March 05, 2019
Bryce Harper has had a good first week: record ticket sales, record jersey sales, and a knack for saying all the right things. Somehow, though, his stock in Philadelphia might’ve reached an even higher high on Tuesday.
The newly-very-rich 26-year-old in Philadelphia joined the 94WIP Sports Radio show from Florida on Tuesday, where he touched on plenty of stuff. We’ve excerpted some highlights, but you can listen to the entire show below if you’d like:
First of all, Harper had lots of good things to say about the city of Philadelphia and why he decided to spend the next 13 years of his life here:
“For me, it was — okay, are the schools good, are the hospitals good, can I see my family growing up here? For me, when I have kids one day, they’re going to be able to say they’re from Philly. And that means something to people. For me to be able to say that, that’s what it’s all about. Really understanding that — I haven’t lived in Philly or anything like that, but the sense that I get is it’s like a big neighborhood. It’s something that people really understand, they care, they care about their neighbor.”
"If I didn’t want to be in Philly, I wouldn’t have come to Philly. … I remember hugging her and saying, ‘We’re going to Philly!’ I was pumped."
He basically hit every note with that one. The neighborhood quote is a surprisingly insightful, and correct, take on Philly from someone who’s never lived here. Harper must have the right people in his ear.
Later, Harper endeared himself to Philly Sports Twitter by acknowledging one long-standing hashtag, and one short-lived hashtag. He admitted he’d heard about #HarperLent, where Philly fans gave things up as self-inflicted penance in the weeks before he signed:
“I did see that. My sister sent that to me. That was legit. It was about alcohol or hard liquor or whatever?”
And he also dropped a (subtle) Process for those Sixers fans:
“As a team, I think we’re going to have build and we’re going to have to grow. I’m not going to tell you we’re not going to win games, I’m not going to tell you we are going to games, things like that. But we’ve gotta be real about the process as well.”
Score two for the Internet.
And last, but certainly not least, Harper scored one for all those fans who have been dreaming of the Phillies signing Mike Trout for the last 100 years:
“If you don’t think I’m not gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you’re crazy.”
Now, will Harper get burned for tampering with another team’s star player? He can certainly afford it, but we took a quick peek into the MLB rulebook to try and find out.
Here’s what Major League Rule 3(k) says about tampering:
“To preserve discipline and competition, and to prevent the enticement of players, coaches, managers and umpires, there shall be no negotiations or dealings respecting employment, either present or prospective, between any player, coach or manager and any Major or Minor League Club other than the Club with which the player is under contract, or acceptance of terms, or by which the player is reserved or which has the player on its Negotiation List, or between any umpire and any baseball employer other than the baseball employer with which the umpire is under contract, or acceptance of terms, unless the Club or baseball employer with which the person is connected shall have, in writing, expressly authorized such negotiations or dealings prior to their commencement.”
It doesn’t sound to us like Harper’s broken any rules yet, so: keep it up, Bryce.