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Bryce Harper tweets — then deletes — some pro-Yankees rah-rah

Oct 7, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

Every time I read a story about Bryce Harper I have to remind myself that he’s still only 18-years-old and that, on the whole, 18-year-olds are pretty much awful in every respect.  Or at least honest in a “I don’t know nor do I care what other people think” kind of way. Which is usually fine because who cares what an 18-year-old says.  It’s only when they’re in the public spotlight when it becomes an issue.

And Harper is in the spotlight.  And Harper grew up a Yankees fan. And, unlike every other pro ballplayer who checks his youthful fandom at the door when they star their career, Harper hasn’t really done that yet.  The evidence: his Twitter feed from last night, which was saved for posterity by Mike Prada at SB Nation DC:


Those tweets were subsequently deleted, and this one came down:


It’s a small thing. But the code of major leaguers — which Harper will be before he turns 20 — is that you don’t root for other teams like that.  Maybe you root in a subdued way for a personal friend to have a good series, or maybe you offer mild congratulations, but you pretty much have to check the rah-rah stuff at the door once you start getting the pro paychecks.

  1. dmccarrie - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    This kid is a grade A jackass. He’s still only a kid, but that doesn’t make him any less of a jackass.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      How does that make him any different from your typical high-school educated 18 year old? Cut the boy some slack.

    • stinkfist5 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      …And he’s a Yankee fan. Big ol jackass

  2. nagrommit - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    How many millions does this cost him when he enters free agency? The Yankees know he wants to play there, he’ll have to do it at a discount now.

    • paperlions - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      Zero millions

    • Big Ed Robles - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      I’m excited to see the 2020 ALDS – the Yankees bring in Stephen Strasburg in relief for the first time in his career, Bryce Harper quietly underachieves, Jesus Montero is the only one actually hitting, and Albert Pujols strikes out in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

      • nagrommit - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        Yeah, the Houston Astros beat them with superior pitching. They’ll have a challenge though with the Charlotte Rays in the ALCS.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I know he is 18 and I know he is still young. But this is basic common sense. How often do guys say they “grew up a fan of team A” when they are playing for team B? Happens all the time. I guess we all mature at different rates, but I think this is something my 15 year old would know not to do on his twitter account.

    I’m not going to completely kill the guy for it, but there comes a time when “he’s just 18 years old” doesn’t cut it anymore.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      On point Chris. The comment from Nagro also is dead on. He essentially just gave the Yankees huge leverage should the Nationals ever part ways with him.

      • b7p19 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Wow, couldn’t disagree with you more. Are you really making the argument that the Yankees will bring up these tweets ten years from now during contract negotiations that may or may not ever happen?

      • b7p19 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        “I’m sorry Bryce. We’d like to give you market value, but as you can see on these tweets we filed away in 2011, we know that you’ll accept whatever we offer.”

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:35 AM

        Yeah, I don’t think these tweets will affect his market value one bit. And I also think in a couple years, his love for the Yankees won’t even exist as he will be playing for the Nationals and will have forgotten about rooting for the Yankees. When he hits the FA market in however many years, he will likely go for the most money he can get wherever he can get it.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        B: Yes…I am making that argument. This is big business and you can count on it. No different than me…in my business. If I know you like our work and will pay a premium for it…of course I am going to charge more. If you are all about the low numbers…not so much. Essentially the same thing. It’s knowing your business, the market and each particular Customer (in this case…each particular free agent).

      • b7p19 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        OK, than we disagree.

      • Panda Claus - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        They wouldn’t have to bring up anything. In their hearts they’d know of his Yankee love and would comfortably offer him less, betting he’d still take it. That’s the theory anyway.

      • yournuts - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        You either love the Yankees or hate them! We saw that Cliff Lee hated them and decided not to play in New York! If you love the Yankees and want to play in New York you are always paid more and are under the microscope. We Yankees fans ONLY want players who want to win and WANT to be there. Yankee players get taken care of.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        That’s why CC has an opt-out after 3 years, right? LOL. If he truly wanted to play there for the full 7 years, he would not have insisted on an opt-out clause. The Yankees were stupid to put that in there, and will now be paying him for an extra 3 years when he is 36-38 and a blimp.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Craig: Not to sound indifferent or anything…but (right now) who gives a crap about Bryce Harper and his latest exploits? It isn’t as if we don’t have a HUGE game to discuss today. Cardinals/Phillies…Cardinals/Phillies…Cardinals/Phillies. Did I miss an article or 15?
    Cause’ I haven’t seen any at this point. Go Cardinals!

    • Gobias Industries - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Craig rarely if ever posts anything on the Phillies.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        Hahaha…yeah right.

    • paperlions - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Luckily, Craig can post as many stories as he wants to….so this shouldn’t impede the ability to discuss tonight’s match ups…..but really, what is left to say about the game 5s that wasn’t already said right after the respective game 4s?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:35 AM

        What? Ummm…I guess with that all I can say is please refer to the numerous daily articles of the other playoff series leading right up to each particular opening pitch.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        It’s not like NBC has him on some sort of Post limit: “No Craig, no more than 2000 posts a baseball season, we don’t want to wear your fingers off, you still got years away from Free Agency and we want value from our draft pick.”

  5. trevorb06 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Bryce Harper is to us what Justin Beiber is to pop music. #sarcasm

    In all seriousness though, just because Harper is 18 doesn’t mean he should be held to a lower standard when it comes to being professional. It was him, keep in mind, who chose to become a professional at such a young age. If he wants to be a professional he should act like one.

    I really do hope this kid ends up getting a good head on his shoulders in the end because he could be huge and we’d rather see the next Albert Pujols instead of the next Milton Bradley (plus more skill than Bradley). I also don’t want to see his dad commenting on here about how the Nats aren’t being fair to him or some crap like that.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      FC: Not sure what you are getting at. I was simply pointing out that I have seen zero articles on the NLDS…yet…we get this Bryce Harper crap.

  6. bigxrob - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Use the A-Rod excuse Bryce:

    “I was young. I was stupid. I was naive”

    • bigxrob - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      Also from A-Rod:

      “I guess when you’re young and stupid, you’re young and stupid”

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Aw guys, he just got his copy of the Unwritten Rules of Baseball… in coloring book form.

    Give the guy a chance to wield that crayon.

  8. b7p19 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    I have no problem with Bryce wanting the Yankees to beat the Tigers. There is no reason he can’t enjoy the playoffs too.

    • dailyrev - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      Agreed, and here’s a point for baseball writers who think this is such a big pot of hot stew: Hank Williams, Jr. I rest my case.

      And 18 yr. old kids are not “awful.” I’m the parent of one who is more mature than most people I know in my age bracket. And guess what: They’re also like everyone else in all age brackets. Give them a windfall of fame, wealth, expectations, and aggrandizement and they will react strangely, sometimes even aberrantly. Read the research literature on Lotto winners, for instance, and the lives and families that have been utterly ravaged by the crushing weight of good fortune. Excess of any form, “good” or otherwise, is always damaging, always dangerous.

      The reaction to this “transgression of unwritten law” says nothing to me about Harper. It merely confirms to me that adults, too, need to grow up.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Rev: Please explain what Hank Jr. has to do with it. I am just not seeing the correlation.

    • atworkident - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      Me either…. most losers I know are Yankees and Cowboys fans. He seems to fit the mold. I’m willing to bet he likes the Cowboys too… maybe Lakers and ManU if he follows soccer…. just a guess.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM


      • dailyrev - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Sorry, I switched sports on you without realizing that baseball fans don’t always pay attention to other sports. Hank Williams, Jr. made some remarks this week equating the President (of the U.S.) with Hitler. Pretty serious, ugly stuff. ESPN quickly removed his “are you ready” song from the Monday Night Football intro on TV.

        Now that’s a hot pot of stew…

      • mcsnide - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        Nail. On. The. Head.

  9. mplsjoe - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. Why is it OK for Russell Martin to talk about how much he hates the Red Sox and wants to see them miss the playoffs but not for Harper to root for the Yankees? Chris Cooley, Redskins tight end, recently ripped Tony Romo and the Cowboys; I didn’t have a problem with that either. These guys are people, and I think it’s great that some of them still watch the games, and have rooting interests in the games, as fans.

    • thecapedbandito - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      I dont have an opinion on the Bryce Harper thing one way or another, but your comparisons are completely different. Martin plays for the Yankees, it is expected that he hate the Red Sox. Same situation with Cooley’s comments. The argument being made here is that Harper is on another team yet is openly rooting for the Yankees.

      • Bill - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        Especially awkward given that, depending on the speed with which he’s called up next year, Harper could end up playing against the Yankees when they visit Washington for interleague play.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Um, Russell Martin is on the team that is the enemy of the Red Sox. Had he said “Oh, no, I am rooting for the Red Sox” then THAT would be a problem.

      Same with Cooley…he is on the team that is the enemy of the Redskins. Had he said “Oh, I like rooting for Romo and the Cowboys” then THAT would be a problem.

      Rooting AGAINST another team is not a problem. OPENLY rooting FOR another team is a big problem.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      Because the Red Sox aren’t butter Russell bread. Tony Romo and the Cowboys aren’t buttering Cooley’s bread. The Yankees aren’t buttering Bryce Harpers bread. I agree 100% with players enjoying the games and even openly supporting their friends. Have personal loyalty to a buddy and enjoying the playoffs aren’t the same thing in the case (from where I sit).

    • mplsjoe - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Bryce Harper plays for a minor-league team. Sure, he’s in the Nationals’ system and one day he’ll play for the Nationals, and maybe then this would be inappropriate (although, not really, given the differences in leagues, etc). But Harper’s team is as much a “rival” of the Yankees as the LA Lakers are.

      Chris said, “Rooting AGAINST another team is not a problem. OPENLY rooting FOR another team is a big problem.” That makes no sense. Either the players can be fans or they can’t be.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        He is a millinaire RIGHT NOW as a result of the Nationals signing his checks (i.e. buttering his bread). The Cardinals and Cubs don’t get a long. The Red Sox and Yankees don’t get a long. The Cowboys and Redskins don’t get a long. So naturally, openly rooting against a rival is not only excepted…it’s almost expected. How does this not make sense. Then…on top of this…he isn’t on the Yankees payroll. Pretty much sums it up for me.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        I am a Yankers hater…I’ll root against them unless my son becomes a baseball player and joins the Yankers. Then I’ll just be neutral. I’ll never be a fan of the Yankees. 😀

        There’s a difference between being a fan of a team and rooting against a team. It’s night and day. You are confusing Team Fandom with Sport Fandom. You can’t have Team Fandom in a sport you play professionally. But you can have Sport fandom.

        Had he said what he changed his Twitter feed to, then that would have been fine. To openly be like “Yeah CC…Let’s go Yankees!!! Woot Woot!!” Is unprofessional.

      • mplsjoe - Oct 7, 2011 at 8:22 PM

        I disagree completely Chris. You can have team fandom in a sport you play. Or, at least as long as you can root against a team because it’s your “rival” and for no other reason, like Martin did, then you can root for a team too. At least until such rooting directly affects your own team. Harper’s rooting for the Yankees at this stage in the season doesn’t affect Harper’s team, or even the Nationals. So as far as I’m concerned (and I hate the Yankees too, BTW), it’s fine.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      The Red Sox don’t butter Russell’s bread. Tony Romo and the Cowboys don’t butter Cooley’s bread. Watching, enjoying and even rooting for a buddy to do well is entirely different (from where I sit).

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      Rev: I am with you on Hank Jr.’s comments. I also commented on one of your other posts about it. Personally, I don’t have any problems with Hank speaking his mind. I was suprised at how quickly ESPN pulled the plug on it (almost as if Barry was pulling the strings at ESPN). Also commented that a whole lot of people compared ‘W’ to Hitler but (strangely)…there was no backlash for it then. I just didn’t pick up on the correlation you were making. But I am with you now…essentially, Hank’s comments were “hot spot of stew” to some people and this Bryce Harper thing is a non-issue in comparison.

      • msgiants2010 - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        Which public figures compared W to Hitler and faced no backlash?

  10. stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I agree that there is no reason he can’t enjoy the playoffs too. However, enjoying the playoffs and openly rooting for the Yankees are two different things. His loyalty (in my opinion) should fall with those who “butter his bread.” Meaning…the Nationals.

    • b7p19 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      OK, fine, but how would the outcome of the Yankees game effect the Nationals at all?

      • mabunar - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        At least somebody gets it here.

      • mogogo1 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        If he were already in the Majors, I’d see it as being a pretty major faux pas. (They’ll play the Yankees in interleague next year, so it’s not like they’d have to go to the World Series to face them.) But he’s an 18-year-old still in the minors.

        If he came across as a humble, likable kid, most everybody would give him the benefit of the doubt. But he comes across as arrogant so people want to hammer him. There’s a lesson for him in there, but I doubt he’ll get it.

      • mabunar - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        But again, they are not playing the Yankees right now. If he comes to his game with the Yanks next year wearing a Jeter jersey, yeah that’s not cool…but right now there is not a direct conflict of interests.
        If you’re going to draw lines to money made by other teams and yours, well, then that means they can’t root for any teams in any league, because technically, money spent on a Redskins hat could have been money spent on a Nats hat.

  11. mabunar - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    So MLB players can’t be fans of the game they play? Because that’s against Craig’s code of major leaguers?

    Players get bashed when they treat it like a business and they get bashed if they have too much fun. Make up your minds folks.

    Tweeting about the yankees shows Harper is immature and still has a lot to learn? Get the sticks out of your behinds.

    If it was his current team against the team he’s rooting for, then sure, that’s a bit of a conflict. But since the Nats are sitting in their homes, I don’t see how this is an issue.

  12. stichey - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Will there come a day when people stop being surprised that the majority of athletes just never received as much forethought as they did athletic ability? I agree that it would be terrific if they could more readily make wiser choices like you and me – “You know, I don’t think that I need a handgun when I go out to the club tonight,” or “Dogs are loving creatures, so perhaps it’s just enough to own them and play with them while NOT breeding them for death matches” and best yet, “Perhaps a lady of character would NOT appreciate or handle discretely a texted photo containing my genitalia” – but they can’t. They exist in a special world where focus is on physical skills, mistakes are swept away as long as they display those physical skills and common sense is never nurtured. So as a result, the long term ramifications of any action – and really, this one is LOW down on the impact list – just isn’t considered. If I were a top prospect for the Nats, would I be wearing a foam “GO YANKS!” hand at home while tweeting with my un-foamed hand? No, of course not. But, am I surprised that an 18 year old star athlete would do that? No, of course not.

    • cur68 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Easy on the reason, balance and perspective there stichey. Don’t wanna engage in too much sensible ’round these parts. Ever seen Children of the Corn? Yeah, its like that when it comes to the ritual sacrifice of people who talk sense. Throw in a gripe about ARod once in awhile, that’s what I do; throws ’em off the scent.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        Hahaha! Thanks Cur!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      Wow Stichey…tough crowd. How you can get a thumbs down on that post is beyond me. I think some people get offended with a good debate. Maybe those people should reconsider posting their opinons on an open forum then. Good Post!

      • stichey - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        My guess was that the thumbs down came from someone who recently tweeted a photo of his “shortcomings” to a “nice broad he met in the bar last night.” But I could be mistaken…

  13. mabunar - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Really? You’re really bringing in gunplay and dog-fighting into a story about someone tw-ooting for another team? I think you brought the wrong soapbox.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      I think what he is saying (in a nutshell)…is athletics routinely make moronic decisions. 18 year old Bryce Harper is no different.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        Sorry guys…athletics = athletes. It wouldn’t let me cancel the post in time. Either way…I think I have wasted enough of my time on Bryce freaking Harper.

      • mabunar - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        Couldn’t that just as easily say, “people routinely make moronic decisions”?

        I’m fairly certain athletes don’t own all the guns and dog fighting arenas. And I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who make moronic decisions that are over the age of 18. Just look at our government, wall street, hollywood, etc, etc.

        That’s why I commented…it seemed like he/she was broadening the scope of the discussion by way too much.

  14. nolanwiffle - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Certainly not a huge deal…….but stupid all the same. It’s akin to Celtic rookie (2001?) Joe Forte showing up in the pregame locker room at The Garden sporting a Magic Johnson throwback jersey.

    Somebody in DC will pull Harper aside and explain this was probably just a bad idea from a public perception standpoint.

  15. yournuts - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    He’s a Yankee fan. So what is the big deal? Either you love or hate the Yankees. I love the Yankees and I can understand his excitement. We always think we are in every game and we always think we should win. It is unfortunate that we didn’t last night. Are we disappointed? Yes, but we know that next year we will go out again and not be satisfied unless we bring home the World Series Trophy. That is the difference between being a Yankee fan and being a fan of another team.
    Maybe Harper will get his dream to play in pinstripes and take the Yankees to the 28th , 29th, 30th or 31st World Championship.

  16. xmatt0926x - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    “Every time I read a story about Bryce Harper I have to remind myself that he’s still only 18-years-old”. Don’t worry about feeling bad about criticizing this guy just because he’s still young, Craig. 18 is young but it’s also old enough to start seeing signs here and there and enough people who have been in contact with this guy have ripped his arrogant personality that you can start forming a negative opinion about the guy until he starts to show you different.. Yeah, maybe he will change for the better but this is no average 18 year old. I think people can change to a degree but an arrogant 25 year old was probably an arrogant 18 year old.

  17. lukeslice - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    ok so let me get this straight. he’s 18 (and therefore assumed not very bright…let’s not forget this kid didn’t even technically finish high school). and he’s a super prospect. he’s CLEARLY just buttering up the Yankees themselves in efforts to put himself in the good graces of the team that will be signing his post free agency paycheck! i mean i know it sucks to hear for all of you yankee haters out there, but that’s just reality…every kid – hell even most major leaguers – is only being reasonable by hoping he can eventually play on the yankees, cuz it means he’ll have more chances at championships and make more money.


  18. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I hate it when pro athletes act like human beings.
    I hate it when they speak what they’re really thinking about.
    I hate it when pro athletes say anything other than “I’m working to get into the best condition of my life.”
    I hate it when they say anything other than “I’m going to take it one game – one pitch at a time.”
    Damn kid ! I hate him!!!!!

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