I got excited today when I found out that my favorite writer Will Leitch had interviewed my favorite Major League Baseball prospect Bryce Harper for GQ.
The post appears with the sub-header “Is Baseball Ready for Bryce?” as part of GQ’s MLB season preview. The ‘interview’ opens up with Harper dropping an F-bomb as he takes batting practice.
As I tried to decipher what kind of portrait Leitch was attempting to show us of Harper, I realized why I am so intrigued by this guy. And thus is Leitch’s point on Harper in a nutshell–the kid is so interesting that we have something really big right on the cusp that we’re about to get to study day by day, season over season. If you think Harper is a good source for eclectic quotes now, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s because we don’t know who Bryce Harper is yet. Bryce Harper doesn’t know who he is yet.
I wonder why a player who is devout enough in his faith to have custom inscriptions of ‘LUKE 1:37’ on each bat he owns would be found dropping consistent F-bombs within ear shot of an interviewing writer who he knows is going to print it. Is it because Harper is young? Could it be because he’s fake or is it because he’s actually so real? Is Bryce still finding his way or is he carefully shaping his image already, crafting exactly the guy we want to see? Is this the Harper we’ll see at age 29?
He seems to be in part historian, sprinkling in that he wants to play the game; our game, like Pete Rose. This is where I love Harper beyond the tools and the 80 grades and the scouting reports. I believe he genuinely loves the game and appreciates the throwback roots of it’s premise. When Harper takes the field, I think he’s going to play the game harder than most superstars.
Harper seems to know how much interest we carry in him already. And because of this interest that continues to grow in each of us with every passing day in regards to Harper, we should be happy. It seems like he’s going to be ready to embrace so long as we’re ready to have fun with it and receive it here in a short while.