During Bryce Harper’s appearance on MLB Network’s ‘The Rundown’ before Monday’s game at Miami, co-host Mark DeRosa asked his former teammate and the National League co-player of the week about his mindset coming to the ballpark knowing that he would be facing Jose Fernandez.
Except Harper claimed he didn’t know that the Marlins’ ace was scheduled to pitch.
“Seriously, I wasn’t even thinking about it,” Harper said. “I went and got some shoes to tell you the truth. I don’t watch the video. I don’t watch who I’m facing or what he’s got or anything. I couldn’t even tell you who we’re facing tomorrow or the next day or whatever. I guess we’ve got Jose tonight, you just told me that, so I’m going to go out there and just play, have good at-bats, play hard and hopefully at the end of the night have a couple of knocks and win a ballgame.”
Harper, whose streak of four consecutive games with a home run ended after he went 0 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly in the Nationals’ 6-1 loss, was out shopping for chukkas. Later in the interview, DeRosa, who complimented Harper for his hair being “on point,” suggested that he offer teammate Gio Gonzalez some hairstyling advice.
“Hey, if he pitches like he does for the whole year with that hair, I will support him,” Harper said with a laugh. “He looks like Aladdin, but I will support him as much as he wants. We need a magic carpet for him to go out on the mound on, because it’s beautiful.”
— Allan (@ambp77) April 18, 2016
Harper sported a gray “It Don’t Matter” T-shirt during the interview. In addition to accurately describing Harper’s attitude toward the opponent’s scheduled starter, “It Don’t Matter” is the motto that he and Ian Desmond shared last season.
“Whether 0 for 4, or 4 for 4, or someone was screaming from the stands, we’d always say: ‘It don’t matter,’” Harper explained during his MVP acceptance speech in January. “When he’d walk in the clubhouse: ‘Big kid, it don’t matter.’”
You won’t find the shirt for sale online; there’s only one other of its kind in existence and it belongs to Desmond. The shirts were a gift from the members of the unofficial Nationals fan group ‘Nationals Archive,’ who got to know Desmond personally during his time in D.C. Max Duchaine, who designed the shirt, sent one to Desmond after he signed with the Rangers in spring training. Desmond suggested that Duchaine also send one to Harper, who has worn it for several pregame interviews since.
Nationals Archive has T-shirts with more than two dozen Nationals-themed designs for sale on its Spreadshirt page. Duchaine said that all proceeds go to charities and causes that are important to Nationals players, including the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the National MS Society, the Wounded Warrior Project, St. Baldrick’s, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) February 29, 2016
@Bharper3407 It don’t matter! None of it. Bigggg Kiiiiddddd
— Ian Desmond (@IDesmond20) March 1, 2016