Skip to content

Bryce Harper wants to play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic

Mar 12, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT

bryce harper getty Getty Images

He backed out this year because he wanted his first regular big league camp and he wanted to learn to play left field and get acquainted with Denard Span in center. But Bryce Harper is stoked for the 2017 WBC, reports Ken Rosenthal:

“In four years, absolutely I want to play, 100 percent. They can write my name down right now … I’m all for USA. I’m all for playing in the WBC and the Olympics, whatever. This year was just hard … “It sucks. I love watching it. I love how the guys are playing, the way they play. It’s got to be fun playing with all those guys, David Wright, Adam Jones and (Shane) Victorino. It just seems like a blast.”

I presume Morosi is going to hold him to that.



  1. jm91rs - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Hopefully Mike Trout feels the same way. If some bigger stars want to be a part of this game it might generate more interest in the casual fan. And in general I’d rather have my position players facing live pitching with something on the line than spring training pitching.

    Of course I don’t want my pitchers there, so I’m a bit of a hypocrite.

  2. bancacentral - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Forward to February 2017:

    [Morosi interviewing Harper in Spring Training]

    JM: So, you’ll be definitely suiting up for this year’s WBC, right?
    BH: Bro, that’s a clown Classic.

  3. qcubed3 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Good for him, and us. I seem to be in the minority, but I really enjoy the WBC. The atmosphere at the games is very intense, the players clearly want to win, and the play is quite good (see Brandon Phillips in the US v CAN game).

    Just because the very best players don’t always play is unfortunate to a point, but why not applaud the guys like Bryce who do want to play? In any event, it doesn’t always take the best players to create the best moments, just ask Franciso Cabrera about that.

    • psuravens19 - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      I’m with you on this one… I’m enjoying the WBC and really looking forward to tonight’s game. I think with Gio pitching they have a good shot at winning.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Lets talk about it in 4 years.

  5. paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I have an idea for the 2017 WBC (and beyond)….why not have the US play somewhere else in the opening (and second) round? We get to see these guys play in games that count all the time….since the idea is to grow the game and all that….why not let people from other places get to see those players….and have Asian teams mostly comprised of players we don’t get to see play here?

    • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      I don’t think its much of a 2 way street there. The U.S could likely be a big draw playing somewhere else but I don’t see other countries coming here and drawing lots of fans in a game not incolving the U.S. There’s not many international players American fans have heard of unless they are already playing in MLB.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        They can’t draw much worse than the games draw right now, could they?

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        Well the U.S game against Mexico drew 44,000 and then the games against Italy and Canada drew 19,000 and 22,000 so I would say they could certainly do worse.

    • psuravens19 - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      In theory I think it’s a good idea, but if the US/Canada game couldn’t fill up a stadium; what do you think will happen if its Japan vs Cuba?

      • jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Attendance for Phoenix:
        4,478 Italy/Mexico
        5,140 Italy/Canada
        44,256 Mexico/U.S.
        19,581 Canada/Mexico
        19,303 U.S./Italy
        22,425 U.S./Canada

        Ben Badler of BA wrote that attendance for games not involving Japan in Fukuoka were even worse. The home team is the draw.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        If the home team is the draw….it is pretty safe to say that the WBC is not particularly popular at this point, isn’t it?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        I thought we had an agreement and you weren’t going to be a hater anymore, paper. >:(

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        No its not the most popular thing yet but what event does start off as the greatest thing ever?

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        The WNBA averaged over 7700 fans/game last year. If games that don’t involve the home team can’t draw like an average WNBA game, you aren’t really in the same universe as the greatest thing ever.

        I’m not being a hater. If you only draw 5000 fans to games held in the same city that is already inundated by fans attending spring training (giving Phoenix a much greater fan base to draw from than most places), you have problems. The Japanese are baseball crazy and about 100 people showed up for each game that Japan wasn’t involved in….those are just facts. Sorry you don’t like them.


      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        I don’t know that you can compare the WBC and wNBA yet. WNBA has a 20 year footprint right now and people have become attached to their teams. The WBC has only been played 3 times so its only been around 8 years and some change. And its not that I don’t like facts its that I’m open minded and willing to give the thing a chance. And todays game with Italy and Domicican Republic had 14,000 people at Marlins Park so there’s some progress there also. Maybe this thing wont ever get any better than it is but I’m not willing to dismiss it as a failure yet.

      • jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        Attendance for San Juan (18,200 capacity):
        14,974 Puerto Rico/Spain (82%)
        18,800 Puerto Rico/Venezuela (103%)
        19,413 Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico (107%)
        15,055 Dominican Republic/Venezuela (83%)
        13,412 Dominican Republic/Spain (74%)
        13,395 Spain/Venezuela (74%)

        Attendance for Taichung (20,000 capacity):
        20,035 Australia/Taiwan (100%)
        22,689 Netherlands/Taiwan (113%)
        23,431 Taiwan/South Korea (117%)
        1,085 Netherlands/South Korea (5%)
        1,481 South Korea/Australia (7%)
        1,113 Netherlands/Australia (6%)

        Attendance for Fukuoka (38,651 capacity):
        28,181 Japan/Brazil (73%)
        13,891 Japan/China (36%)
        26,860 Japan/Cuba (69%)
        4,003 Cuba/Brazil (10%)
        3,123 Cuba/China (8%) (This is the game which Badler said had 86 people in attendance)
        3,110 Brazil/China (8%)

    • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I hope it’s not someone we’re feuding with right then.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Well, that pretty much eliminates the world, doesn’t it?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Well, we might be seriously sucking up to Qatar then…in which case, do we throw the game?

    • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      BTW, does that mean you’re committing to watching in 2017? I’ll put you on the list. Do you need a Team Japan t-shirt?

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Nope, just saying….if they are going to do it, they may as well do it right.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Too late. You’re on the list! No takesies-backsies.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      BTW, I checked. At the same time that Italy and Mexico played with nearly 4,500 in attendance, the Rangers played the Dodgers in front of not quite 6,000. If the difference is only about 1500 for a game not involving the home nation, I think that’s okay for a first round turn out. Especially since there is so much apparent hostility to the tournament here. And, a hell of a lot more people turned out for USA games than these spring training ones. I’d bet you could find some regular season games from last year with attendance similar to the WBC’s too.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        That’s one take on it…..or…you could say that 33% more people were interesting in watching practice than a WBC game….because let’s face it, ST games are just scrimmages.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        But, there is an established following for those teams. Can you say that about Italy in the US?

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        ….and there is never going to be….is there a “cure” for the fact that fans will only show up for home team games….and really only kind of show up for them?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        You missed my point. Italy doesn’t have an established following here and they still pulled in as many as a respectable ST game — for a first round match.

        Maybe if people/teams here weren’t so negative about it, there might be even more who went.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        I don’t think that “point” is accurate. If they held the US part of the WBC in a place that wasn’t already full of baseball fans going to spring training, they would probably draw even fewer people than they did. Why do you think they didn’t hold group D in Canada, Mexico, or Italy? If those countries would draw more fans, don’t you think they would hold it there?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        They have held the tournament in places besides where the US has ST. And the lowest attendance in Puerto Rico (for the lowest ranking teams playing each other) was still 13,395, fyi. They could’ve skipped the US altogether, I’m sure, but they are trying to attract Staters since we have baseball fans her. You have no proof that they couldn’t have gotten better attendance in Toronto. You are assuming that. They may have picked the US/Phoenix as a concession to MLB.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Maybe….but so far….no matter where they hold games, fans only show up for the home team games (as you pointed out, even Puerto Ricans and Japanese only show up to home team games)….not exactly a great outcome….but I guess they could hold games in more places so that people care about at least one team in each game.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        No! That game in Puerto Rico was between Spain and Venezuela. Even more fans there showed up to watch games involving the DR (and, of course, Puerto Rico). The problem is more likely the resistance of fans like you in the US and Japan.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        I had to check, didn’t realize the park in PR was so small….they still averaged fewer fans than in the US, failing to sell out. So, your contention that people in the US are a problem seems inaccurate…as more people attended games in AZ than PR (where only home-team games sold out) or Japan or Taiwan.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Wait, selling less tickets in a location with a smaller population proves what? Overall, the attendance was higher for all the games in PR than in Phoenix. Why do you insist that they sell out to be a success? And, I included Japan with the US there.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        For whatever reason, they can’t even get the games on a decent TV channel, if I want to watch a game I have to do so via not-so-legal internet feeds.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        Hmmm, paper is exceedingly law-abiding. Noted.

        USA is up 2-0. You can buy the games via MLB. And, yes, I know you won’t.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Of course not, why would I?

        I know you know this….but the WBC is a PR money making gambit, that is all it is, that is what it was designed to be, that is why MLB came up with it….no one was clamoring for a international tournament. I’m not going to reward MLB for their money grab by giving them money to watch something I could do without.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        Firstly, the WBC wasn’t created by MLB alone. Secondly, don’t watch if you don’t care, but let those of us who want to follow it enjoy it. We don’t have baseball in the Olympics anymore.

        FYI, MLB is a money-making gambit. It wasn’t organized for altruistic purposes.

        You owe me an olive.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        Yes, but at least MLB and other leagues pay the talent people go to see.

        ….and baseball in the Olympics was stupid…..not as stupid as golf or tennis or the Modern Pentathalon…but stupid.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        Lucky for you, you did not trash the biathalon.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        You have to be more specific…..just any old olive?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        Yep, I don’t need fancy trimmings…just an olive soaked in vodka.

      • paperlions - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Here ya go then.

        /.passes 3 olives on a martini pick

      • historiophiliac - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        Thanks. I’m low maintenance. lol

        Don’t you want to see players from other countries? How do you expect to do that then?

      • jwbiii - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM

        2009 and 2006 average first round attendance by venue.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        I guess we will see after this WBC if it went up again. (Of course, paper will argue that the official attendance figures are inflated — which they apparently were in some places.)

      • jwbiii - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Those listed attendances were probably for tickets sold. If you bought tickets to all six games you got a discount and I’m assuming better tickets within the pricing tier. So for those people, the Japanese tickets were must see games and 3,037 people with tickets decided to go hang out in karaoke bars rather then watch Cuba/China. Quite frankly, I’d prefer to see Cuba. With the number of Japanese baseball blogs in English that are out there, I can get more NPB information than I can really process.

  6. kjericho43 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Man, gotta love that dude’s attitude. The WBC is cool and can only get better if/when our best young players insist on getting involved.

    • indaburg - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      I agree–I was just thinking how much the thinking of Harper has progressed. Before he came to the majors, all we heard about was how arrogant and brash he was blah blah blah. Then he comes up to the big leagues, and we see a great talent who plays the game with intensity and deference. I like the kid, and I’m sorry I prejudged him without witnessing his play for myself. The WBC would definitely be better with him in it.

  7. Jackson - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    That’s a clown quote, bro.

  8. uberdepressedbrownsredsfan - Mar 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    If Cuba played in the United States they would have no players left once they all defected…..kinda joking….

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2978)
  2. D. Span (2527)
  3. G. Stanton (2462)
  4. J. Fernandez (2428)
  5. G. Springer (2404)
  1. Y. Puig (2309)
  2. F. Rodney (2208)
  3. M. Teixeira (2178)
  4. G. Perkins (2066)
  5. H. Olivera (1932)