(Bryce Harper in NatsTown on Thursday, sans eye black. AP Photo.)
No pressure, kid.
The Nationals introduced Bryce Harper at a news conference in Washington on Thursday before the Nats-Cards game, a welcome distraction on the same day Stephen Strasburg had an arthrogram (MRI) to figure out how messed up his arm is.
For now, Harper will wear #34 for the Nats:
"I always loved Mickey Mantle," Harper said of why he chose No.34. "Three and four equals seven."
(via Nationals Journal, 8/26/2010)
Okay, let's try to ignore that he's on record as saying he'd like to play for the Yankees someday and enjoy the moment. And good to see that even though the kid left high school early, he can still add. But before you rush out and buy your #34 Harper Nationals jersey, Thom Loverro tweeted a guess that Harper will probably switch to #7 eventually:
Harper number 34 -- be surprised if he wears in minors and by time in the majors Pudge will be gone -- then number 7, the Mick
(via @ thomloverro, 8/26/2010)
Harper took batting practice before his presser, and reports of the power display from Nationals Park were, well, positively gushing. Gene Wang of the Washington Post described the scene on Nationals Journal:
...in front of team executives, agent Scott Boras, players from both teams and a throng of media he promptly deposited a pitch into the third deck in right field.
That display of power has been a rarity at Nationals Park. Only Adam Dunn has hit it to that area during a game this season, and Harper is only 17 years old. (via Nationals Journal, 8/26/2010)
Sure, it's only a batting practice session, but it is almost enough to momentarily break up all the gloom and doom that's been hanging around NatsTown since last Saturday.