Pete Rose Says Bryce Harper Plays Recklessly, Tells Washington Nationals To Play Him Deeper In Outfield [LISTEN]
Legendary but exiled former Cincinnati Reds infielder, and MLB's all-time hits leader still follows the game closely, and has spoken up with some advice for Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
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Rose said the Nationals 20-year-old wunderkind plays recklessly, and that the Nationals need to take some action to prevent him from continually injuring himself with his style.
"So what I would tell Davey Johnson - and he knows more about his team than I do - I would play Bryce Harper as deep as he possibly could, where anything over his head goes out of the ballpark. And that way he's not gonna run into fences until he gets used to the different ballparks," Rose said.
Rose was clear that he isn't bashing Harper, but rather trying to help him maintain his body and have a long career. He also chided Harper's tendency to bristle at perceived slights, or minor scrapes that happen throughout the course of games.
"He's not gonna get hurt by playing hard," Rose said. "Who played harder than I did? I should rephrase that; he's GONNA get hurt, but he's not gonna hurt where it's gonna take him out of the lineup for a length of time. Playing 162 games during a baseball season, there's a lot of bumps and bruises. And you can't b---h every time you get hit on the arm or something, or you slide into the second baseman and he spikes you on the knee or something. I mean, that's just part of the game."
Harper has been limited to 68 games this season after sustaining a knee injury after running into a wall making a catch, so perhaps Rose has a point. Harper is extremely valuable to the Nationals, potentially worth more wins than ace Stephen Strasburg if he can remain on the field.
This season he is hitting .273 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI. He also provided a stiff challenge to Yoenis Cespedes in the home run derby, finishing second out of eight.