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Harper to Nationals fans: “We’re still in it”

Aug 28, 2013, 6:43 PM EDT

BryceHarperNI

The Nationals have enjoyed one of the biggest attendance increases in baseball this season, but that support has begun to wane at the tail end of a disappointing summer.

Tuesday night’s homestand opener against the Marlins drew a paid crowd of only 24,616, the third-smallest crowd of the season at Nationals Park and the smallest since the second week of April.

The empty stands didn’t go unnoticed by Bryce Harper, who on Wednesday was critical of local sports fans for apparently shifting their attention away from the Nationals and toward the start of Redskins season.

“I think it’s tired, I really do,” Harper said in a televised interview with Comcast SportsNet. “Just ’cause football season’s coming up, we’re still in it. I think having support is hopefully going to help us in this last month. I think fans know that guys feed off the crowd. They’ve got a whole winter to watch RG3. I think we’re all looking forward to that. But we could possibly get into the playoffs and go farther from there.”

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  1. natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    What is this “football” of which he speaks?

  2. crabcakesfootball - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    http://pootpoot1999.com/minimalist-baseball-stadiums-part-2/

    Pretty sweet Nats Park minimalist poster

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Yeah, yeah. Keep your record above .500 for a week and we’ll talk.

  4. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Seriously Bryce, you think that Nats fans are not turning out because they are turning their attention to football? That’s funny. How then was it possible to fill Nats Park with big crowds all the way into October last year? Hmmm. Maybe you guys need to look in the mirror for the reason that crowds are dwindling.

    I’ll be going out there win or lose until the end of the season, but you need to win to get crowds of 30,000 plus out there on a weeknight against lousy teams. .500 teams get crappy attendance once their out of the race. Get used to it, or prevent that situation from occurring by staying in contention.

  5. naterialguy - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    I think it has more too do with the Marlins than football.

  6. Sonny G 10 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    The rainy weather didn’t help either.

  7. nats106 - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I’m still there, I’m still going. Bryce, I know you heard me in Sec 106 last night. I’ll be there tonight as well.

    Now, can you do something about making sure I get some wings for Hard times for free?

  8. nats106 - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Oh, and 2 years ago 24,616 for a weekday Marlins game would have been a great crowd the week school starts for many local jurisdictions. The Nats have come a long way.

  9. breakbad1 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    It is really bad manners for Harper to knock the fans like this. This team has been unwatchable this year.

    I doubt if Harper reads the newspaper, but if he did, he would find the following facts on page D4 of the Washington Post sports page:

    Attendance around MLB Wednesday night:

    Chicago Cubs, storied franchise, maybe best park in baseball: 18K empty seats
    Boston Red Sox, leading AL East, ultra-dedicated fan base: 6K empty seats
    Seattle Mariners: 25K empty seats
    Toronto hosting Yankees: 13K empty seats
    Milwaukee Brewers: 18K empty seats
    Tampa Bay, currently battling to hold Wild Card spot: 21K empty seats
    Detroit Tigers, leading AL Central: 10K empty seats
    Atlanta Braves, leading NL East, best home record in baseball: 29K empty seats
    New York Mets: 17K empty seats
    Chicago White Sox: 25K empty seats
    Minnesota Twins: 12K empty seats
    St Louis Cardinals, NL Central leaders: 8K empty seats
    Colorado, hosting WS Champion Giants: 23K empty seats
    Arizona Diamondbacks, battling for Wild Card berth: 28K empty seats.
    Washington Nationals on rainy night vs. pathetic Marlins: 17K empty seats

    Would someone ask Harper to check his facts before he starts knocking Nats fans in the future?

    • section109dc - Aug 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I really liked hearing from Bryce how much the team counts on the fans. Nice to be wanted!

      Thanks for the attendance figures, breakbad1.

  10. veejh - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    He must have forget we were playing the Marlins. I’ll give him a pass on this one.

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