Phillies: Bryce Harper Says He Never Intended to Play in All-Star Game

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Phillies star Bryce Harper says he wouldn’t have played in the All-Star Game this year.

Philadelphia Phillies fans have been upset that their superstar, Bryce Harper, did not make the All-Star squad this year.

Harper had a hot April to start the season (.321 AVG, 6 HR), but injuries slammed on the brakes for him in May, and he was only able to play 15 games. He went on the IL after the May 22 game and did not return to the lineup until June 5. Overall, though, his numbers are certainly comparable to other NL outfielders who did make the roster.

Harper has also been on an absolute tear lately. Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting .324/.381/.757 with a 1.138 OPS, five homers, 10 RBI, a double, and a pair of stolen bases. Over the first five games of the month, Harper has hit two homers, including his first multi-run homer of the season on Tuesday night.

In the first two games of the ongoing Cubs series, he has six hits, the aforementioned home run, four RBI, and four runs scored.

All this to say, Harper probably should’ve been an All-Star.

Unfortunately for fans, it doesn’t really matter, because Harper says he wouldn’t have taken part in the festivities this year anyway. After Tuesday night’s win, he told the media:

"“I probably wouldn’t have went anyway. I wanted to enjoy my family. Really, I’ve been dealing with my back, I’ve been dealing with my shoulder, things like that, so I probably would have taken a break from it and enjoyed my family and took some down time.” – Harper"

When he was asked to clarify, Harper reiterated that had he been selected, he would have declined All-Star honors.

It’s worth noting that during the shortened 2020 season, players were able to be with their families for more of the year than usual, a rare bright spot in a dark time. But after the extended offseason, MLB’s COVID protocols during the 60-game season kept players’ families out of the ballparks, and many families even opted not to go with their ballplayer to their team’s city when the season began in July.

Like many players, Harper is looking forward to spending the All-Star break with his family. He and his wife Kayla welcomed their second child last fall, meaning the Harpers have two kids under the age of two. His teammate Jean Segura, another player Phillies fans wanted to represent them at the All-Star Game, also said he was looking forward to spending the break with his family.

Going back to a full season has also been taxing on major leaguers, and there have been injuries abound. No one should blame Harper for prioritizing R&R and family. After all, it’s just a game.

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