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Bryce Harper wore a hat that read “Make Baseball Fun Again” after Monday’s game

Bryce Harper

In this photo taken Oct. 1, 2015, Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) bats against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game in Atlanta. Harper is a lot of things, namely the Washington Nationals’ best player and the reigning National League MVP. One thing he’s not is a leader. Harper arrived at Nationals spring training early and quietly took his place in the corner of the clubhouse with Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa. Even after being a unanimous MVP selection, the 23-year-old Harper would rather leave the leadership to those veterans. (AP Photo/John Amis)

AP

Update (9:12 PM EST): Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post put up a picture:

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The Nationals beat the Braves 4-3 at Turner Field in Monday’s Opening Day contest. Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a solo home run, picking up right where he left off.

Harper made waves last month when ESPN ran a feature in their magazine about him. In that feature, Harper was quoted as saying, “Baseball is a tired sport because you can’t express yourself.” He was referring to young players such as himself, Jose Fernandez, and Yasiel Puig who have received criticism for the way they play the game. Harper has also been subject to violence twice in his brief playing career, as Cole Hamels intentionally threw a baseball at him and teammate Jonathan Papelbon choked him in the Nats’ dugout near the end of the regular season last year. Both Hamels and Papelbon defended themselves, more or less saying that they were trying to teach the young Harper the right way to play the game.

Harper’s comments were the main topic of conversation for a while after that piece in ESPN ran. Giants reliever Sergio Romo even told Harper to “shut up”.

Taking the whole situation in good humor, Harper wore a trucker hat that read “Make Baseball Fun Again” after Monday’s game as he prepared to speak to the media, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Chase Hughes reports. That ostensibly references Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again.”

It’s good to see that Harper hasn’t been weighed down by the whole situation and is able to have a good sense of humor about it.

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