Bryce Harper took the field in Clearwater this morning for the first time as a member of the Phillies, and let me just say that it was a beautiful sight. I call this video Celebration. It’s sexual and violent. I thought you might like it:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) March 3, 2019
I could watch that sweet, sweet stroke all day.
In other news, though today marked Harper’s first official workout of the spring, he is confident that he will be ready to go on Opening Day when 43,000+ fans show up to Citizens Bank Parking wearing No. 3 jerseys to watch the Phillies take on the Braves. Per Todd Zolecki:
I’m going to take my time. I don’t want to rush. I’ll be ready for Opening Day, March 28. Just trying to take it day by day, and once I can get into a game, I will. The swing’s my swing, so I’ll try to see as much live BP as I can this week to get ready for games and stuff like that. I just want to see pitches. I just want to see that and see rotation, feel what it feels like to be in my cleats today and be on the grass and just be out there.
As for his first spring training game action, the target is Saturday, says Gabe Kapler:
Bryce Harper’s first spring training game for #Phillies will likely be Saturday as a designated hitter, according to Gabe Kapler.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) March 3, 2019
Harper also addressed his “We want to bring a title back to D.C.” slip up in what was otherwise a phenomenal introductory press conference:
"It's going to be new, it's going to be different. I'm a Philadelphia Phillie now and I'm excited to be part of it."
Bryce Harper talks about the adjustments he'll make now with Philly, addresses that "win a title for DC," slip up and when this moment will sink in. pic.twitter.com/aky6zcxjjB
— Kristen Rodgers (@KristenERodgers) March 3, 2019
Bryce, Bryce, Bryce. Let me hold you right there. To err is human. Don’t even sweat it, babe. And don’t let stuff like this bother you:
Good one. I’m surprised he was able to make that joke without going on the DL, or what baseball is calling the “injured list” this season.
And finally, you may remember Cole Hamels plunking Harper in May of 2012 on Sunday Night Baseball. You may also remember Harper got even moments later when he became the first teenager to steal home in a Major League game since Ed Kirkpatrick did it for the Angels in 1964. The more you know.
Whose idea was it to drill him square in the back? Not Charlie Manuel’s, and he was sure to let Harper know it when the two met yesterday afternoon:
Charlie Manuel met Bryce Harper yesterday before the press conference. The first thing he said to him? "I told that I didn't tell Hamels to hit him," referring to HBP in a May 2012 game in DC. Manuel said Harper laughed.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 3, 2019