Bryce Harper has been with the Phillies for less than a week, but is already acting like a true Philadelphian. Chiefly, by pissing people off.
In this case, that would be the Los Angeles Angels. The Halos are none too pleased that Harper is publicly recruiting superstar Mike Trout to join him in the City of Brotherly Love. "If you don't think I'm gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you're crazy," Harper told SportsRadio 94.1WIP on Tuesday.
Harper also said Trout was instrumental in Harper's decision to sign with the Phillies. "I talked to him a lot," Harper said, via MLB.com. "From November, all the way through the process.
"I played with him in the [Arizona] Fall League [in 2011], and we've kept in contact over the last seven years. But just trying to get a hometown kid to tell me what he felt, how he felt about the organization and the area and things like that. He's a kid who grew up seeing the Phillies have success, so going through those times with the fans and things like that. It was good to get his perspective and hear how he felt."
Damn. Even LeBron James hasn't been this brazen in tampering with Anthony Davis.
So yeah, we can imagine the Angels are getting worried their franchise player will bolt, prompting them to tattle on Harper to Major League Baseball:
Angels general manager Billy Eppler said in a text message to the L.A. Times that he is aware of the comments and, “We’ve been in touch with MLB and we have no further comment at this time.”
We're sure Harper received this message loud and clear, right? About that...
Can't wait for the ensuing "The Gang tampers" episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Of course, perhaps Harper is trying to justify his contract by playing pitchman along with the outfield, considering GM John Middleton admitted the team basically signed Harper because the fans wanted them to:
“The one thing that Bryce had over Manny, clearly, is the Philadelphia fans loved him,” Middleton said. “That was abundantly clear throughout the offseason. Part of the reason we walked away from Manny at the end there, was that reason. We just felt that taking Manny when Bryce was still available just wasn’t going to play well with the fan base. And so we passed.”
Middleton then cited a Philadelphia Inquirer poll on social media, in which 87 percent of 9,000 voters preferred Harper.
“That just tells you something,” he said.
And by something, John means, "I make my decisions like I'm running American Idol." No wonder Harper got a 13-year deal.