It happened today and not nearly how it played out in my mind. My guy sent me a message as I was leaving work that said “Uh-oh. Don’t look at the news.” I didn’t have to. I immediately knew what happened. That gut feeling you know? Harper had finally signed a contract and it wasn’t with the Nationals. It hit me and hard. But I’m a G, so I kept it moving…walking down the stairwell from the 3rd floor to the ground floor, out the door, and to the garage. Stopping periodically to jump on social media to take a temperature reading and to scan the details about this deal…
Bryce Harper had signed a 13-year (damn that’s a long time), $330 million dollar (cool) contract having no opt-out and trade clause (interesting), with the Philadelphia Phillies (F@*$!). Yep…that’s the part that stung.
Nats ownership had offered him 10 years for $300 million at the start of his free agency to no avail. So I had concluded and was quite resolved that he wouldn’t be back at Nationals Park in a Nationals uniform. But the Phillies? The F!@#$%* Phillies?!?! That’s the part that I took the hardest. That’s the part I couldn’t let go.
In the almost 9 years of going to Nationals Park, I have yet to experience a game against the Phillies where our players, including Bryce, aren’t heckled and boo’ed or some reduction in fan experience due to their unruly fans. Don’t believe me? Just peep this article. It just didn’t make sense. Bryce…you were there! Did you forget?!
I was fuming with disappointment. I finally made it to the car, started it and as usual WTOP News (a local radio station in the DC Metro area) came through the speakers. With breaking news at that. Great…now I get to hear about it. I was already overwhelmed and when WTOP offered their comment line to hear fans’ opinions…I…RAN…WITH…IT!
I might have pulled the car over or maybe I was still sitting in the same spot, I don’t remember, but I dropped them the best 30 second synopsis of my raw feelings that I could muster. I wasn’t sure they’d even listen to my comment so I proceeded to drive but kept tuned in. And then I heard my voice on the radio:
OMG! OMG! OMG!
At the next stop, I readied my phone to record this sound bite:
I don’t dislike Bryce because of this. I won’t be burning or otherwise destroying anything with his name on it. I continue to stand by my hopes that he made the decision that he thought was best for him. However, as a Nats fan that has watched this guy from his MLB debut through the 7 seasons he was a National, I’m disappointed. Big disappointed. I don’t know what my response to him will be when he returns to Nationals Park in a Phillies uniform. Perhaps he’ll get booed or be met with a standing ovation…perhaps nothing at all. At the end of the day I thank him for his part in making baseball fun to watch and I’ll ultimately wish him the best.
But until then…F**K Bryce and F**K Philly!