Bryce Harper has had an up-and-down season with the Washington Nationals, during which he has battled injuries and watched his team drift further behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Despite that, he has maintained decent numbers with a .278 batting average to go along with 19 home runs and 49 RBIs.
The Nationals are 7.5 games behind in the wild card and are likely going to miss the playoffs. After salvaging the final game of a three-game series against the New York Mets on Sunday, Harper was asked about dealing with criticism from the media and fans.
“I could care less what people think,” he said, per CSNWashington.com’s Chase Hughes. “Screw what people think. Everybody talks about us all year long saying we’re not going to make this or do that. I could care less what they think. It’s all what we think. I could really care less what the media thinks or anybody else. It’s nice to get that W tonight and like I said, I could care less what people think.”
This is the same Harper who has yet to even reach the legal drinking age and loves when opposing fans boo him, so a quote like this isn’t exactly a surprise. The Nationals came into the season with incredibly high expectations and they have not been able to fulfill them. That is something that is going to happen on more than one occasion during Harper’s lengthy career, so he’s wise to get used to it.
Even when Washington wins, Harper is going to hear plenty of criticism if he struggles at the plate or keeps getting injured. If the team loses, it will be worse. Tuning out the criticism is the best approach.
H/T Hardball Talk