Bryce Harper didn't have a single plate appearance in the month of October. But, he was still a topic of discussion.
That's because his former team, which he left last offseason, hoisted the World Series trophy not even a year after his departure. Though the focus should primarily be on the current members of the Washington Nationals who put together one of the most miraculous postseasons in recent history, Harper's narrative was too much to be ignored.
Coming up with the Nationals as a teenager and quickly skyrocketing to a face of Major League Baseball, then leaving in free agency for the NL East rival Phillies didn't sit well with many in the D.C. area.
On a national level, his vibrant, intense personality, paired with the $330 million he'll make over 13 seasons doesn't have many feeling too bad for him when things don't go his way.
So, when the Nationals won the Wild Card, pulled off an upset over the Dodgers, punched their ticket to the World Series and then ultimately won it, the trolls for Harper consistently popped up.
For Harper's current teammate J.T. Realmuto, this hasn't sat too well with him. Spending a season with him in the clubhouse, he's seen the real Harper, who he believes is undeserving of the negativity thrown his way.
"I feel like Harper's one of the most misunderstood people in baseball. Coming in, I wasn't sure what kind of teammate he'd be just because of some of the things I'd heard," Realmuto said on MLB Network on Tuesday. "But the guy's an awesome teammate, goes out and plays the game hard as he can every single night. That's the kind of leader you want on your team."
"I'm not sure why he's the villain in baseball because really, his personality doesn't portray that in the clubhouse," Realmuto continued. "Harper gets a little bit of a bad rap."
To Harper's credit, he's handled all the recent events in a positive manner. There's been no ill-will toward the Nationals, and he even noted that he was cheering along through Washington's October journey.
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