Phillies

So far, Bryce Harper likes the food and the fans in Philly

So far, Bryce Harper likes the food and the fans in Philly

Bryce Harper arrived at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon two for two in the win column and …

“Restaurant-wise, I’m seven for seven,” he said.

Harper arrived in Philadelphia a week ago Monday night along with his teammates.

So far, he said, the experience has been great. Wins on the field, adulation from the stands and good food in the city.

“Every place I’ve looked at and went to has been good,” he said. “I want to keep that going.”

Most of all he wants to keep the wins going.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves in the first two games of the season, both in front of raucous, sellout crowds.

“It’s been a lot of fun to come into a clubhouse where everyone’s arms have been opened,” Harper said before Sunday night’s series finale. “I’ve said it before, but it’s true. We’ve had a lot of fun as a team the past couple days.

“As a team, as a group, we were super excited and thrilled to be able to go out there and have the fans behind us. Thursday was great, yesterday was great. Just the way they’ve been showing up and supporting us — we want to be as good as we can be for this fan base. That’s what they expect.”

Harper said he was not surprised by the early fan support.

“I don't think so, just because they're such good fans,” he said. “They understand the game. They understand sports and their city. You see Eagles games, Sixers games, how supportive they are of all these teams. To be able to have them come into the Bank and really cheer us on and do what they know how to do, it's an advantage for us to have the fan base that we have and it puts the other team on a little bit of needles. It's a lot of fun.”

Harper crushed a 465-foot home run on Saturday and was lured out of the dugout for a curtain call. He thrust his arms skyward and shouted, “Let’s go!” with an unprintable word in the middle. The guy is intense and he likes the intensity that the fans have shown.

“It makes you want to be so good,” he said. “It makes you want to be that much better of a ballplayer. It makes you want to work hard, it makes you want to play hard. If we can match that intensity in the city with our team, then it's going to make us that much better.”

Manager Gabe Kapler has been impressed with the way Harper has “owned” his entry in Philadelphia.

“He's connected with people,” Kapler said. “He's connected with people in the ballpark. He's connected with his teammates. He's connected with the coaching staff. He's connected with the city. He's connected with the fans. And he knew that yesterday after that home run was a perfect opportunity to further establish that relationship and he did a great job with that.

“I think the concept that we, the Phillies, are in a partnership with the city is something that Bryce embraces. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I believe he sees these opportunities to connect with the fans because they are an extension of our team. And good, excited energy in this city, in theory, can lead to better results. It doesn't work that way if you don't have talent. But given that we have a pretty talented club, it's possible that Bryce sees that connection as helping the Phillies win and making the people in Philadelphia feel good. I think he sees a big picture like that.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

Jeopardy has been home to some great moments regarding Philadelphia sports in the past.

 I wish this was another one of these moments ... but it's not.

 It turns out, the show's host host Alex Trebek isn't a big fan of the Phillie Phanatic ... I know, I'm hurt too.


 The Phillies are in disbelief, we all are.
 
 Of course, fans had quite the reaction to the video that surfaced on social media. After all, the Phanatic is the best mascot in all of sports (totally unbiased, of course).




 

I don't even want to know what he thinks about Gritty.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies


 

Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Right around the time the Washington Nationals were clinching their World Series berth this week, a guy who left that team to come play in Philadelphia posted a cute photo to his Instagram story with his baby son. It included the caption, "cuddle time is the best time."

I made light of the juxtaposition of that photo with what Nationals players were currently doing in a tongue-in-cheek tweet, but it's hard not to think about Bryce Harper during this Nationals run.

We know exactly how Nationals fans down in DC feel about their former favorite slugger who departed DC for big time bucks. They won't stop telling us.

But what was Harper feeling? Thanks to a one-on-one interview Harper did with Jayson Stark of the Athletic, we now have a glimpse into Harper's mind during this unique time.

Stark says Harper was effusive in his praise of the city of Philadelphia during their chat. And the majority of Harper's answers are very savvy in a public relations sense. Harper is good at saying what you think he's supposed to say. But it doesn't come off as disingenuous.

Stark asked Harper if he was feeling any jealousy watching his old pals spray champagne in the locker room and his answer comes off as pretty honest. From the Athletic ($):

“No,” he said again, without a millisecond’s hesitation, “because like I said, I made my decision, and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.

“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am,” he went on, “and not saying to myself, `Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, `Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous.’ No. I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”

There's plenty more to the piece worth diving into. Stark also spoke with former National/Phillie Jayson Werth, who knows a thing or two about both cities/clubs and also what it's like to play alongside Harper.

The Nationals' opponent in the World Series is yet to be set, but whether it's the Nationals, New York Yankees or Houston Astros who are spraying champagne at the end of it, you won't see Harper doing that. Unless he and his little baby pop up in his Instagram stories getting wacky.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies