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Sorry, Yankees fans. Bryce Harper likes D.C. just fine.

Jun 29, 2012, 11:57 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore has four pages of goodness on Bryce Harper today, and it’s pretty much a must-read. Among the topics Harper discusses are his fondness for D.C., how he would have majored in journalism had he gone to college and his intention to abstain from alcohol.

And he only referred to himself in the third person once.

A lot can change over the next seven years, but Harper seems authentic in his desire to stay with the Nationals:

“You look at Cal Ripken. You look at Derek Jeter. You look at all the greats that played for one team their whole career,” Harper said. “I want to be like that. I’ve always wanted to be like that. I’ve always wanted to play with that same team.”

And the article closes with a little dig at Harper’s former favorite team:

Before the Nationals played the Yankees in mid-June, Harper told his father, “I don’t want to be a Yankee. I want to beat them.”

  1. steveflack - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    “Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they’re jealous that we’re in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It’s not about the money. I already got my money. It’s about winning and that’s it.” – Albert Pujols.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Funny how a number like 254 000 000 can change someone’s mind.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Right…cause’ let’s face it. 220 000 000 just isn’t enough.
        Even if you have “already made your money.”

      • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        Too bad St. Lou didn’t offer $220 mil or anything close to it.

        With the money saved, maybe St. Lou can hold a free party for their fans where they invite people to watch the playoffs and World Series at Busch on the Jumbotron since no games will be played there this October.

      • sasquash20 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        He won 2 titles in St.Louis why not take the extra 34-50 million extra. He would have been dumb not to take it. Stop bitching St.Louis he won 2 WS with you already. Be happy you have that. Yeah lets not take way more money to move from St.Louis to Cali. Tough call on that one.

    • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Now $100 million and a chance to keep winning ….

    • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      “Loyal? I’m the most loyal player money can buy.”
      – Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, A’s & Angels pitcher Don Sutton

      Thanks Cot’s Contracts. Many, many more great quotes on player pay on the site. Check it out.

      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/

  2. steveohho - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    “Among the topics Harper discusses are his fondness for D.C” Wait till the young man sees how much of his game checks go to the District of Crime!

    • 18thstreet - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Good lord, you’re an idiot.

      Are you under the impression that he lives in an unsafe neighborhood? That the taxes in DC are any different than those of Montgomery County or Arlington Country? That he’s not claiming residence in, say, Florida, like every athlete does to avoid local taxes?

      Pretty much zero dollars from Bryce Harper’s pay check go to DC (a terrific and growing city), except when he goes out to eat in the city or buys a pack of gum here.

      • madhatternalice - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        What do you expect from someone who links to a blog that doesn’t exist? :)

      • jwbiii - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        “That he’s not claiming residence in, say, Florida, like every athlete does to avoid local taxes?”

        That’s not the way it works. States (and counties/municipalities) collect income taxes based on the number of days a player is in the state. Harper pays DC plenty. Athletes tend to have residencies in no income tax states to avoid paying taxes on other income, such as interest and endorsements. I would guess Harper winters in Nevada.

      • jwbiii - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        Here’s an article on the subject

        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12682

      • steveohho - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        @ 18thstreet

        “Pretty much zero dollars from Bryce Harper’s pay check go to DC ” You are clearly mistaken.

        District of Crime refers to Federal Government. Since he is salaried employee without deductions he will pay half of his money back to the Feds in taxes moron.

      • jwbiii - Jun 30, 2012 at 9:20 PM

        @moron: The top marginal federal tax bracket hasn’t been 50% since 1986. We were trying to eliminate a deficit then. We are not now.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        There’s no commuter tax in DC. Congress exempts DC from laws that apply everywhere else.

        That BP article has no relevance to Harper.

    • jwbiii - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      DC’s top marginal income tax bracket is lower than Ontario’s, California’s and New York’s. New York moves to #1 if you live in NYC. So among baseball teams, the Nationals are the ninth highest taxed and not far ahead of the Reds, Indians, Twins, and Brewers.

      • jwbiii - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        Whoops, forgot to add in Baltimore’s municipal income tax. Move the Nationals down to #10.

      • movinonyoleft - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        Hey, don’t start bringing facts into this argument.

  3. joeflaccosunibrow - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Money Talks….

  4. antlerclaws - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    He should have said: “I don’t want to just beat the Yankees. I want to make them cry.” Or maybe hear the lamentations of their women.

  5. lazlosother - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Damn, I’m sure we could have used him in the rotation.

  6. gammagammahey - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    If he says the same thing in five years, it’ll be noteworthy. As of right now, it’s meaningless.

    • TheNaturalMevs - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      That’s not true. He isn’t going anywhere.

      • chuckleberry1974 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Agreed. He plays in a beautiful new park, on a team built to keep winning, and for the 2nd richest owner in baseball.

        http://www.cnbc.com/id/46941774/The_10_Richest_MLB_Owners?slide=1

  7. heyblueyoustink - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Bryce harper, now bigger than the British Invasion and disco out together.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      *Put* together. Argle…. fargle…..

  8. fhuizar - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Trout > Harper

    #eastcoastbiased

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      ” I would not say such things if I were you “

    • dchillin - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Clown Statement Bro

    • dchillin - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Clown Statement Bro, or should I say brahhh. No one cares about the West Coast

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      What Bias are you referring to exactly?

      #TheWestCoastDoesThingsWhileTheImportantPartOfTheWorldIsAsleep

    • sportsdrenched.com - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      The only thing worse than actual east coast bias, is made up east coast bias.

    • sasquash20 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      Right now it is Trout but who knows down the road. It is going to be fun watching both of these guys develop and become stud ball players.

    • jwbiii - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      I really hope that this is a good barstool conversation topic for the next 20 years.

  9. Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    “I don’t want to be a Yankee. I want to beat them.”

    Why must this kid keep saying things that make me like him more and more every time he talks? A division rival. As a Phillies fan I’m required to dislike Harpers success. Harper has made it so I will only wish for his failure while facing Philly. Otherwise I think he’s awesome and wish the utmost success in baseball (except while facing Philly).

  10. randygnyc - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    And in 7 or 8 years and he’s got no post season hardware, he’ll revisit these thoughts a realize just how foolish he once was. There’s 3 kinds of ballplayers. There are those that are Yankees. There are those that want to play for them, but never will. And finally, there are those that want to play for them, and never will, but maintain that they don’t want to in an effort to salvage their last remnants of dignity.

    • nategearhart - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Don Mattingly wishes he had “postseason hardware”.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        Dave Righetti, too.

      • madhatternalice - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Don’t feed the trolls…

    • kopy - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Which category does Dave Winfield fall into?

    • umrguy42 - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Speaking of clown statements…

    • sasquash20 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I have a strong feeling the Nats are about to start a sick run on division and WS titles. They have tons of young talent. I hate saying that because I’m a phillies fan. I will be shocked if they don’t become one of the top teams over the next 5-10 years.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Mike Mussina says hi.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Poor Bobby Mercer.

  11. madhatternalice - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    To everyone who mentioned “Pujols” in the comments:

    Chipper Jones (19 seasons)
    Mariano Rivera (17 seasons)
    Todd Helton (17 seasons)
    Derek Jeter (17 seasons)
    Ichiro (12 seasons)
    Michael Young (11 seasons)

    It’s not always about money, no matter how much you want it to be.

    Now, please go back and play in your sandboxes.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      You’ve listed 6 people who’ve spent their entire careers with one team. Just curious, but how many do we need to list who’ve changed teams to convince you otherwise?

      • paperlions - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        In addition, Jeter, Young, Helton, and Ichiro were paid far more by their teams than they could have received in FA and 3 of them have contracts that make them all but untradeable.

      • madhatternalice - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        As many as you like. My point is that many in the commentariat (not just on this post, but throughout HBT) labor under this impression that nothing is more important than money. I’m not saying Harper will be a National for life. I’m saying that the immediate, knee-jerk reaction of “Of course he won’t – look at Pujols. He’s going to go where the money is” is short-sighted, uninformed and not universally true, no matter how much you (the general you, not you COTPO you) may want it to be.

        I only listed the top 6 active players with the longest team tenure. As people below have also indicated, there are far more players who stayed with their team, but are now retired.

        Finally, it’s not 100% up to the player. Why does no one seem to understand this? Yes, Harper may WANT to be a National for life, and that sentiment should be applauded. But if the F.O. decides, down the road, that he’s not worth the cost, then he’ll play somewhere else.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        My point is that many in the commentariat (not just on this post, but throughout HBT) labor under this impression that nothing is more important than money.

        I agree, but it’s like 90/10 split between players chasing the most money and sticking with their own team for less. There definitely are times when the player takes a discount to stay with his team (Weaver for one) compared to what they get on the open market, but how many of those opportunities are actual FA decisions? Guys like Joe Mauer signed huge deals, but he wasn’t actually a FA was he?

        It’d be great for the Nationals, and baseball in general, if he stuck around in Washington for his whole career, along with Strasburg. It’s why I mentioned in another thread that maybe it’s time for Wash to think of offering him a huge deal (10/$100M) to keep him around much longer.

    • dchillin - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Barry Larkin, Bernie Williams, Cal Ripken Jr., Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Todd Helton, Jorge Posada.

      Now shut ur mouths

      • nategearhart - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Ralph Kiner, Babe Ruth…
        Wait, what’s your point?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        Todd Helton

        Came up in ’97, in ’99 signed a 4 year deal taking him through Arbitration. Most likely wasn’t a super 2 with only 35 games played in ’97, so he signed a 9 year deal with one year left on his contract. Reworked his contract in ’12 for salary relief.

        Aka, never hit free agency

        Bernie Williams
        Offered the largest contract from the NYY when Steinbrenner was afraid the Yanks would lose him to the Sox. Next FA period was ’05 when he was washed up, and was given a one year deal by the Yanks.

        Aka, signed highest contract available at the time

        Jorge Posada

        First time he hit FA was in ’07 (according to bref), where the Yanks offered him a 4 year deal at $13.1M a year for a 36 year old catcher. Easy to say it was the highest offer on the market

        Aka, took largest deal

    • Detroit Michael - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      I think Derek Jeter and Michael Young have tried to maximize their career earnings. They never faced a trade off between changing teams versus accepting a lower amount from their current employers. No character bonus points for them in my book, even if we agreed that it was noble to accept less money to stay with one’s current employer.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        Jeter loses double points for using “Hey, market value!” when he signed his mega-contract and then pouting when Cashman did the same thing to him in 2010 before Levine came in and overpaid him.

    • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      “It’s not always about money, no matter how much you want it to be.”

      It is for the owners.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Um, Ichiro played for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan from 1992-2000. I’m trying to remember why he left his team to come to Seattle…

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        play in the big leagues

      • madhatternalice - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Yes, he obviously left his family, friends and home country for a bigger paycheck.

  12. twospoonsri - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    If he can make more somewhere else, why wouldn’t he take it? It’s as much a business for the players as it is the owners.
    I never understood why if a guy moves from one company to another for a raise it’s a good career move, but for an athlete they are a backstabber?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      “I never understood why if a guy moves from one company to another for a raise it’s a good career move, but for an athlete they are a backstabber?”
      Seriously Spoon? Nooo…you can’t be serious.
      You see….in your comparison the person moving from “one company to another” is very likely an average wage earner who absolutely can NOT afford to stay where they are.
      Let’s say they are making $50,000.00 and moves for an increase to $60,000.00 – $75,000.00.
      It’s huge for this particular person. Could be a lifestyle changer (depending upon where one lives, works, etc.) It’s literally a no brainer.
      Whereas…a multi-millionaire athlete has made so much money his grandchildren’s…grandchildren couldn’t possibly spend it all.
      Or as Albert Pulols stated “I have already made my money.”
      “Why would I leave to make $3 – $4 mor million a year?”
      Huge difference. Apples-to-Oranges quit frankly.

      • nategearhart - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        And what if there are other factors, like the player just does not like the town he plays for, or has always wanted to live in a particular town and wants to sign there. There could be tons of reasons, apart from money.
        But basically you are saying there is a salary threshold above which a person doesn’t get to decide where they live and for whom they work, but strangers (i.e. fans) get to decide for them. So tell me, what is that threshold? $100,000? $250,000? $1,000,000?

      • madhatternalice - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Dumbest justification I’ve ever read.

        “…is very likely an average wage earner…”

        Why? Why is it “very like” an average wage earner? Because it supports your theory?

        Carleton Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard: spent 20 years at AT&T.
        Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint: spent 23 years at AT&T, four years as CEO of Embarq.
        Michael Gould, CEO of Bloomingdales: spent the majority of his early career with Robinson’s.
        Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi: spent first 14 years of her career at the Boston Consulting Group.

        For every Larry Ellison or Jim Skinner, there are a few of these folks who jump ship at the money. They aren’t crucified: they are moving their careers forward. Twospoons comment is spot on.

      • seeinred87 - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        @stlouis1

        So where do you draw this magical “you make too much money to make a decision based at least in part on money” line?

      • twospoonsri - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        This is the most asinine response anyone could ever make. See the comments below.
        If you’re the CEO of a company making $10mil a year and another company comes along and offers you $20mil to do the EXACT SAME JOB, you absolutely take it. CEO’s change companies all the time for millions, in some cases A LOT more than what a ball player makes.
        There is NO DIFFERENCE, a raise is a raise whether you make $50k or $50mil. If Pujos can make that much more by swinging the same bat at the same ball in a different city more power to him. In fact, athletes should do it MORE than ordinary workers as the window they can make money is so small. Baseball players have what, maybe 12 to 16 years they can really make the best money of their lives if they are really good? Less for football players.
        It’s a business, just accept it. If St Louis wanted Pujos that bad they should have matched the offer rather than taking the cheap way out.

    • TheNaturalMevs - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      The point is, he can’t make more somewhere else. Washington can afford to pay him as much as anyone. Sorry Yankees, rest of baseball.

  13. gotampabay52 - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    we all are born yankee haters even in ny the boo their team all hate yankees wait all hate bostom more

    • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      Can someone translate this to English?

      • 18thstreet - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        I’d like to hear from Sideshow Mel.

  14. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Just a player saying exactly what you’d expect… If he wants to hear what it’s like to get a huge contract from a different team put in front of him he only has to ask the guy he replaced.

  15. runteddyrun - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Funny how quickly people tend to forget that the Nationals actually do have money to spend and will be more likely to spend it on Bryce in 6 years, as opposed to last off-season with Prince.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      Thank you for pointing that out. It’s not like we’re talking about Kansas City or Milwaukee here.

      Say what you want about Jayson Werth being werth his contract, the Nationals did pony up to get him.

      If I were a Nats fan I’d be excited. They have young exciting players, AND a pocketbook to keep them & add to them.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        Kansas City is owned by David Glass, who was the ex CEO and President of Walmart. I’m sure he isn’t hurting for funds. And net worth doesn’t mean everything when it comes to running a club [c.f Carl Pohlad who was probably the richest owner in baseball asking MLB to contract the Twins]. The Steinbrenners are no where near the richest in the sport, yet they still outspend everyone by $20-30M.

  16. Detroit Michael - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    To any Nationals fans who might use this as a reason to whine in the future, notice that Harper did NOT say “I want to remain a National so much that I will accept an undetermined number of dollars in lower career earnings and I promise to not change my belief at any time in the future.” Just to be clear, he didn’t say that.

  17. steelhammer92 - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I don’t know why everyone continues to scrutinize and hate everything this kid says or does. He did a couple of stupid things as a teenager and had some cockiness to him. Like any of us wouldn’t act out of line once in a while as a teenager, after being labeled the chosen one in baseball at 16 years old?

    From what I’ve seen, it looks like he has his head screwed on right, plays the game hard, and is turning into a role-model for young ballplayers. I grew up idolizing Griffey Jr. in the 90s, and Harper appears to be on the exact same career path. If there was twitter, PHBT, wireless internet, etc as Griffey Jr was coming up, I am sure bloggers everywhere would be criticizing him for wearing his hat on backwards and not looking like a team player.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      You are reading far too much into what people are writing. No one is criticizing him for saying it now. Most are saying, wait 6 years until you are a FA and then put your money where you mouth is. If he continues growing beyond his, already absurd ability, you don’t think the Bank of Steinbrenner is going to back the truck up for him? Yes other teams’ owners have more money than the Steinbrenners, but how many of them are actually willing to spend it?

      • ezthinking - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        After the Votto and Fielder and Braun and Tulo signings, more than you would think.

      • djpostl - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        Easy as hell to spend on one guy…now let’s see them spend it on a bunch at one time.

  18. blarry21 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I’m not a Cardinal fan, however, the whole Pujols situation would’ve really disappointed me? I mean c’mon, Pujols not being a Cardinal is like Favre not being a Packer, whoops!

  19. euie48 - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    clown article, bro…………….

  20. djpostl - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    And what else should he say since he is tied up for another 5 plus years in DC? Good for him.

    As a Yankee fan I would worry about some of these other teams if their players said anything other than that.

  21. natslady - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Exactly–when, other than in Boston–have you heard a player say, Yeah, I like my team but I’d really rather be elsewhere??? The kid is a walking PR machine, right down to the contribution to a lady cop’s fun in Denver. I love him to death, but, jeez, did you read the original article, in the Washington Post. Pure maple syrup.

  22. natslady - Jun 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    er, fund!!!! FUND!!! Sorry about that!

  23. randygnyc - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Church- the Yankees ownership may be in the bottom half of the leagues wealthiest owners, but the organization is by far the richest in terms of revenue. With nearly $450 million per year (including YES money), they may earn nearly double the next team. (not quite double, as I’ve heard $300 mpy for the red sox)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Wait, you mean a team with one of the highest ticket prices, probably #2 in the world on a Global Brand, in one of the largest cities in the country, with their own RSN, and with the richest history in sports pulls in a lot of revenue? This is my shocked face!

      Lots of teams are catching up, creating new RSNs that are pulling in billions in revenue. They also don’t have the payroll obligations the Yanks have. Once certain advantages are gone, other teams can easily catch up.

  24. thepaisan - Jul 6, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Its all well and good, but as a competitive player, he should want to beat everyone equally, no need to single out the Yanks as a team you want to beat more than the others. A win is a win, you dont get to gain 1.5 games in the standings for beating NYY, it only counts as one win.

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