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Friday, December 3, 2021

Philly Favorite: Bryce Harper Wins NLMVP Award

Bryce Harper knew how to love himself to the locals when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. He signed a contract without an opt-out clause, showing loyalty to the city that demands it. He left the hated Dallas Cowboys and adopted the Eagles as his favorite football team. He forged a bromance with the city’s most beloved creature, the Philly Fanatic, paying regular tribute to the mascot with headbands, cleats, and even a green sport coat.

“It’s a blast playing baseball every day in this great city,” Harper said on Thursday night. To be a great player every night. ,

In fact, the easiest way to the hearts of any fan base is to be the best player in the league. Baseball writers testified to it for Harper on Thursday, voting him the winner of the National League’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time of his career and his first vote as Philly.

Harper, a right fielder, took 17 firsts out of 30, ahead of Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, who had six, and Fernando Tatis of the San Diego Padres, who had two. Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants got the first four votes but finished fourth in total points.

As well as Harper played, the Phillies finished 82–80 and missed the playoffs to extend their drought to 10 seasons. The American League MVP, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, also played for a team that missed the post season. It is quite common for one of the MVPs to miss the playoffs, but this was the first non-strike year since 1987 in which both failed to do so.

The Phillies, which finished six and a half games behind Atlanta in the NL East, would not have struggled without Harper at all. Coming back from the Cardinals’ loss to Genesis Cabrera in St. Louis on April 28, he played every game in the second half. Harper missed seven of the Phillies’ next eight games and struggled several times to regain his form.

“Everyone goes through ups and downs in a season; I was getting hit with a 97 mph fastball in my up and down cheeks, and then it was banging and tapping into my wrists,” Harper said. “I think that for me, once in my face hurt. After, I was kind of like: ‘Oh, I’m great, I’m fine, I’m smacking my face, I’m fine to be back,’ not knowing that maybe it was a little too early. I had to take a break and understand that my wrists were still hurting, my face and my mental state was probably not the best.”

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Harper was passed over for a spot on the NL All-Star team, but he rested with the family and then penalized opponents with 1.188 OPS – compared to .684 for all the other Phillies. Overall, Harper led the Majors in Ops (1.044) and Doubles (42), while batting at .309 with 35 homers and 13 stolen bases.

He is the sixth Phillies player after Chuck Klein, Jim Constanti, Mike Schmidt, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins to win the MVP. With another decade left on his 13-year $330 million contract, Harper, who turned 29 last month, has time to join Schmidt, the only player to win more than one for the Phillies. Huh. Schmidt – who won in 1980, 1981 and 1986 – announced the award for Harper on MLB Network.

It was Harper’s best of three seasons in Philadelphia, but all has been strong. Since joining the Phillies, he is one of only three players — along with Soto and Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman — to have both a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage while playing at least 300 games.

Yet while Soto and Freeman have helped their teams win titles in that time frame, Phillips largely ruined Harper’s performance. Hampered by a thin farming system, shaky defense and a weak bullpen, the Phillies have made 191–193 runs since signing him. But Harper is optimistic.

“Having teammates I have, knowing that I’m going to be with Rhys Hoskins for a long time, knowing that I’m going to be with Jack Wheeler for a long time, JT Realmuto for a long time, These are the people I want to be with on a daily basis,” Harper said. “I think we move on from each other.”

This week brought news that another star is set to stay at Red Pinstripe for a while. On Tuesday, the Phillies settled a lawsuit with the designers of Fnatic, allowing the team to bring the mascot back to its original glory: furry, flabby, and a friend of MVP.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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