David Samson recently broke down Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies’ hot start on CBS Sports HQ as a part of his “Three Up” segment, where he touched on Harper’s two home runs in his first series.
“Right now things are looking up for them because when you win a series, sweep a series, everything is great,” said Samson. “There’s been no adversity yet for Harper or for the Phillies that’s going to be very interesting because I guarantee you it’s coming.”
“But his swing and making that lineup longer, especially with [Andrew] McCutchen on top, we got [J.T. Realmuto] in the hole, Hoskins is getting much better pitches to hit when they’re not being thrown right at his chin,” he continued.
“So, I like this team, I still think the Nationals are the better team, which I’m sticking to, but they’re off to a very good start.”
Samson also touched Harper’s demeanor, which seemed happy despite the pressure he experienced. He touched on Harper’s time in Washington and how he always seemed grumpy, as if he was stressed out and carrying lots of weight on his shoulders. Samson further claimed he’s trying to figure out what’s going on in the Phillies clubhouse that has changed Harper’s attitude but also touched on how a 3-0 count always feels better than 0-3.
As The Inquisitr reported, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki recently spoke with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo on the High Heat talk show about Harper and his love affair with Phillies fans. Although they are notorious for being a tough crowd, he said they’re definitely in the honeymoon phase with the MLB star. But as Samson said, there will be adversity in the future, and Zolecki claims that Harper won’t get a free pass, although he believes that he has a strong track record, which will ultimately keep Phillies fans happy for the time being.
Zolecki also touched on the excitement that Harper has brought back to Philly, comparing the atmosphere in the ballpark on Opening Day to 2011, when Cliff Lee joined Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt. He noted that much of the excitement is due to the expectation that Harper is going with the team to the postseason.
Harper was recently voted “most overrated” player in a poll by The Athletic, which questioned approximately one-third of the MLB’s players. He signed a 13-year, $330 million record contract with the Phillies on February 28, which has no out clause, meaning he’s going to be with the team for the duration of the contract.