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Bryce Harper used Yasiel Puig’s bat

Bryce-Harper-Yasiel-Puig-bat

Bryce Harper has finally started to produce at the plate, and the 21-year-old’s .361 batting average over the last 10 games is one of the reasons the Washington Nationals are currently riding a 10-game winning streak. Does he have Yasiel Puig to thank?

For whatever reason, Harper was using a bat with Puig’s name and number on it Thursday night. While we don’t know how long Harper has been using Puig’s lumber, we do know that he was in such a slump recently that Nationals manager Matt Williams had to answer questions about possibly sending Harper to the minors.

Whatever Bryce is doing now is working. If the Nationals and Dodgers square off in the postseason, Dodgers fans might start to get a little irritated by Harper’s choice in equipment.

H/T Cut 4

Bryce Harper purposely messes up Braves logo behind plate (Video)

Bryce Harper showed some disrespect to the Atlanta Braves by scuffing up the team’s logo behind home plate as he went to bat each plate appearance in Saturday’s 4-1 win in extra innings.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore says Harper did it each time he went to the plate during his 2-for-4 game. Vivlamore says Harper has been booed by the fans each time he has come to the plate, which could be the reason why he scuffed up the logo.

Harper played dumb when asked about it after the game.

“That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m coming to the plate. I have no idea,” Harper said after the game via the Washington Post’s James Wagner.

GIF: Bryce Harper scuffs Braves "A" behind home pla... on Twitpic

Yeah, sorry, not buying it, Bryce. Tell me that toe drag isn’t intentional:

Bryce Harper Braves logo

GIF via @cjzero

Matt Williams scolds media over Bryce Harper demotion talk

Matt-WilliamsBryce Harper is in the worst hitting slump of his young career. Since returning from thumb surgery on June 30, the 21-year-old is batting just .218. He has five extra-base hits and just five RBI during that span. Harper has struggled so badly that some have wondered if a stint in Triple-A is in order. Just don’t say that to manager Matt Williams.

On Wednesday morning, Williams was asked during an interview with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in DC if he has considered sending Harper to the minors. This was his response:

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea at this point to do that because it’s different pitching,” Williams said. “We all know there’s a big difference between Triple-A pitching and big league pitching. So it’s probably more of an option to have him feel good here and get it back.”

Since Williams didn’t say something like “we would never send Harper to Triple-A,” many took that to mean he has not ruled out the possibility. When a reporter asked Williams about it on Wednesday afternoon, the first-year manager went off.

[Read more...]

Bryce Harper complains about Matt Williams’ lineup

Bryce Harper NationalsBryce Harper did not even wait a game to begin questioning his manager’s lineup.

Harper returned to the Nationals’ lineup Monday after returning from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Manager Matt Williams had him starting in left field and batting sixth. Harper was not a fan of either decision.

When asked Monday about the Nats having Ryan Zimmerman play left field, Harper said he was in favor of it.

“I think it’s great. I think he should be playing left,” Harper said via The Washington Post. “(Anthony) Rendon’s a good third baseman. He should be playing third. We’ve got one of the best second basemen in the league in Danny Espinosa. Of course, we want the best-hitting lineup in there. I think Rendon playing third and Zim playing left is something that would be good for this team. I think that should be what’s happening.”

Instead, Harper has been in left both games he’s been back. Denard Span has been in center while Espinosa, who is batting .217 on the season, has been on the bench. Zimmerman has been back at third and Rendon has been at second.

Williams responded by saying he was happy to have Harper back in the lineup. He declined to comment on Harper’s preferences.

Harper also indicated he’d prefer to bat elsewhere in the lineup.

“If I had the lineup, it would maybe not be the same. He’s got the lineup card. He’s got the pen. That’s what he’s doing. So there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m hitting sixth tonight. Hopefully I can be able to get some runners on base in front of me and get some protection and hopefully get some knocks.”

Relax, Bryce. There’s nothing wrong with having you bat sixth for now until you get back in the flow. The lineup is still pretty solid 1-5. But you have to love a 21-year-old kid who isn’t afraid to question his manager.

Bryce Harper wears great ‘I love bad pitches’ T-shirt

Bryce Harper I love bad pitches

Bryce Harper is honest and self-aware if anything.

The Washington Nationals youngster has been in Potomac rehabbing from his thumb surgery and was spotted wearing the awesome T-shirt seen above. The shirt says “I love bad pitches that’s my problem.”

The shirt comes from a website called Routine Baseball. Here’s the fantastic description for the shirt, which is available here for $29.99.

You’re a free swinger. You don’t deny it. Leaving the bat on your shoulder just doesn’t make sense to you. You always say, “A baseball was meant to be hit… and if it wasn’t, then why give me this bat?” Leading the team in doubles and strikeouts is kind of like a draw, right? Time to work on your craft in the cage A$AP.

The shirt is awesome and suits Harper well. He is a power hitter with 43 career home runs and a .273 average, which is pretty darn impressive for a 21-year-old. However, like his shirt says, he is a bit of a free swinger and has struck out 235 times in 279 games. That’s one of the downsides of loving to hit the ball. Great shirt, though.

Photo via Twitter/Eric_Smith34

Bryce Harper wore a Cowboys hat to the zoo

Bryce-Harper-Cowboys-hat

Bryce Harper went to the National Zoo in D.C. over the weekend, and his choice of wardrobe is not going to please fans in the nation’s capital. Harper, who posed for a photo with this fan, was rocking a Dallas Cowboys hat.

Those who have followed Bryce’s career closely are not surprised. He knows the Cowboys are one of the Washington Redskins’ biggest rivals, but Harper grew up basically rooting for every team that was the best in its sport when he was a kid. He’s not the first superstar athlete to support a rival team and he won’t be the last.

Hey, at least Harper wasn’t wearing the hat of another MLB team. Only Colin Kaepernick is brave enough to do something like that.

H/T DC Sports Bog

Bryce Harper using Playstation to rehab his thumb

Bryce Harper NationalsBryce Harper said earlier this week that he is not setting a timetable for his return from a thumb injury that has already kept him out more than a month. The Washington Nationals outfielder suffered a torn ligament while sliding into third base on April 25. His rehab following surgery is every adolescent kid’s dream.

On Thursday, Harper tweeted that he is planning to use video games as a form of rehab to regain motion in his thumb.

He wasn’t joking.

“(Harper) said, ‘I’m not going to rush back, I’m not going to do anything stupid,’” MASN’s Dan Kolko reported, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “He’s more just focused on progressing day to day. He’s still not able to catch balls because of that left thumb, still not able to hit, just kind of going through range-of-motion exercises and he’s going to start using some PlayStation to work that thumb back into gear as he tries to make progress.”

If playing professional baseball means making millions of dollars to play PS4 while working your way back from an injury, it’s an even sweeter gig than we thought. Hopefully Harper doesn’t play too much “Mortal Kombat.” I feel like that could lead to a setback.