It would be understandable if Bryce Harper felt a twinge of jealously over the Washington Nationals reaching the World Series in the first season since his departure. That is not the case, the Philadelphia Phillies slugger insists.
Harper spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career with the Nationals, and despite how the team was perennially considered legitimate World Series contenders during much of his tenure, success in the postseason was always frustratingly elusive.
Now, with Harper’s first season in Philly ending without a playoff berth despite similar buzz, he has to watch the Nats play in their first Fall Classic. That’s fine by Harper.
“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am and not saying to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, ‘Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous,’” Harper told The Athletic. “No. I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”
Harper also noted how being envious of the Nationals’ success this postseason would serve little purpose, especially given how it was his decision to sign a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies instead of remaining in D.C.
“I made my decision, and that was my decision,” Harper said. “And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude toward anybody else.”
Nationals fans have thoroughly enjoyed mocking and ridiculing Harper over how the team made it to the World Series without his help. Their antics are not surprising, as things got downright ugly at times whenever Harper returned to D.C. this season.
That said, there seem to be no hard feelings on Harper’s behalf toward the Nats organization or their passionate fans. At least he insists that is the case.
By: Jason Rowan