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Bryce Harper texted Nationals manager to encourage him during World Series run


Bryce Harper made six All-Star teams while with the Nationals. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

When the Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series, many in the baseball world wondered what was going through the mind of Bryce Harper.

After spending the first seven years of his career as the face of the emerging franchise, he sat at home and watched his former teammates win a title. Many celebrated the Nationals title victory by mocking Harper’s slip of the tongue during his introductory press conference with the Phillies when he said, “We wanna bring a title back to D.C.” 

It’s a tough situation that can test the limits of anyone’s humility. But according to Nationals manager Dave Martinez, Harper could not have been more supportive of his former teammates and manager during the postseason run.

Martinez appeared on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Podcast with Buster Olney to talk about the Nationals World Series run along with how Harper supported him.

“He was awesome,” Martinez said. “He texted me a few times to say, ‘Hey, good luck. You guys got this. Go get’em. I believe in you guys.’”

In the midst of the postseason run, Jayson Stark of The Athletic asked Harper how he felt about watching his former club hoist the trophy without him there. 

“They made their decision, and I made my decision as well,” Harper said. “I made the best decision for my family. And I am so happy to be in Philly. It’s the place that I wanted to be.” When asked if he had any sort of jealousy in him about the Nationals winning it all, Harper did not hesitate to say no. 

“Like I said, I made my decision and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.”

Martinez also spoke highly of Harper’s character on Olney’s podcast. 

“That made me feel really good,” Martinez said. “He’s a great guy. I love him to death. Everybody knows we had a special relationship when he was here. Still to this day, he reached out to me a few weeks ago, making sure that I was healthy and [I] did the same for him. He really was pulling for us.” 

Martinez also spoke on Harper’s mindset on the Nationals title victory. 

“He just felt like ‘hey, you know, if he can’t be in it why not [the Nationals]? Why not let the Nationals celebrate?’ We worked so hard to get to where we’re at and I think he realized that.”

It could be tough to see someone succeed knowing that you could have been a part of it. It’s clear that Harper decided that the best way to handle this situation was to ignore the negativity surrounding him and his decision to move on and welcome the success of his friends and former colleagues in Washington.

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