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Bryce Harper loses fight with a beach ball in the outfield (GIF)

Bryce-Harper-beach-ballBryce Harper had somewhat of a rough start to his 2014 season on Monday. During the second inning of the Washington Nationals’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Harper was kicked in the head while sliding into second base. It was a nasty collision and he’s fortunate he wasn’t injured. The following inning, Harper lost a fight with a beach ball.

We’ve seen beach balls make their way onto the field countless times at the ballpark. Most of the time a groundskeeper will run onto the field and deflate them, but Harper decided to be a nice guy and try throw it back into the stands. The wind was having none of that.

Don’t worry, Bryce — there are better days on the horizon.

GIF via @MetsKevin11

Bryce Harper got kicked in the head while sliding into second (GIF)

Many experts have chosen Bryce Harper as their favorite to win the National League MVP this season, and hardly anybody would be shocked if that happened. He just needs to stay healthy. Getting kicked in the head on Opening Day isn’t the start he was hoping for.

Harper was inadvertently kicked in the head by New York Mets second baseman Eric Young Jr. while he was sliding into second base. He remained down for a few minutes after the collision but was able to walk off the field under his own power. He returned to his position in the outfield the following inning. Breathe, Nationals fans.

Bryce-Harper-kicked

Here’s an angle that shows how hard the kick was, courtesy of The Big Lead:

Because of his playing style, Harper had a difficult time remaining healthy last season. He left a game last may after crashing face-first into the outfield wall trying to make a catch. Monday’s scary moment had nothing to do with his style of play, but it certainly isn’t what Nats fans wanted to see right out of the gate. He’s fortunate to be OK.

GIF via @cjzero

Bryce Harper ejected for arguing call (Video)

Bryce-Harper-ejectedIt may only be March 26, but Bryce Harper is already in midseason form. Harper managed to get himself tossed out of a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Harper chopped a slow ground ball to second base in the fourth inning and hustled down the line to try to beat the throw. He thought he made it to first in time, but the umpire called him out. The 21-year-old then yelled a few things — presumably curse words — on his way back to the dugout and was ejected.

It didn’t seem like much, but umpires have little patience for young players who have a history of getting tossed out of games. Harper was thrown out of a game two years ago for slamming his helmet and again last season when arguing a check swing. His teammate, Nats centerfielder Denard Span, seemed to get a charge out of it.

Harper is poised for a breakout season, but he still needs to get his temper under control. He doesn’t want to wind up with anymore nasty injuries like this.

Video via Busted Coverage

MLB players vote Bryce Harper most overrated player, Yankees most overhyped team

Bryce Harper NationalsWashington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is one of the best young players in baseball. He has been an All-Star both of his seasons in the major leagues. He took home the Rookie of the Year Award in 2012.

Prior to breaking into the big leagues, we heard how great Bryce Harper would be and that he’s one of those “once in a generation” talents. The 21-year-old may turn out to live up to his advance billing, but for now he’s entering just his third season in the majors.

Time will tell the career path of Harper. At present, there are more than a few who feel he’s overrated. Included in that group are some of Harper’s peers.

In a feature that appears in ESPN The Magazine’s MLB Preview Issue, 143 anonymous players were interviewed on various topics. Among them, the most overrated player. Harper received the most votes with 24%. Yasiel Puig came in second (21%) and Alex Rodriguez was third (14%), because apparently there are people who still think highly of Alex Rodriguez as a baseball player.

Rodriguez’s New York Yankees grabbed the top spot for most over-hyped team, receiving 44% of the votes. The Los Angeles Dodgers (13%) and Los Angeles Angels (12%) followed.

There are few interesting responses documented in the piece, like how much more than Miguel Cabrera one player would pay Mike Trout. And, the Houston Astros received the second highest percentage of votes for most underrated team, ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, and Kansas City Royals.

Daniel Murphy made incredible between-the-legs throw to rob Bryce Harper (Video)

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy returned to spring training action on Sunday after missing the last week with a minor calf injury. The 28-year-old must have been feeling pretty healthy, because he made one of the best defensive plays you will see all season.

With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Bryce Harper tried to bunt for a base hit. He placed the ball perfectly between first base and the pitcher’s mound where only Murphy had a play on it, and it looked like Harper was going to beat the throw with ease. Instead, Murphy threw the ball between his legs on the run and got Harper at first.

Daniel-Murphy-between-legs

“It was a really good bunt by Bryce,” Murphy told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. “I just felt like it was the only way I could get it over to first from the angle I was going to have to take. I could probably do it another 15 times, and throw all 15 of them in the fourth row of the stands.”

Murphy added that he had only attempted a throw like that before while messing around in practice. I think Bryce Harper’s “WOW” reaction said it all. Between Murphy’s throw and Josh Reddick’s home-run robbing catches last month, we have seem some truly jaw-dropping plays in games that don’t count this year.

Bryce Harper explains why his upper body is so jacked

Bryce-Harper-jacked

Bryce Harper showed up to Washington Nationals spring training this year looking like he spent all of his free time bench pressing during the offseason. Harper, who hit 42 home runs during his first two seasons in the majors, is looking jacked. The 21-year-old provided a logical explanation for his bulkiness.

For starters, Harper is a workout freak. He gets up before 5:00 a.m. to begin training for the day and said he spends hours each day lifting weights in the gym. On Tuesday, Harper told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier why he is looking so top-heavy. It has to do with his knee surgery.

“I didn’t really have a lower body for two months,” Harper said. “It was like I was in a wheelchair trying to just do the upper body. So I’d go to the gym and only be able to work my upper body. I’d get bored during the day, go to the gym. That’s what I like to do, I like to lift. I work my ever-loving tail off in the gym.”

Harper has trouble keeping his weight on during the season, so he has to make sure he comes into April as filled out as possible.

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Bryce Harper wonders if Robinson Cano will wear Ken Griffey Jr.’s No. 24

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano has worn No. 24 throughout his last nine seasons of smashing the cover off the ball with the New York Yankees. On Friday, Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. Now, it will be interesting to see if the slugger wears No. 24 in 2014. Why? Because some guy named Ken Griffey Jr. wore it for 11 incredible seasons in the 1990s with Seattle.

Shortly after Cano reportedly signed his massive deal with the Mariners, Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper was one of the first people to address the No. 24 issue. He deleted his first tweet, but not before it was retweeted:

I agree with Harper. If Cano wants to arrive in Seattle with class, he won’t even allow there to be a debate. He should just pick another number and start a new legacy with his new team.