Anonymous Nationals Veteran Calls Out Bryce Harper's Hustle and Preparation

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Anonymous Nationals Veteran Calls Out Bryce Harper’s Hustle and Preparation

Chicago Cubs

I guess Nationals players don’t think Bryce Harper is going to be returning to Washington.

I can’t speak to the column itself, which reads like your standard wishcasting upon the departure of a superstar – we’re better without him because now we can be fundamentally sound! – but it’s interesting that an anonymous “prominent” Nationals veteran player was willing to call out Harper in this way, especially before he’s even signed.

Without knowing who that player is, or whether he speaks for others, you can’t say there’s anything to it, but it’s not as if Harper – like Manny Machado – hasn’t had bouts of selective hustle and periodic moments of in-dugout drama. I tend to think that stuff is overblown, and also that selective hustle can actually be a smart technique for preserving the body and effectiveness over the long haul. But it’s out there that at least someone in the Nationals clubhouse wants the world to know what he thinks of Harper’s hustle, preparation, and baseball IQ.

At last check, Harper is reportedly still seeking a contract worth in excess of $300 million, and for a 26-year-old generational superstar, playing at a time of soaring revenues, that doesn’t seem unreasonable. But every little story like this, especially when things are already so frigid, has the potential to sew a little doubt in the minds of executives and owners asked to sign that check.

Of course, it’s also just possible it’s more in-fighting and drama from a Nationals clubhouse that had quite a bit of it last year.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.