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Harper gets first Philly experience

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Harper gets first Philly experience

Bryce Harper was grabbing a bat before Mondays game, ready for batting practice, when a Citizens Bank Park employee turned to him and said, you know, youre going to be one that Philly fans hate for a long time. The 19-year-old phenom laughed and turned to say, I hope so, before running out to take some swings.

Bryce Harper cant help the perception of him around the league, an assumption by opposing fans and even some players that he is some sort of bad guy. He was even booed in Los Angeles in his first professional game, unprecedented in todays world of sports. LeBron James and Alex Ovechkin get booed on the road all the time, but neither got it in their rookie years.

Harper seems to accept the role, however, perhaps a result of him being booed when he was in the minors. But Philadelphia Phillies fans are different than, say, those of the Hickory Crawdads. The Nats outfielder was booed each time he stepped to the plate on Monday, each time he made a defensive play, and when he stole a base in the fourth inning.

When Im walking to the plate Im not really thinking about the boos, Im just trying to think about what Im going to do this at-bat. But you can still hear everything, it really echoes out there, he said.

Harper played his first game at Citizens Bank Park in Philly on Monday, a unique experience for any professional athlete. Most opposing players are booed, but to be their central focus must be a different experience.

It is a good ballpark to play in and it gets really loud. Even if they dont have that many people in the stands it gets very loud. I think if they had had a packed house it would get a little louder, he said.

The Phillies crowd was an announced sellout but was clearly affected by the rainy weather. Harper though will have plenty of opportunities to hear them in full force as he continues his career.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.