Harper practiced bunting before winning Home Run Derby

Brian Tinsman
July 16, 2018 - 10:57 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


It is not crazy if it works, and Bryce Harper showed why bunting in the batting cage before the final round of the Home Run Derby is actually the smart thing to do.

Afterwards, he went out and won the Derby with 19 bombs, one more than Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber.

While it may seem silly, Harper probably used the exercise to focus on contact. Or maybe he was just bored.

He also focused on his game face, which may still need a little work:

Again, it's not crazy if it works, and it definitely worked for Harper on Monday night:

Harper became just the third player to ever win the Home Run Derby at his home ballpark, joining Todd Frazier from 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990. He also helped the largely inexperienced field of hitters put together the greatest derby in history: 221 homers, passing the 203 at Petco Park in 2016.

Reactions from the media were widespread, but we'll highlight three takes the sum it up best:

Grant Paulsen: "Bryce Harper yelling about how much he loves the crowd. Pointing to the Nationals logo praising the organization. His manager on field lifting him up. [Teammates Max> Scherzer and [Sean> Doolittle jumping around like kids. Great night for the Nats."

Chelsea Janes: "There is no doubt in my mind that DC needed this moment to remember why it fell in love with Bryce Harper...and that Bryce Harper needed this moment to remember that he's still the guy they fell in love with."

Craig Hoffman: "That was worth the wait. What a show. What an athlete. Being at home. Being with his dad. This is what we love about sports. As for the elephant in the room, there are worse things that can happen for Harper’s long-term Nats prospects than him loving on Dave’s Martinez, expressing his love for DC and genuinely having an amazing time."

Before the Nats even suit up for the All-Star Game on Tuesday, the Nationals and D.C. have already had their signature hosting moment. With all eyes on Nationals Park, this is as good as it gets.


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