The Nationals travel to Philadelphia for a three game series beginning Monday, the first match-up between the teams since the whole Bryce HarperCole Hamelsold school baseball fiasco on Sunday Night Baseball. It will also mark the first time Harper travels to Citizens Bank Park as a big league player.
What type of reception will Harper get from the Phillies faithful? If you ask him, he is ready for whatever they want to throw at him, literally.
Hopefully I get a couple of boos, that would be awesome, he said.
Im excited to get in there and play and hopefully they dont throw any batteries or what not at me.
Harper will surely hear it from the crowd, hell probably see some creative fan-made signs as well. But while he may be joking about the batteries, he might not want to give the Philly fans any ideas. It should be quite tense between the teams after what went down just two weeks ago.
Harper knows he will get the treatment from the stands, but remains focused on the task at hand.
I dont really care, he said. I just want to go in and get some Ws.
Washington will begin a road trip of nine consecutive games against N.L. East foes. They begin with Philly before traveling to Atlanta and then Miami. It presents an opportunity for the Nats to establish themselves in the division as they move into June.
Harper put the Phillies series in terms of the overall upcoming stretch, but acknowledged he is looking forward to the match-up just like every other baseball fan.
Its going to be a fun three days down there in Philly and I am excited to get going.
You can always count on the New York Daily News to run an audacious cover. The tabloid delivered again Friday with an image edited to show two of the league's best young hitters in Yankees pinstripes: Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Orioles short stop Manny Machado.
"Bats to the Future" is exactly the headline you'd expect, too.
It's hard to tell what's more odious to Washington and Baltimore fans: the image itself or the suggestion that baseball's new collective bargaining agreement makes it easier for the Yankees to poach their stars.
The premise of that argument comes from sources who say the new CBA contains two changes beneficial to New York: reduced revenue sharing burden (due to tweaks in how sharing is calculated, plus a deduction for the cost of building and running Yankee Stadium) and an increased luxury tax threshold.
Without going into number crunching detail, the Daily News explains how the club could afford Harper and/or Machado when they become free agents after the 2018 season.
The article's tone of inevitability, despite its many assumptions, will rankle fans of all 29 other teams. After all, the Yankees aren't the only franchise interested in Harper and Machado.
The Nationals and Orioles will presumably try to keep their stars. But to do that, they may have to fend off potentially historic money from the Bronx.
MORE BASEBALL: Nats let Ben Revere walk
Ben Revere was brought to Washington in the hopes he could solve the centerfield and lead-off issue that plagued them the previous year. After just one year, the Nationals have decided to move on from Revere as they declined to tender him.
The move makes Revere a free agent after a .217/.260/.300 season that fell way below expectations. Revere tied his career-high with two home runs and added 24 RBI while scoring 44 runs.
Stay tuned for more information!