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Harper: ‘I wanna win for the rest of my career’

Sep 28, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Mark caught up with Bryce Harper on Friday at Chase Field in Arizona, and took stock of the 2013 season. Harper is of course disappointed with how this year has played out, particularly with the Nats not making the playoffs.

Harper says this season was enough frustration for him, that he wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Don’t we all?

  2. nats128 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Win and improve. Its imperative that Ryan Zimmerman comes into the season healthy and stays healthy the full season. I think its been 4 years since we could say that. He really is a key to pushing the team over the top when you think what this team can do with RZ performing along with Span, Werth, Harper, Desi and Ramos. Add to that a 1st baseman who produces with Rendon and you have a championship team with the type of starters the Nats have.

    Amongst all qualifying starters on ERA, the Nats have 2 starters in the top 27 (Stras and JZ) and Gio is the 31st in the MLB.

    Nats are 62-4 in games where they scored 5 or more runs, and 76-21 when scoring 3 or more runs. While the 76-21 looks great, the fact is the Nats are 14-17 when they only score 3 or 4 runs. The Nats are 9-54 when they score 2 runs or less. I think it is safe to say no team has ever won scoring 0 runs.

  3. Sonny G 10 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Good. Doesn’t sound like he’s ready to bolt to another team.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Well he’s under contract until 2019 so I don’t think that’s even on his mind

    • nats128 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Nats control Bryce for 5 more years. I would hope he wouldnt make any noise that would give you a doubt on bolting. The situation is still good in Washington. All signs point up.

    • JamesFan - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      I don’t get all this concern that Harper wants to leave. Why should he? The team owners obviosly are buiding to win and make major commitments. Where else would he want to go? New York? If he does that, he’s in the eternal shadow of Ruth, Dimaggio, Gherig, Mantle…..In Washington, he can be the defining player in the franchise history. Who else is there? Walter Johnson was a pitcher. Further, Washington is a media center on the level of NY or LA. Assuming he plays to potential and the Nats stay competitive, it would be foolish to leave here if he wants to be one of the premiere players in the game.

      If he makes the decision to leave, OK. Washington will move on as well.

  4. Sonny G 10 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I understand we’re having a drought back in Reston. Too bad I can’t give them some of this record breaking rain we’re having in Olympia,Washington. It looks like a lake outside our camper. Just my kind of luck. Alabama got snow for the first time in six years when I went there a number of years ago.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      please kindly stay away from DC area all winter long.

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        Funny! I shared your comment with my wife, and she got a big laugh out of it. :)

      • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        I am serious. :P
        Winter is one season I think everyone can do without (minus the snow).

  5. JamesFan - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Harp is going to destroy the league when he learns to handle the slow breaking stuff they get him with now and cuts down on his swing in some circumstances.

    The Nats have a core of great potential players. I want to see More Moore to solve our low prduction problem at first base. Moore has .300, 30 homer potential and is 27. We should let this horse run.

    Bryce should be sensational next year if he goes over his at bats from 2013 and adjust to what they are doing to him. It’s pretty easy to see.

    • nats128 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      I dont see Rizzo handing 1st base over to Tyler Moore. Possibly a true platoon with Laroche however if they get rid of Laroche I think it will be for a new full-time 1st baseman.

      Look what Tyler Moore did prior to his demotion to AAA. He was hitting under .180 Can you trust 1st base to a almost unknown? This isnt the Nats of 2007 in rebuild mode.

      • JamesFan - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Moore tore it up in 2012, in AAA when sent down and after his return. He has been a .300 plus hitter over time and has 30 homer potential. To play ALR with that kind of potential on the bench would be beyond stupid. By the way, bringing up talent to give energy to a team is not rebuilding. Look at Adams in StL.

        You may be right. Baseball stays with experence until they get so bad, they don’t have a choice but to do something different. ALR will probably be at first next April. I just hope we don’t have to lose a ton of games to discover that we have better options.

        If not Moore, the Nats also have a great young player in Mat Skole who is a first baseman as well.

        Pruning is not rebuilding and the Nats should always be pruning.

  6. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    The only issue with Bryce is his platoon splits. Yeah, he’s over aggressive times and things like that, but you don’t want to take that way from him. His real issue is he’s only hitting something like .225 against lefties. He’s well over .300 against righties. If he gets that number against lefties up, he’ll be much better.

    FWIW, he’s hitting about .265 against lefties since August 1. But there are sample size issues.

  7. Baseballswami - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Tyler Moore is not an unknown. He has done the same thing year after year— as a starter. Adam is an unknown. He has had one good year in the last four. The new manager will hopefully not be one that plays his favorites no matter what. Also looking forward to a manager that is not playing the last few games in a way that he feels will pad his individual career stats. Was reading Tracy’s comments ( can’t hit without getting regular at bats), he has a point. We went into the season with an awkward bullpen, which was further mismanaged. Bench was not just bad, but mismanaged. Defense came out of ST sloppy. Don’t just blame individual players. Fault is systemic.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Tyler Moore has proven nothing “year after year” at the major league level. Davey plays his favorites because his favorites are the guys he thinks are best. And Davey tends to have a pretty good eye for talent. Moore has serious holes in his swing.

      Also, I see Davey using his own career as motivation for the team. There’s nothing to play for and they clearly played flat in St. Louis. You know they all love and respect him and wanted to send Davey out in style. By saying they need to win 2/3 to get him to 300 over .500, he’s giving the team a reason to play. The games suddenly are meaningful to them.

      Davey knows what he’s doing. Most of the time.

  8. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    John Thompson, Jr. , would say on WTEM, “Don’t tell me a player loves to win. Show me a player who hates losing.” Or words to that effect. On that spectrum Harper needs to learn to subordinate his ambition to team objectives in both the short term and the long term. I don’t know how many games they lost this year because Harper (A) hid injuries; (B) avoided treatment for injuries; (C) insisted on playing with injuries and aggravated them to the extent he missed extended periods.

    Not to mention the times he ran himself into outs.

    Next season he needs to pay attention to the consequences of being a “gritty gamer” rather than a guy who lets the team put the nine best (healthy) players on the field.

  9. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Duh, winning.

    Speaking of which, how about those Pirates? Next week, there will be postseason baseball in that beautiful ballpark for the first time in many moons. Hope it’s more than the one game. Good for them. (Also wish they could have helped us out a little bit more but that’s not really their job, now is it? ;-))

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      I would not mind if the Pirates went on to win the world series. It would make my next door neighbor very happy as he’s from that area.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        One of my aunts, who lived in southeast Ohio her entire life, evidently rooted for the Pirates (we never really talked baseball). My 90-year-old aunt, who lives in northern Ohio, roots for the Indians. We do talk (and email) baseball a fair amount. Go, Bucs and Tribe. :-)

  10. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Oh, yeah. I’ve heard that coffee shop standing O story before, but does Hurdle really go to Starbucks? Come on, Clint. There are some nice places in the Strip neighborhood where you can get a great cappuccino and a nice, fresh biscotti. Try it, you’ll like it. :-)

  11. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Anyone see the contract for Hunter Pence? 5 years / 90 mil.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      Yeah, they mentioned it on the Pirates/Reds game.

  12. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 2m
    Gio pitching tomorrow. He calls starting Davey’s last game, “truly an honor.”

    • Theophilus T.S. - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Hope he approaches it with more than his usual degree of focus.

  13. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Atta boy, Gio.

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