A confident Bryce Harper reported to Nationals spring training in Viera, Fla. When asked about adding Max Scherzer to the starting rotation, he said, "I just started laughing. I was like, where's my ring?" (The Washington Post)

Bryce Harper arrived at Nationals camp Wednesday morning. By midday, he was at batting practice with his teammates. He was hitting so many Matt Williams tosses out that the Nationals manager said nearly required another bucket.

In the late afternoon, Harper sat in the dugout and delivered an interview that gushed with the fearless confidence for which he’s known. It gushed with soundbites, too. Below are a few of Harper’s notably honest answers, all of which are built on the 22-year-old’s unwavering confidence in himself and his team — and all of which are worth the read.

On his reaction to the Nationals signing Max Scherzer: 

 “Well the thing is, he’s a Boras client. So sitting there and I’m talking to Scott and I’m thinking, I’m asking him, ‘Hey, are we going to get Scherzer or what?’ Because I mean we had a great staff. … So to be able to have a guy like Scherzer come in? I just started laughing. I was like, ‘Where’s my ring?’ You know what I mean? It’s stupid. It’s absolutely stupid how good our staff is. I mean, to add a Cy Young, to add a guy that’s unbelievable in the postseason — if you have to go into a five-game set in the postseason, looking ahead like I told you I wouldn’t, but if you have to go into a five-game set against a team, you’re going to have to face Zimmermann, Fister, Scherzer and Stras. I mean, good luck. Because that’s insane. Going into that, it’s just, I’m crying because it’s hilarious having to go in there and face them. It’s absolutely stupid. We have the best staff in all of baseball, I don’t care what nobody says, and the thing about our guys, they work. It’s not like it’s just ‘hey okay let’s just go out and play.’ They work, and they work hard. And to add a guy like Scherzer who’s a bulldog out there, who’s unbelievable in the postseason, who shows that fire and that emotion, it’s something that I’m going to enjoy watching this year. And I think our team in the outfield is going to do a lot of watch, because they’re going to be carving it up.”

On his relationship with Mike Rizzo after contract negotiations nearly required a grievance hearing this winter: 

“Mike’s awesome. Truly. If I had a problem, I’d probably tell him straight to his face because that’s how he is and that’s how we are. I absolutely love Mike Rizzo, and the way he went about everything, it’s business and that’s how it is. I absolutely love this organization. I love the city that I play for. And I’m not done here. Like I said before, five years ago when I first signed here: I’m going to bring back a title to D.C. no matter what. And I’m getting chills thinking about it. I mean, I absolutely want to do that for this city, this town, and I don’t care how long it takes me. I’m going to stick and do what I need to do to help this organization win. They showed me what they wanted and how they wanted to do it, and got that deal done and I’m here for the next two years definitely and I’m excited to get going this year and doing the things that I need to do to bring a title back to D.C. and hoist that trophy over the monuments.”

On switching positions from left field to right field: 

“I’m very excited. Doing new things coming in this year, trying to learn a new position a little bit. It’s nice to be able to know that I’m going to be playing there every single day. Last year I got to kind of play left, and to be able to do that every single day, I got very, very comfortable with that. So moving into right, I’m definitely excited to be able to take a shorter run to right field definitely from the dugout…”

“I’m just excited that I can show off my arm a little more. I love to throw guys out. It’s tough to do that from the left side of the field. You don’t get that first-to-third, you don’t get that second-to-home a lot depending on where you play unless it’s in a corner or something like that. Playing right field, pitchers better watch out a little bit on that little ground ball to right field. They better be hustling, because you know I’m coming with it…”

On slimming down before this season: 

“I like switching my workouts up a little bit, I like doing certain things. I feel great, my body feels stronger than ever. I think a lot of people looked at last year and saw that I got so big — I didn’t have a lower half. I hadn’t been able to work that out because of my bursa. So I went through surgery and was only able to do upper half workouts and things like that. This year, I came in and did what I needed to do in the weight room. I love working hard, I think people know that. So it’s a lot of fun to be able to be at a weight that I want to be at and maintain that and still be as strong as I am.”

“I was able to do the things I wanted to do when I was in high school and college. Switching things up a little bit, more fast-paced workouts. I’m doing 1000 reps workout in 45 minutes. Just trying to roll through it as quick as I can, doing the things I need to do to get a little leaner and do things like that, but my strength is still there, my power is still there, so I feel very good.”

On playing smarter to avoid injury troubles, but still playing hard: 

“It’s funny to me because everyone says I’m injury prone. That’s hilarious to me because I’ve never blown a hammy or a shoulder or anything like that, knock on wood. But it’s more impact stuff. Hitting the wall, blowing the bursa. Sliding into third base on a triple and tearing my tendon. So, this year, I’ll just play a little smarter. Try to do the things I need to do to help this team win. Still have that edge, still have that fire that I play with and enjoy the game…”

“…you gotta play your game, but knowing the spots. You know, when you hit a three-run triple, do you really need to get on third base or do you need to stand on the double. You gotta be as smart as you can. If you’re up 7-0, do you really need to go get a foul ball in the stands and blow your chin out or do something like that? It’s just those situations. I can still play hard. I can still do the things I wanna do. That’s what makes it fun. Being able to go out there and play hard and do the things we need to do to help this team win and hopefully make this city proud.”

On managing expectations: 

I’m 22 years old playing the game I love. That’s it. I get to come out here and play the game that I love every single day, and I’m not sitting behind a desk or at school or doing anything like that. I’m playing baseball, and that’s good enough for me…I put more pressure on myself than anybody in this world. So that’s why I work hard every single day and do the things that I do so I can get better and play better. All I’ve got to do is stay healthy. I stay healthy and the sky’s the limit…”