The Washington Post

Cal Ripken endorses Bryce Harper

(Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Is that a bad thing? Reasonable people can disagree. But even some beloved legends evidently don’t think it is.

Here’s Cal Ripken, discussing Harper’s chances of remaining in the big leagues on MLB Network Radio’s Ripken Baseball program.

“I’m a big advocate of looking at it and kind of seeing, how is he meeting the challenges?” Ripken began. “Are they blowing him away? Is he having good at-bats? And I’ll tell you what, he seems to be locked in at the plate right now, taking balls just off the inside part.

“I really like his approach. He’s looking out over the plate, he’s disciplined to take the fastball just an inch or two off the inside corner. And he’s aggressive enough, if you hang a breaking ball, he’ll go up there and put a good swing on it and pull the ball foul. It almost makes it seem like he’s looking for it, and I know he’s not.

“So he is confident. I’ve had a chance to talk to him. Some would say he’s a little bit cocky. And I would rather have someone that’s a little bit cocky coming to the big leagues, that’s not scared, than someone that’s scared.

“I mean, I think I was scared a little bit, coming into that environment, not knowing what to expect. The crowds, 50,000 people, what’s that gonna feel like? Because you don’t have that experience when you’re in the minor leagues, and I think that affected my start. But that’s not the case with Bryce. I think he thought he should have been in the big leagues two years ago, and he’s ready for the challenge, and I like how he’s swinging the bat.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


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