I just read on a big-time sports periodical Web site that Bryce Harper won't make the majors this year.
Be still, my heart.
C'mon, the idea that the Nationals would rush Harper to the bigs at 18, having never played a full professional season, has never really been on the table. Sure, he's a precocious talent. A once-every-generation-or-so player. But there's no reason to have him in the opening day lineup. None whatsoever.
Harper will most assuredly start the year in Single-A, and, if I'm running the Hagerstown franchise, I'm sure-as-shootin' expecting that Harper will wear a Suns uniform for at least a few weeks. Then on to Single-A Potomac for a spell, and maybe finish the year at Double-A Harrisburg, if all goes as predicted. Let the minor league operators sell some tickets, for crying out loud.
In a couple of years, I think, it will be fairly obvious that the Nationals picked a pretty good time to have two abysmal seasons in a row. Between Harper and Stephen Strasburg the Nationals have two players who - rehab permitting - figure to be household names, sooner rather than later.
If you want to see both of them now, grab a plane to Orlando, rent a car and drive about an hour to Viera, Fla. If that's not in the cards, wait for March 30 and go to the NatsFest at the ballpark. It's been hinted that, even if Harper's been sent out, there's a good chance they'll bring him to Nats Park that day.
By the way, I'll be there with some stuff from my basement, including some historic Washington uniforms and bats. No white gloves are necessary, but I'd appreciate it you abstain from eating barbecued ribs before you check 'em out.
I'm getting a little antsy about Florida, myself. I'll be in Viera from March 9-15, so if you're around, please say hello.