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I guess the Nats are just gonna let Bryce Harper kill himself

Sep 3, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Bryce Harper is clearly hurting. He can’t run at full speed and is hobbling. So, is someone going to do something to ensure the future of the franchise doesn’t play himself into a thick, pasty goo? From, here’s Davey Johnson:

“I was a little disturbed that I wasn’t informed that he was having some treatment on his hip,” Johnson said. “But every time anybody talks to Harp, he says: ‘I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.’ So I’m going to stick with him.”

So the manager with decades and decades of experience is going to take the word of a kid who has already established that he will run through walls in the name of playing hard and just let him keep going out there? Sounds cool to me.

I guess this is what happens when you are managing your last few games after declaring “World Series or Bust” at the beginning of the year.



  1. Arods Other Doctor - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    So they shut down Stras when he wasn’t hurt and they were going to playoffs, but they won’t shut down Harper when he is hurt and they’re not going to the playoffs. Yep, makes perfect sense to me.

    • flamethrower101 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      An incompetent manager feeding off an arrogant GM? Yep. Perfect combination.

      Jon Morosi made a point just now on MLB Network. Strasburg isn’t on a long-term deal, and he was not happy with being shut down in 2012. So if they don’t at least make the World Series within the next few years, it could potentially set up him leaving in free agency. I honestly doubt it would happen, but you never know.

      • emdash01 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        I don’t expect he’ll give much of a hometown discount, but that’s more Boras being his agent than anything. When free agency time comes, he’ll be more concerned about the money than most anything else, as players all are.

      • flamethrower101 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Probably, but he comes off as a really competitive guy and he clearly was not thrilled w/ being shutdown before the playoffs last year. Of course it may not have mattered anyway, but the fact that they’re such a long shot to get in the playoffs this year makes that decision glare much brighter.

  2. El Bravo - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Answer: Bust.

    • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Yeh- lets all just give up on that 20 year old kid. Way past his prime. He threw it all away.

      Typical lame trash talk from a Braves fan.

      • El Bravo - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        I was referring to the nasty nats, not Harper. Thanks for your highly educated and reasoned input, though.

      • El Bravo - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        I mean really, did you even read the above post? “For Davey Johnson, the Nats slogan this year is “World Series or bust””

        Where does that say Bryce Harper?

      • sabatimus - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Are you kidding, Bravo? People can only digest about 5 words out of every paragraph these days…and that’s a paragraph of about 500 words.

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Hey, I thought it was funny Bravo.

      • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        the whole article is about Bryce Harper. But your right, highly educated answers and input come in the form of two word posts like yours.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Way to turn it around on him, big guy.

  3. daveeproc - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I think there’s a difference between a guy being hurt and a guy being injured. I Harper is hurt, he can play through it. If he’s injured, that’s another story. I’m not a particularly big fan of the Nats medical staff, but they have more information than us. If they think he can play without risking hurting himself more, I guess it’s ok.

  4. philly4lyfe - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    I was sitting in the 1st row in left field during the game last night. giving him a hard time for the throw home being late and allowing the winning run to score and letting him know he just cost his team the game was a lot of fun.

    • voteforno6 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      You are a true American hero.

    • sabatimus - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Oh, go steal some ivy.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        heh-heh, well played

    • dcfan4life - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Funny, Harpers play at the plate was close on a fast runner. When the Nats took the lead your outfielders throw had no chance on a slow runner. Odd how a hurt 20 year old star outshines a healthy outfielder by a lot…

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Oh please. Not that I thought he would or should get Rollins (or that anyone else would or should), but Rollins was a full step from 3rd when Harper had the ball, and Harper was in shallow – which makes sense when the winning run is at 2nd. Not to mention, Cesar Hernandez is not an outfeilder, he is a 2nd basemen who was called up when rosters expanded, so your comparison is not exactly apt.

        I am not criticizing Harper, I would not see anyone making that play. But that was not a highlight reel defensive play

      • dcfan4life - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        It was a lot closer than i bet nearly all outfielders could have made it considering rollins speed, and Harpers hurt. Thats what im saying, give him some credit there.

  5. inserthandle - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    The Nationals’ potent mix of greed, arrogance and stupidity sure does make them hard to pull for.

    • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Yeh because most MLB teams arent stupid, arrogant and greedy???

      Who is your favorite team: the Rockford Peaches?

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        Ain’t a damn thing wrong with back in the day Lori Petty.

  6. bringbackkosar - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    When I was 20 I thought I was indestructible too. It’s on the team to protect their investment. I like his grit

    • misterj167 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      In other news, minor league player Igotit Igotit broke his neck running head-first into the left field wall during a routine ground out to second base. He was removed from the game on a stretcher.

      D’Backs manager Kirk Gibson immediately signed him to a five-year contract.

  7. bills399 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I think doctors attended an educational institution called medical school. The worst doctor I am sure knows more than the average sports fan.

    many journalists are medical experts, especially on the effects of steroids. Also they have run a professional sports organization, so they are aware of ownership pressure to have a player the owner is paying millions actually play, and player pressure because if he doesn’t play, he misses financial incentives in his contract, not to mention some athletes are passionate at what they do.
    Question a decision, don’t start citing motives that a manager or whoever has when u don’t have a clue. To basically say Davey johnson doesn’t give a damn about Bryce harpers health because he is retiring is unprofessional and cheap.

  8. dowhatifeellike - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    A guy like Harper isn’t going to pull himself until he can’t get out of bed in the morning. It’s on the managers and trainers to protect him from himself.

  9. emdash01 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    The question is: is this an injury that playing is going to make worse in a serious long-term way? The knee injury was bursitis, which he couldn’t make any worse by playing; it just flares up sometimes until you can get bursa sac surgery and it then regrows. Generally if you have something that’s sore in your knee, the rest of your leg/hip will be the same as the rest of your body tries to compensate. That doesn’t seem like something the offseason wouldn’t be able to fix. God knows the Nats’ medical staff doesn’t have the best track record with these things, but if he wants to play and it won’t cause longterm damage, that doesn’t seem like the biggest deal.

    It’s fun that we’re back to ‘playing too hard’ like three days after ‘not playing hard enough.’ It’s so hard to keep track of these things now.

  10. flyinhighwithvick - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I don’t understand the fascination with this guy. Does he hustle and play hard and do all the things a ball player should? Absolutely. But he’s batting .278! He has a career average of .273! Why does this guy get so much attention? He currently has 49 RBI….it’s SEPTEMBER!!

    • emdash01 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Because batting average and RBIs are pretty terrible ways to analyze a player’s offensive contributions?

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        Interesting how this comment — at least based on the thumbs up/down — gets a pretty lukewarm response from readers, yet the following comment from sabatimus makes the same point in a different way and gets an overwhelmingly positive response.

        Probably doesn’t mean anything other than looking at the thumbs is no less effective at determining the overall opinions of HBT readers than BA and RBI are at determining the overall offensive value of a hitter.

    • sabatimus - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Never mind his .381 OBP and 145 OPS+.

    • Arods Other Doctor - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      I think it has something to do with him being 20 years old. Not sure if you realize, but age 20 is quite a ways away from the prime years for most players.

      Here is a random sampling of seasons for 20 year olds:

      1.045 Ted Williams
      .952 Babe Ruth
      .924 Mickey Mantle
      .895 Bryce Harper
      .828 Willie Mays
      .793 Miguel Cabrerra
      .729 Hank Aaron
      .592 Robin Yount
      .300 George Brett

      (Rod Carew, Andre Dawson, Joe DiMaggio, Tony Gwynn, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Paul Molitor, Albert Puljos and Manny Ramirez did not have 20-year-old seasons in the majors, otherwise I would have included them too.)

      • flamethrower101 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Harper’s 20 years old and putting up great numbers for a player his age. He’s not even at his prime yet. And though it doesn’t really stack up to Mike Trout’s Age 20 season last year, Harper’s still doing pretty well for himself.

        And in all honesty, all of this smack about Harper’s supposed “lack of hustle” or the disconnect between the coaches & players wouldn’t be an issue if the Nats were winning.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      You realize he’s 20 years old, right?

      When Ken Griffey Jr. was 20, he played in 155 games, hit .300/.366/.481 with 22 HR, 28 2B and 80 RBI.

      Harper has played in 99 games, is hitting .278/.381/.514 with 19 HR, 20 2B and 49 RBI.

      That Ken Griffey Jr. guy turned out to be alright. So will Harper.

  11. henryd3rd - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I’m not a Nationals fan; but I love the way this young man plays the game. However he should sit down and talk with Ken Griffey Jr. His career was shortened by injuries primarily due to his crashing into walls trying to make catches. He was one of the greats; but one will never know how much more he might have accomplished had he played the with less abandon. Crashing into walls has one winner and that’s the wall.

    • randomdigits - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      I think Fred Lynn would be the better choice.

      Also for all the he runs all out folks, just a few days ago there was a piece on here about him not running balls out.

  12. numbskull111 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Twenty year olds are perfectly capable of determining the state of their own health. In fact, here in DC we have RG III who said he was fine and could still play and that turned out fine…..oh wait…..

  13. andyreidisfat - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    So a 20 year old (who by the way will heal and be able to take much punishment) saying he is healthy and having his manager play him is wrong…. but stealing money and playing time by taking steroids is just fine ???

    NAts manager plays player who is hurting but not injured, and he needs to go.
    Player takes roids for years, flaunts it and lies to everyone he can, probably hooks up other players with a dealer and he is “being dumped on” by media ???

    Really ??? really ??? REALLY ??? no wonder you write for a blog. No real news source would have you. Hell i am betting most blogs wouldn’t have you.

  14. taylorgang24 - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Thick pasty goo is bedroom talk, not sports.

  15. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Wow the Nationals are unlikeable.

    • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      So are teams with PED liars like Braun – arent they BREWCREWFAN54!!!!

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Is anything likable in D.C.?

      • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Good economy, highest concentrated amount of college graduates, high paying jobs, monuments, RG3, clean metro system, highest average household income in surrounding counties, near the Chesapeake, near mountains, Bryce Harper, hopefully far away from Craig Calcaterra, we arent Detriot or Cleveland, the city doesnt smell like NYC, free museums, natitude, gay marriage is legal in DC.

  16. anthonyverna - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    So the team that won’t let its star pitcher kill himself is going to let a star outfielder do that?

    • emdash01 - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Or the site is going with a fairly alarmist headline assuming the worst-case scenario because it attracts more page-views, and everyone’s taking it at face value? Not that I blame Craig or the site – it’s part of the job of new media – but let’s not get carried away, here.

      • crabcakesfootball - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Wait Bryce Harper is still alive?

  17. sportfandc - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Everyone (at least everyone here) knows that having a sore hip in September is much worse than risking a second Tommy John surgery. It’s so obvious.

  18. bbil2012 - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    And Mike Trout .963.

  19. misterj167 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    If we had more players like Bryce Harper, we’d have less players like Bryce Harper.

  20. ultra8201 - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Very insensitive headline

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