The Washington Post

Bryce Harper’s revealing USA Today cover story

The marriage proposal, written in huge letters on a poster, sits inside his new high-rise home back in Pentagon City. The dating propositions, written on everything from letters to napkins to baseballs, are stashed away. The TV is often turned to the Food Network.

“I think that I do maybe come off a little arrogant at times,” Harper says in the story. “But you have to play with a chip on your shoulder. You have to play with that fire and passion.”

We also learn why he won’t become a full-time D.C. resident, at least not for now.

“No state taxes in Nevada,” he explained.

The whole story is worth the read, but here are a few more highlights.

He gets hazed just like any rookie.

It’s fairly common knowledge that baseball teams have their own Kangaroo Court, where teammates are held responsible for errors, breaking unwritten clubhouse rules and various other minor offenses. Harper is no exception and according to his teammates, he’s one of the biggest offenders.

“We actually have video of him going through the Kangaroo court box and reading his fines,” DeRosa is quoted as saying, “so that’s another fine. That’s a 19-year-old mistake. He’ll learn. You may come with all of these credentials, but you’re no bigger than any of us. We have him going through all of the rookie hazing, carrying beers, singing songs on the bus. It’s all in good fun.”

Clown Question has a deep and amusing history.

This tale from the article explains how it all started.

It was Sheff, a former minor-league outfielder of the Oakland A’s, who actually helped coin the phrase in 1998. He was driving in the passenger’s seat with minor-league teammate Ricky Freeman in Vancouver, when a driver cut him off.

“Now, Freeman is a devout Christian, and he would never swear,” Sheff says. “So he says, ‘Look at that clown. That clown just cut me off.’ He works up a road rage, and pulls up to the car, and the guy driving has a clown costume on. It was a real clown.

“So when Scott Baker and I coached in high school, we used that phrase all of the time. Now, that thing has taken a life of its own. It’s mind-boggling.”

Derek Jeter is his role model.

“Jeter’s the guy I want to be like,” he said. “What I love about him is that he’s not just the captain of the Yankees, but he’s the captain of baseball. He plays the game a certain way, and he’s so good for baseball. Really, he is baseball.”


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