SBD/April 5, 2016/MLB Season Preview

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun: Bryce Harper Backs Up Spring Statements With New Cap

Nationals RF Bryce Harper addressed reporters after yesterday season-opening win against the Braves "while wearing a white trucker's cap that read, 'MAKE BASEBALL FUN AGAIN,' in red capital letters," according to Eddie Matz of ESPN.com. Harper "uttered the word 'fun' five times in his 3-minute, 35-second postgame presser," and the "Trump-like cap was an added wrinkle" for Harper, who has been "increasingly vocal about the need to reinvigorate" the game (ESPN.com, 4/4). YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Cwik wrote there "are a number of reasons to enjoy" Harper's new slogan. It is "great to see Harper double-down on his offseason statements" that he believes players "should be able to show emotion on the field, and he's going to stand by that." It also is a "nice play on Donald Trump's 'make America great again' slogan, and Harper gets extra points because his team plays in Washington, D.C." Cwik: "While the usual Harper detractors will hate the decision, you can't really argue with his bravado at this point" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/4). ESPN’s Jim Bowden said Harper "wants to see the enthusiasm." Bowden: "This is such a great class of young players -- the Carlos Correas, the Mike Trouts, the Kershaws, the Trevor Storys. ... Bryce Harper wants that emotion” (“Baseball Tonight,” ESPN2, 4/5).

WILL THE FUTURE BLAME US?
 Correa wrote in a first-person piece for SOLECOLLECTOR.com in which the Astros SS noted the game is "beautiful, classic, traditional and…stuck in the past." Correa said, "We’ve romanticized the game's past so much that we’ve forgotten about its future. ... These unwritten rules are responsible for trying to kill our fans’ favorable perception of the game that we love. They strangle the passion and creativity of some of our sports most exciting athletes, all for the fear of breaking those unwritten rules." He added, "I was happy to see Commissioner Manfred’s recent comments regarding players expressing themselves being good for the game. He understands the game needs to get younger and more exciting and he knows he’ll be able to rely on the 'great generation of young stars coming into the game.'" Correa wrote there is a "fine line between playing the game respectfully and being disrespectful of your opponent, but I believe the fans love flair and that is what they come to see at the ballpark -- the show” (SOLECOLLECTOR.com, 4/4). 
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