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GM on possibility of Bryce Harper going back to the minors: “We’re not dumb”

May 4, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

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Bryce Harper has started his big-league career 6-for-16 (.375) with four doubles and last night became just the fourth 19-year-old since 1980 to bat third in a major-league game.

Just in case that wasn’t enough evidence to suggest he’s not going back to the minors, general manager Mike Rizzo basically confirmed that Harper is in the majors to stay.

While speaking at the National Press Club today, Rizzo explained that the Nationals initially were open to the idea of Harper’s call-up being only temporary–and still haven’t ruled it out–but have since changed their view:

We’re not dumb, either. This guy is performing admirably in the big leagues. We feel he’s got a chance to really impact the ball club. He’s a special talent. So you have to throw ordinary development curves out the window if you have to. You have to be able to be light on your feet and utilize the assets that you have. If he is performing the way he’s performing now, there’s no way in hell I can get Davey Johnson to get rid of him.

That can change in a hurry if Harper goes into an extended slump, but barring that he’s probably seen the last of the minor leagues.

  1. skerney - May 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    What if Brian Sabean sees a hole in his swing?

  2. aceshigh11 - May 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    “Look Jerky…I don’t need to talk to you!

    GET BRYCE HARPER, I SAID!”

    — Mike Rizzo, brother of Frank

    Yeah…that’s a Jerky Boys reference from almost 20 years ago. It’s been a long week and I’m fried…cut me some slack.

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      If there not old enough to know who Frank Rizzo is fruitcake dont tell them. Let those of us born in the 60’s laugh about it.

  3. xsherr - May 4, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    He ain’t going anywhere…

  4. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    I watch a lot of baseball and I have never surfed MLB Extra Innings to watch the Nats like I have the last week. Pitchers will work on the inner tool that plagues him, but I like it.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Rizzo is just full of lovely opinions today.

    • natstowngreg - May 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Be fair, at least this one has to do with real baseball.

      From almost a week’s worth of observation, seems to me young Mr. Harper belongs in the Bigs. That wasn’t obvious when he was called up. Right now, he’s the Nats’ best hitter, Granted, he will learn baserunning and playing the outfield the hard way, but his energy and hustle will make up somewhat for lack of experience.

  6. Jonny 5 - May 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    And he just might hit his first ml home run tonight vs. Kendrick. What could be more dramatic than that on ”Natitude” night?

    • natstowngreg - May 4, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      Um, another walk-off Nats win?

      17 wins, 10 one-run wins, 5 walk-off wins. And, from what I heard of crowd noise on my TV, a smaller Phillies infestation. Good stuff.

  7. btwicey - May 5, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    He’s young, exciting and performing well and they’re winning. This combined with the thousands of extra fans he draws means the chances of him here to stay basically are about 92.36%

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