...at least...he does in the video above, which supposedly shows Bryce Harper hitting in a batting cage at the age of 12.
Today, seven years later, Harper arrived in Viera, Florida, for his second Spring Training as a professional. In his meeting with the media, the kid said all the right things, registering an early contender for best quote of the spring:
"I'm going to come in here, work as hard as I can, keep my mouth shut and play."
(Bryce Harper, via Nats Insider, 2/20/2012)
So does keeping his mouth shut mean no more inciting riots on Twitter?
"I’m going to get blown up either way. f I say something right or say something wrong, that’s just how it’s going to be. There’s nothing I can really do about that. Some things, maybe I shouldn’t say. Some things I’ve got to learn from. And there’s some things I should just keep my mouth shut on. I need to grow up in that aspect, I guess. I feel good with what I say and I’m not going to back down with anything. I like interacting with fans and letting them know who I really am. I want everybody to know the real me."
(Bryce Harper, via Washington Times, 2/20/2012)
And so, while we're just lazily copying/pasting quotes, here's Ryan Zimmerman adding a punctuation mark, via Adam Kilgore/Washington Post; and effectively trumping Harper for best quote of the spring:
"I think he’s very misunderstood as a person. I would say part of that is his fault [chuckles] and part of that is – I don’t want to say the media’s fault, because the media is only doing their job. But when you’re as highly touted as he has been since he was 12 years old, no kid should be put through that at 12 years old. I know that’s how our society is now. They’re looking for the next LeBron James or the next A-Rod. People forget he’s 19 years old. He should be a freshman or a sophomore in college. What I always tell people is, just imagine yourself when you were 19 years old and what you were doing: probably getting black-out drunk at a frat party and then waking up the next day and having no responsibilities. Compare that to what he goes through every day as a 19-year-old. Everyone is going to have some troubles dealing with it."
(Ryan Zimmerman, via Nationals, Journal, 2/20/2012)
See you at Wrigley Field on Apil 5, Kid.