Zimmerman says he's still good friends and respects Bryce Harper


During Wednesday night's Phillies victory over the Nationals, the broadcast captured former Washington star and current Philadelphia outfielder Bryce Harper chopping it up with Ryan Zimmerman after he reached first base.

Seeing that did not sit right with some Nationals fans, as Harper leaving Washington for Philadelphia still leaves a bitter taste. Even though he's now in his third year with the Phillies, Harper has still been booed by the limited crowd at Nationals Park this week.

On Thursday, Zimmerman joined the Sports Junkies and was asked about what it is like to talk to Harper during the game. The 16-year veteran said he uses that brief time to catch up with his longtime friend.

"When you've played for someone that long, we're good friends still," Zimmerman said. "We talk more about your kids, our family and things like that other than baseball."

The two spent seven years together as teammates with the Nationals, so it makes plenty of sense how they still have a friendship with one another. 

Zimmerman understands why Harper is still not liked by Nationals fans, too. After all, Harper did leave Washington for one of its NL East rivals.

However, Zimmerman is not going to let Harper's career decision impact his friendship with the Phillies outfielder.

"I understand he's still a polarizing figure for many in this area, to say the least. But I respect him as a player," Zimmerman said.


"Obviously, business decisions are business decisions. A lot of things go into that," he continued. "But I do respect him. I mean, what am I going to hold against him? I didn't offer him any money. He didn't turn me down."

In the Phillies win over Washington on Tuesday, Harper hit his first home run in eight games. As he rounded first base, Harper twirled his finger in the same motion umpires do to signal a home run, letting the Washington fans know about it.

Zimmerman was asked about that specific play as well and said gestures like that are where baseball wants the game to go.

"That's the 'Let the Kids Play' crap," Zimmerman said. "You got Marcell Ozuna has been taking selfies, he's been doing that for two years. This is where they want the game to go. This is what's supposed to make you guys want to watch baseball more."