Will the Nats Park boo birds come for Bryce Harper again?

Josh Luckenbaugh
June 17, 2019 - 9:02 am

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies are coming to town for a huge four-game series against the Nationals this week, and you know what that means: Bryce Harper is back in D.C. 

The last time Harper and the Phillies came to Nationals Park back on April 2, the former Nats slugger was met with a thunderous chorus of boos. 

The boos turned to cheers when Max Scherzer struck out Harper in his first two at-bats. But Harper ultimately got the last laugh that night, hitting a monstrous home run followed by an even more emphatic bat flip, the Phillies beating the Nats 8-2. 

Washington earned a series split with a 9-8 win the next day, but Harper's bat flip remains the lasting image from that initial visit. But how will he be received this time around? Does the hate in Nats fans' hearts still burn as brightly as it did two months ago?

"I think people are still jealous and bitter and angry, yeah I think he's still gonna get booed," said Eric "EB" Bickel of The Sports Junkies Monday. "It's not gonna be as vociferous, (but) I think he'll get booed here for the rest of his career."

"I think the fact that he's still going to be with the Phillies because he has a no-trade clause, I think he's just gonna get booed every time," added John "Cakes" Auville.

"I think it dissipates," John-Paul "JP" Flaim countered. "I think people are already over it."

Regardless of his reception, Harper returns to Nats Park in the midst of a rather pedestrian season. He's tied for 14th in the MLB with 49 RBI, but he's hitting just .247 and has the second-most strikeouts in all of baseball with 91. 

"We should be cheering him, the guy's only hitting .240!" EB joked. "We should be excited when he's up at the plate."

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