When you’re a star–or we know that you’re going to be a star–we as society want to know you more. It’s just the way we are. We want to know you, and as Dave Sheinin notes well in the Washington Post, we want to love you. And we usually want you to love us back.
We assume, just like we did when we thought all the prettiest girls we have ever seen would also be the nicest; that just because you’re the greatest at hitting a fastball that you are also going to be the nicest. In a perfect world that would be the way it would be. But we got a tip from a reader that went to see Bryce Harper in his first spring training. And it suggests that maybe this kid is a dick. Or perhaps he’s still just a kid. Maybe he was having a bad day knowing that he would be sent down.
Here’s what they gave us:
So you think you can get Bryce Harper to sign? Forget about it! This guy is a real immature dickhead. I went to a Nationals Spring Training game today and never felt so irritated about a player not signing.
I decided to watch Harper with the minor league, play a scrimmage game with the opportunity of getting Harper’s autograph afterward. There was only 5 of us wanting his autograph after practice. Five! During the game Harper wasn’t doing so well throwing his helmet around in the dugout after grounding into a double. Next at bat, he had a pop up to the pitcher, decided it was worthy to go Bo Jackson style and break his bat over his knee. His teammates where making him laugh after that…trying to make him happy. He was smiling by the end of practice.
After spending 2.5 hrs in the blazing FL sun, Harper heads out of the dugout as practice is over. He had a golf cart waiting for him to take him so he wouldn’t have to deal with people(all five of us). His teammate said, “Harper you need a cart? What happen? Did you break your legs?” LOL. He then chose to walk to the clubhouse after that comment. A fan asked, “Mr.Harper can you please sign?” his reply…”Oh, I have a meeting..”. My ass. I couldn’t believe it. I was getting another players autograph and I said to him,” I’m glad someone remembers the fans.” The player replied back to me “He better learn fast to respect his fans or he going to lose a lot of respect.”
I can’t believe I was going to waste a perfectly nice OMLB ball on this jerk.
This isn’t an isolated incident. It’s definitely pattern behavior. And for whatever the reason, young autograph seekers already feel the hopelessness in chasing Harper’s signature. He might like Mickey Mantle as his favorite player of the game’s past, but he doesn’t sign as easily as Mickey did.
My young cousin was recently telling me about all the autographs he got in spring training this year. Then we got into a conversation about all the guys he’s gotten in the past. It’s quite a list. Name a good young ballplayer or a guy in his prime, and my cousin’s probably got his signature on something. He’s just a natural at getting stuff signed. He got Jay Bruce’s signature on a ball for us pretty easily after learning that I wanted one.
I asked him if he had Bryce Harper’s or if he was going to get Harper’s soon. His reply? “No way man. He won’t sign anything, he’s a dick. It’s not going to happen.”
It’s interesting the perception that the public has of this kid at this stage in the game. Bryce should work to rectify this, because if he doesn’t know it already, the clients are the business in this case.
Update: Another Harper story from Spring Training rolls in.
2 of my friends (husband and wife) have been to Viera almost everyday trying to get Harper (atleast 15 times). He HARDLY EVER SIGNS unless you are a woman/showing your goods or a young child.
One of the days he FINALLY stopped to sign for her (mind you she was wearing a tube top) and she got Harper’s auto and her husband said can you sign for me as well.
He said to him “NO” and when he said you just signed for her, his response was “She has something you don’t have.” and then took off.
Now, I wasn’t there to witness it, but i saw her autographed SI and he had nothing signed.