Harper, who took to Twitter to cheer on the Yankees during last season’s playoffs but later deleted the posts, said all the right things about wanting to face the Yankees and about how much he liked playing in Washington.

On facing the Yankees for the first time in his career, Harper admitted he was excited to face them and that it was something he dreamed about when he was younger. “I’m looking forward to seeing them play,” he said.

Harper was also flatterted to hear that players such as Alex Rodriguez, also a heralded teenage phenom when he broke into the major leagues as an 18-year old in 1994, were excited to face see him play. “It’s pretty unbelievable,” he said.

Asked if he would seek out Yankees players before the game to chat with them, Harper said he might say hello, only to add, “I don’t want to bother them.”

A Nationals’ fan worst fear, however, is that Harper, once his contract with the team ends, would be courted by the Yankees. About playing in Washington, Harper stressed how much he has enjoyed his time here already.

“It’s a lot of fun, I can tell you that,” he said. “It’s great coming in here every single day at Nationals Park. It’s home to me. It’s a lot of fun playing here every single day and we’ve got great fans and great staff and great system. It’s great coming in here with a lot of hype and with that. There’s no words that can explain. It’s a lot of fun coming in here with the fan base and the crowd and everything and whatnot. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”