(Video above: Is that the next Bryce Harper? Has he signed with Boras yet?)
MASN Sports dot com's Byron Kerr scored an exclusive interview with Bryce Harper yesterday; after a few listens, we're convinced that Scott Boras is almost finished brainwashing "coaching up" his client. Should've known that would be the case the day we realized the Bryce Harper Watch was officially on in D.C., but we're still a little surprised at how deftly the kid follows the Boras script.
With that said, Kerr's interview is worth a listen or two by Nats fans. A few of our favorite outtakes from the interview follow: the most blatant examples of Scott Boras's brainwashing techniques in action.
On playing junior college ball for the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes:
"I've always wanted to be a Coyote since I was young..."
Oh come on. Cut the crap you little snot-nosed punk!
On potentially being drafted #1 by the Nationals in 2010:
"That would be awesome, being the number one draft pick... but that's not really on my mind right now."
Oh, sure! But if that was true, you'd be still sitting around with your finger in your nose in homeroom every morning.
But the best worst line of all was this during exchange with MASN's Kerr:
Kerr (MASN): "Would you like to catch for him (Strasburg)? Would that be something ...really cool for you to do?"
Haper: "Oh, that would be really special, being able to catch him, another Boras guy. Heh. Being able to catch a guy who throws 103 miles per hour. You now you don't get that every day.
You know what? Screw you, kid. We'll take that 6 year old in the Little League video above, thank you very much. Unless he's already signed with Boras, too.
On a related note, courtesy of Mike Axisa of Yes Network's River Ave Blues blog, there's speculation from Baseball America's Jim Callis on an ESPN chat yesterday that Harper (who is on record saying he'd like to play in Pinstripes some day) could drop out of the first round of next June's draft -- crumbling under the pressure of all the hype. Here's the exchange - the question came in from a (Nats fan?) guy from South Africa (!?):
Tim (Durban South Africa):
Could Nationals go with Taillon or Ranaudo over Harper?
Jim Callis (2:12 PM):
Sure they could. I'll do a column on this at some point, but I don't think it's far-fetched to conceive of Bryce Harper falling out of the first round. It's going to be almost impossible to live up to the hype, and if he falls short and is looking for big money--is Strasburg's contract a starting point--he may scare off clubs, who know he can re-enter the 2011 and 2012 drafts and still have lots of leverage. It's also possible that after spending $15.1 million on Strasburg, the Nationals don't want to spend huge money on another No. 1 overall pick.
So there's that. Maybe all this Bryce Harper Sweepstakes talk will all be for naught. Mike Rizzo gets that last word - this was his take on Harper via an end-of-season Q&A via Nationals Journal back on October 5th:
Q:Last year, you guys finished with the worst record and it was almost a given you'd draft Stephen Strasburg. Next year's draft, is it a given that Bryce Harper is your guy?
Rizzo:No. I'm just saying it's not a given. I haven't seen him yet, and he certainly hasn't separated himself like Strasburg did last year.