Yes, the Bryce Harper saga is painful, but it doesn’t mean the Phillies or the fans should bow out.
After thinking the Bryce Harper sweepstakes was finally on the verge of ending last week Phillies fans got a rude awakening Monday morning with the news that Harper met with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
News of the Dodgers visit comes after Phillies owner John Middleton spent several days with Harper, his wife, and agent Scott Boras in Las Vegas.
Phillies fans have been practically guaranteed that they would finish the offseason with either Harper or Manny Machado, who signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres that general manager Matt Klentak said “exceed our valuation” of the superstar infielder.
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It’s been almost five months since the Phils played their last regular season game and many projected Harper would be on their next regular season lineup card. Fan expectations have been high this offseason and to say trouting out Nick Williams or Aaron Altherr in right field on March 28 is disappointing would be an understatement.
However, just because the process to sign Harper to a deal that will likely make him the highest-paid athlete in the history of North American sports continues to drag on, it doesn’t mean fans should start rejecting Harper.
This entire process has been a tough one to trust, and there is a multitude of parties you can blame, but everyone bickering about it would do the same thing, and that’s to try and maximize their earnings when it might be their only shot to get a contract of this magnitude.
Yes, I agree with the sentiment around the Phillies fanbase that we’re all sick of the process, but are we going to say these things if Harper hits a walk-off home run, plays at an MVP caliber level, or wins a championship? Absolutely not, we’re going to say he was worth every penny John Middleton dished out because at the end of the day, it’s not our money being spent.
Is paying Harper $375 million ridiculous when you take the money out of context? Absolutely, but you’re paying for more than the player, you’re paying for the show that comes with him.
Just because the process is taking longer than some thought doesn’t mean fans won’t buy Harper jerseys, t-shirts, or tickets to games. It’ll be the complete opposite and fans will flock to the park to watch one of the great players the game has to offer in our city.
Trust the process.