Just when you thought you knew what was going on in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, a new week brings about yet another curveball. Over the weekend, it seemed almost definite that the Philadelphia Phillies had jumped out to the front of the pack — and that a deal could be reached by Tuesday. Now, an old suitor has jumped back into the mix — and two other teams have officially left the race for the All-Star — but unfortunately, it’s still going on.
This whole ordeal has continued to drag on and on for weeks and months now. Manny Machado was partially playing a similar strategy, but he signed with the San Diego Padres and has his money. The excitement that was once there for Bryce Harper slowly faded at first, and has now had the bottom drop completely out.
Over the weekend, Phillies owner John Middleton arrived in Las Vegas to meet with Harper — and he wasn’t planning on leaving until a deal was agreed upon. Well, he may have to set up shop for a while.
As reported by The Inquisitr, the race appears to have come down to the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies, as far as things went for existing teams going after Harper. Then, ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers suddenly threw their hat back into the ring.
The addition of the Dodgers to the mix has not made the affair any more exciting, and as Deadspin points out, it may have actually extended this “boring” ordeal.
— Phillies Talk (@NBCSPhillies) February 25, 2019
Sports Illustrated reported that Harper’s decision could come by the end of this week as he sifts through offers from the Phillies, Giants, and Dodgers. Still, it has been weeks and weeks of speculation suggesting that Bryce Harper was about to sign here, or Harper about to take a deal there.
Sports fans would usually look at one of the biggest free agents ever and find excitement in where they could possibly sign their next deal. Of course, that isn’t the case for the Washington Nationals — who are losing their best player — but it is great for everyone else.
Well, it was great for everyone else.
All of these rumors keep coming out saying that something is set to happen this weekend — or that by the end of the day, a deal with Harper is “imminent.” Deadspin points out how the NBA has kept the drama with Anthony Davis exciting, despite the fact that nothing can happen until this summer at the earliest.
Somehow, Major League Baseball has sucked all of the excitement out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, and it just keeps getting worse. Fans are no longer really interested in the chase, and are simply bored to tears.
(1/2): All of this Bryce Harper coverage is obnoxious. He has done nothing to come close to signing with a team, and any sort of thing he does is highly covered because it’s the only thing to talk about in this boring baseball offseason.
— JesseL (@Jesse_Lindell) February 25, 2019
Ray Ratto of Deadspin makes a very good point that Bryce Harper may not helping to keep the fans on his side — and may actually be alienating them.
“Bryce Harper, on the other hand, seems to have lost the audience, and when we say Bryce Harper, we say Scott Boras. The flood of rumors and counter-rumors have served only to remind everyone that this little spastic fit of negotiation has gone on too long for the culture’s taste, which given the NBA fan’s endurance seems completely counterintuitive.”
Hold-outs in the NBA and NFL are often huge news producers. This is clearly evident by what happened with Le’Veon Bell this past season. He sat out the entire year for the Pittsburgh Steelers, yet kept being talked about every single week — and the fans cared every single time he was mentioned. Bryce Harper went from being the most talked about player in professional sports to fans just wanting to get the boring ordeal over with.