and catchers report to Viera, Fla.
Can we let Bryce Harper be Bryce Harper for now, when he's 19 and still learning the ways of the world? Can we appreciate his personality, letting him grow and mature, without asking him to be a plastic player filled with false humility? Can we encourage him to be as honest and open as possible, letting him experiment with the boundaries, instead of turning him into a colorless cliche machine who never says anything remotely interesting or stimulating?