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The biggest flaw in Harper's game

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07:12 AM ET 05.15 | Young Bryce Harper wanted to know how bad it was. He kept asking Denard Span, the first person who reached Harper on Monday night after he ran chin-first into right field wall at Dodger Stadium. ... Harper listed off what hurt the day after: "Both legs. Shoulder. Ribs. Hand. Wrist. Chin, of course." ... Harper can do just about anything he wants on a baseball diamond, but at 20 and still learning the outfield, he lacks the instinct to protect himself. Harper's utter abandon helps make him the player he is, helps separate him from so many others. It also may endanger his long-term prospects and threaten the Hall of Fame career earmarked for him since his youth.

The Washington Post

Bryce Harper, Icon Sports Bryce Harper, Icon Sports
May 15, 2013  08:20 AM ET

Don't be another Pete Reiser...

May 15, 2013  08:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Don't be another Pete Reiser...

But, by the same token you can't inhinit his instincts to excel out there. It can be a fine line between reckless abandon and exteme hustle to make a difficult play that sometimes defines a superior player in the field.

May 15, 2013  08:43 AM ET

I haven't seen a lot of Nats games, but what I have seen of Harper is impressive. It's like he is a machine designed purely to play baseball. He just needs some minor adjustments to his programming.

May 15, 2013  08:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I haven't seen a lot of Nats games, but what I have seen of Harper is impressive. It's like he is a machine designed purely to play baseball. He just needs some minor adjustments to his programming.

If he keeps crashing into walls he's going to be bionic before too long.

Comment #5 has been removed
May 15, 2013  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Don't be another Pete Reiser...

Or Bump Bailey...

May 15, 2013  09:52 AM ET

He's got to go through the various scenarios in his head and understand what are good risks to take and what are bad risks to take. Not being aware of where you are in the outfield, ignoring the fact that you're on the warning track is a bad one. Being aware of being on the warning track not only would help you avoid the kind of collision that is comparable to a car accident, it may also help you to make the play by letting you know you may need to jump to catch the ball soon. I hope he adjusts his game like he needs to without going too far the other way.

May 15, 2013  10:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

But, by the same token you can't inhinit his instincts to excel out there. It can be a fine line between reckless abandon and exteme hustle to make a difficult play that sometimes defines a superior player in the field.

He still needs to learn how to play the outfield. The "route" he took, if you can call it that, to get the ball was a joke. He was turned around and had no idea where he was on the field. Give the kid time to learn and he'll be ok out there.

May 15, 2013  10:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

He still needs to learn how to play the outfield. The "route" he took, if you can call it that, to get the ball was a joke. He was turned around and had no idea where he was on the field. Give the kid time to learn and he'll be ok out there.

His internal GPS must be all screwed up.

May 15, 2013  11:08 AM ET

It's like I tell my kids:

If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

May 15, 2013  11:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

It's like I tell my kids: If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

Hopefully he's not dumber than he is tough.

May 15, 2013  11:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Or Bump Bailey...

Nice. You beat me to it.

May 15, 2013  11:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

He still needs to learn how to play the outfield. The "route" he took, if you can call it that, to get the ball was a joke. He was turned around and had no idea where he was on the field. Give the kid time to learn and he'll be ok out there.

From what I saw - the initial jump was off - then the ball carried very well.... And then he was disoriented. Of course - the warning track is there for a reason.... to warn players they are near the fence..... so - he took two full strides on the track before he clobbered the fence (and it clobbered him). Next time - I think he'll pull up when the first foot hits the dirt.

May 15, 2013  11:48 AM ET

Another slow day around here.

May 15, 2013  11:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Another slow day around here.

No kidding.

May 15, 2013  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

No kidding.

How are you today Lou?

May 15, 2013  12:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

How are you today Lou?

Doing alright. Lunch break for a short bit.... have a meeting later and will be lighting up out of here about 1300.

May 15, 2013  12:06 PM ET

Liked the Lasorda/Rose quip on the Dusty Ball thread.

May 15, 2013  12:09 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

It's like I tell my kids: If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

Mr. Tyson??? Is that you?

 
May 15, 2013  12:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Hopefully he's not dumber than he is tough.

You guys have a pretty good club this year.

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