Bryce Harper, after a winter of up and down rumors, appears to be heading to Philadelphia.
As the dust settles on the Bryce Harer sweepstakes, the Philadelphia Phillies appear to be pulling away like a bank heist getaway car. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the bottle will stop spinning on the Phillies in the near future and it’s time for seven-to-ten years in heaven.
Despite the offseason hot stove being colder than anticipated, pieces are starting to move. Specifically, the biggest pieces on the board: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Baseball bungled a perfect chance to thrust itself into the national spotlight as two of its brightest superstars are hitting free agency in their prime — an extremely rare thing.
We can talk all day about how this was a missed opportunity that of course baseball missed, but let’s try to move forward. Since we’re putting things to bed, something else that has been talked to death this winter is the endless rumors connecting Harper to everyone from the Yankees to the Cubs, the Phillies to the Dodgers.
It was all manufactured hype meant to make up for the lack of actual hype that petered out once it became clear the Harper sweepstakes would be a marathon. That’s why news that Harper is likely to land in Philly is anticlimactic at best. This should be seismic news that shifts the landscape in baseball, but it’s a glorified footnote. It’s nice to know where Harper is signing, but we should care more than that and we don’t.
We could talk about how Harper fits with the Phillies and what the road map for the next decade is. But most of that has been talked about while we floated in this bogus purgatory waiting for something to happen.
That’s not on the fans for not caring, that’s on baseball for smothering its best chance to capture national attention. But truthfully, is anyone surprised?