Thursday, February 28, 2019
Bryce to Meet You
Just a general thing: Typically when Philadelphia is the frontrunner for something...they don't usually get it.
Not just with baseball, with anything. I don't care if they're the Front-Runner to get LeBron James, or the front-runner to get a Super Bowl played at the Linc, or the front-runner to have one of the Obama kids go to school here. What usually happens is because we're the front-runner, someone else with better credentials uses our early lead to craft a better sales pitch and let Philly leave empty-handed. This almost always happens.
Alternatively, when we DO get things, like a Super Bowl, a World Series, Jim Thome, etc, we're never the expected target for it. We're always an underdog, never a front-runner.
...'til now, that is. Because last week, we were the front-runner in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. And today, somehow, we got him.
And I was worried, too...because once we were announced as front-runner, the Dodgers, who didn't need him but can make deals like this work, and the Giants, who I always figured were going to sign him anyway, reentered the race. And yesterday I was like 'if it hasn't happened by now, the Phils have screwed it up.'
And yet it still happened. Because the Phils made a deal for 330 million over 13 years, meaning Bryce Harper will be a Philadelphia Phillie until 2032...the year I turn 37 years old, for anyone wondering.
Really the only way this can be a guaranteed win for everybody is if Bryce Harper ups his game. Because with all of the good work he's done, even with his MVP and ROY, he's had some down years, and he's had some years where he's ballooned his average and struck out too many times. So if he wants to keep the fanbase on his side, which is very tricky in Philly, he needs to play like a pro for the entirety of this deal. Or, alternatively, have multiple MVP seasons, cement a HOF status, and pull a Miguel Cabrera and spend the rest of the deal sitting on it.
Whatever happens now is up to Bryce Harper. I'd love for him to finally see a postseason win, and perhaps a World Series, with this new and improved Phillies team. But it's not just on us; it's on him as well. And I hope he realizes how much work he needs to put in to make this deal work for everyone.
Obviously I'm overjoyed, but I'm aware of the chance of failure. And I hope we avoid it.