Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell agree on Bryce Harper’s toughness

May 14, 2013

I don’t make a habit of watching what happens on the Senate floor on a daily basis, so I don’t know if it’s normal to start the day with a discussion about Bryce Harper. But that’s what happened this morning, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to get some thoughts out of the way before turning to the day’s business.

“The Republican leader and I just spent a minute commiserating on the fact that we follow, very closely, the Washington Nationals,” Reid began. “And we talk often on how they fare on a given day, and we talk about the Las Vegas young man, Bryce Harper, often, because he’s really a phenomenon in baseball.

“And yesterday he got — playing in Los Angeles, a late game — two walks, a hit, and, like he does all the time, he’s chasing a ball at full speed and runs into the wall, full speed. I told the Republican leader I was going to talk to his family when the time is [right]. It’s too early in the west. I’ll talk to his mom and dad and find out how he’s doing. But he crashed into that wall, he has 11 stitches in his chin, he was knocked out, he hurt one of his shoulders. So we’ll see how he is.”

And in the interest of equal time, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added his thoughts.

“As the majority leader indicated, we were talking about this as we went into session,” he said. “This kid is the most incredible competitor I’ve ever seen. The game is on the west coast, and I don’t know if my friend stayed up that late or not, but I didn’t stay up late enough to get the crash into the wall. When you speak to his mother, remind her that this is one thing that leaders on both sides fully agree on, that we’re hoping Harper has a speedy recovery and is back in the lineup.”

Move over, RGIII. Bryce Harper is the new bipartisan hope.

Not everyone shared the opinion that Harper hit that wall out of toughness. Deadspin’s Tom Ley offered this perspective after Harper’s tweet this afternoon:

Bryce, bro, get out of here with that. You didn’t hit that wall last night because you were “playing the game hard,” you hit it because you got confused about where you were on the field and failed to notice the big-ass wall that you were running toward. You weren’t even close to catching that ball. In fact, you completely misplayed it. That’s why you got so turned around and ended up with a face full of fence. Running around the outfield like someone who just finished playing three rounds of dizzy bat has nothing to do with how much you #RespectTheGame.

We don’t doubt Bryce Harper’s passion for the game of baseball. We also don’t doubt that he needs to work on his spatial awareness.

Well, then.

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