Now I know what you’re thinking when you clicked on this link. “What is this guy doing writing about baseball? This guy is the lead NFL analyst for this site.” All of that information is accurate, but bear with me I am a baseball fan too.
As a kid I dreamt that I wanted to be a Rockstar. That’s right, a guitar slaying, harmony singing, bandana wearing Rockstar. For me it was a dream, but for Bryce Harper during the Home Run Derby, it was a reality. Bryce Harper did not just walk out and swing for the fences… he strutted out and took MAN HACKS like his life depended on it, and in some ways it did. Harper is going to become a free agent after this year, and with the stat line that he has right now the amount of money that teams will be willing to pay him is decreasing by the game. Harper is currently hitting .246 and was hitting .214 before the break and is nowhere close to leading the majors in home runs or RBIs. Now if you think after watching Harper in the Home Run Derby that he didn’t know this fact as well… you are DEAD WRONG.
The Washington Nationals outfielder strutted to the batter’s box representing his country and hometown from head to toe. From his American flag cleats all the way up to his American flag bandana with his slicked back hair, he was dripping in swagger. Why? Because he knew this was his chance to show owners across the league that he is worth it. That he is worth the hundreds of millions of dollars that some team is going to invest in him. His stats show owners that he is not worth it, but the way that he captivated an entire nation, put butts in seats, eyes to television sets and did it while looking like a ROCKSTAR did.
Now Harper also knew that just his looks wouldn’t be enough to show owners that he is worth the millions. He also knew that he had to perform in front of the pressure of his home crowd, and PERFORM HE DID. He makes it all the way to the championship round and was down 9 home runs to Kyle Schwarber and tied it 18-18 in just ten swings in under two minutes as time ran out. If you watch the film he turns his swing and competitive level up another notch when he noticed how much he was down with such little time. The switch of “WAIT! The owners are watching, this is my chance to show them I’m worth it. I’ve come this far I can’t let everybody down now!” turned on and he CRUSHED IT. Then in bonus time Harper ended it on his second swing and sent D.C. into a frenzy winning the Derby.
Now answer me this, what owner after watching that Derby DOESN’T want a piece of Bryce Harper. The man captivated not only his home city, but the ENTIRE NATION. The guy made baseball exciting! He gave the game personality! It was AWESOME! So quiet down you haters. You “Bryce Harper cheated!” naysayers. The guy is handsome, a natural competitor, and a player that people want to watch, and that makes owners mouths water.
For me, thanks to the Home Run Derby, Bryce Harper earned himself a 9-digit contract. Now listen, he is still only has just 79 RBIs this year, and is 7th on the home run leaderboard, but sports are also a business. Owners want to make money, and Bryce Harper is still a big enough name to help them make that money. He makes people want to watch baseball. He brings personality to a game that desperately needs it.
So Bryce, do your thing man… the world is watching now.