Bryce Harper appeared on 94 WIP this afternoon with Jon Marks and Ike Reese.

It was… a phenomenal interview. Seriously.

The guy said all of the right things, and it sounded sincere and 100% genuine. It sounds like he really wants to be here, it sounds like he’s very happy with his decision, and it sounds like he’s ready to get started.

Here’s what stood out to me from the discussion:

  • The only team he met with prior to the new year was the White Sox. “Before that, it was nothing, just trying to enjoy my offseason.” Harper wanted to have a normal offseason and met with the Phillies for the first time in the middle of February.
  • Long-term commitment was important to him. He was looking for openness and honesty, which John Middleton and his family displayed.
  • He was understanding of the long and drawn out free agent process and did not expect to sign somewhere right away. That was something agent Scott Boras told him at the beginning of the offseason. Harper says it “wasn’t just about the baseball” and wanted to understand his next city, the schools, hospitals, and everything that comes with a new destination.
  • He believes the team and the fanbase is “craving to win” baseball games.

He gave a very good answer about Philadelphia and his long-term fit here:

“For me, I was able to talk to (Jayson Werth) and kind of get the reference of what was good for him and his family in the city. He just said, for him it was one of the best cities to play in because the fans and the city and culture, it was just all all about sports – Eagles, Sixers, Flyers. It’s a blue-collar community, people work hard, they understand what it takes to work hard, and they’ll you know if you’re playing hard or playing well. That’s something I’m all about, you know? You have to understand where everybody’s coming from. As much as they want to win, I want to win, too. As much as they don’t want to lose, I don’t want to lose either. We’re all in this together.”

More notes after the jump:

  • He had multiple offers of varying lengths, but it came down to the idea of “where can I see myself?” Harper spoke about going through a process of 13 years and did not want to opt-out or get traded. He wants to go through winning and losing and understanding what a team is all about. “When I have kids one day, they’ll be able to say, ‘I’m from Philly.'”
  • Friends and family would send him certain social media and fan-related items during his free agency process, so he was paying attention to some of the things being said, including “Harper Lent,” which was brought to his attention.
  • One of his friends sent him the story about the Phillies clubhouse store running out of the letter ‘R’ for customizable jerseys.
  • The National League East is a “juggernaut.”
  • He says his dad “would kick his ass” if he became complacent while locked into a big money, 13-year contract. “I owe that to the people who played before me… For me it’s about going out and playing the game the right way, respecting your teammates and the people around you.”
  • Harper admitted that having 13 years in a place lets him recruit people to come join him (this was in regard to getting Mike Trout to Philadelphia). “If you don’t think I’m gonna call Mike Trout in 2020, you’re crazy.”

Quality interview, just great stuff all around.

Full audio just went up right here: