x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

All-out approach may cost Bryce Harper in long run

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper needs to pick his all-out moments a little better.

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, just two days after being injured crashing into an outfield wall, taking 11 stitches in his chin, pinch-hits. He grounded out. Fans love his all-out style but teammates and commentators worry he will end his career prematurely.
Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, just two days after being injured crashing into an outfield wall, taking 11 stitches in his chin, pinch-hits. He grounded out. Fans love his all-out style but teammates and commentators worry he will end his career prematurely.

The endless television replays of Bryce Harper chasing a fly ball at nearly full speed into the Dodger Stadium fence in Los Angeles left virtually all observers with one point of view: the Washington Nationals young star needs to pick his "all-out" moments a little better.

Teammate Jayson Werth, who is something of a mentor to the Nationals' 20-year-old phenom, told CSNWashington.com: "You don't want to see any players running face first into the fence, especially a guy like Bryce who has, potentially, a good, long career in front of him.

"He's got a lot to learn."

Crashing into walls and diving for everything that flies has damaged some promising careers.

ESPN commentator Peter Gammons cited Grady Sizemore and Darin Erstad as two players who paid in the long run for their daredevil styles.

Harper was lucky this time. He suffered a cut on his chin that required 11 stitches.

General soreness kept him out of the starting line-up for two days. But the wall apparently did not knock common sense into him.

Harper conceded that even when he was risking his limbs as an amateur, he sometimes would think, "maybe I shouldn't play that way".

But not for long. He loved making spectacular catches too much.

"That's the way I play," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm going to keep playing that way the rest of my career."

However shorter it may be.

 

sports@thenational.ae

 

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