When was the last time you saw Bryce Harper this fired up off the field?
Harper joined Barstool's Starting 9 podcast with Dallas Braden and Jared Carrabis this week and one of the topics that came up during the two-hour interview was Olympic baseball.
Harper was adamant that major-leaguers should be representing their countries, calling the status quo a "travesty."
The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo will feature baseball for the first time since the 2008 games. Previously, major-leaguers on 40-man rosters were not permitted to compete, with top minor-leaguers playing instead (such as Roy Oswalt and Ben Sheets in 2000 just before they reached the bigs, for example).
Here was Harper's impromptu, impassioned take:
"You wanna grow the game? You wanna really take it to different countries and different places? You put the baseball back into the Olympics but let the big-league players play. Can you imagine being in a foreign country standing on the line listening to your anthem blare? Dude, there is nothing better, it fires me up sitting here. There's nothing better, bro. U.S.A. across your chest, just absolutely put a pounding on [another] country and you're standing there saying, 'What's up?'
"It is such a travesty to me — I'm not saying this as disrespect to minor-leaguers — the (2021) Olympics are in Tokyo, and you're not sending big-league guys? Are you kidding me? You wanna grow the game as much as possible and you're not gonna let us play in the Olympics because you don't wanna cut out on money for a two-week period? Like, OK, that's dumb.
"Can you imagine walking into the Olympic village or you're walking into frickin' opening night ... I am so fired up right now."
"And (the fans) are sitting there watching in the States. You're going, this is the best baseball in the world. ... This is the world. You have (Shohei) Ohtani going back and playing for Japan and facing Mike Trout. Just imagine that. Hopefully, Trout goes deep 900 feet in the Tokyo Dome. Those are the situations that you're sitting there going, we have to get back into the Olympics.
"The 2021 Olympics are next year. Why not shock the world and put all your big-leaguers back in it?"
Harper threw the video up on his Instagram, asking who else is in. It didn't take long for his teammate/buddy/favorite player J.T. Realmuto to back him up.