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Davey Johnson on how to slow down Bryce Harper: Shoot him with a dart gun


There is no denying that Washington Nationals young superstar Bryce Harper plays the game with a youthful exuberance and a relentless aggressiveness befitting of his age. At 20, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Harper, while supremely talented and potential perhaps not yet realized, is still prone to making mistakes typical of an inexperienced baseball player with only a few seasons of major league baseball under his belt.

But given that in his second season Harper is batting .379 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI in 6 games, the Nationals are preaching patience instead of overreacting to errors easily attributed to the folly of youth, such as foolishly trying to stretch out a single into a double or missing the cutoff man on relays from the outfield.

Count skipper Davey Johnson among those within the Nationals organization firmly entrenched in Harper’s camp, as he defended his phenom outfielder during a recent appearance on a D.C. sports radio talk show.

Even if Johnson defends Harper during his appearance with “The Sports Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan, he also has a little fun with the mistakes the brash young player is prone to making.

Johnson asks the hosts, “Did you make mistakes when you were 20?” And justifying his statement, Johnson adds, “He’s still young. He’s another big motor that’s real wound up. Sometimes the motor’s going so fast that the message going to it doesn’t get there. But he’s going to be fine.”

And as far as missing the cutoff man is concerned, Johnson advanced the following humorous plan for that issue: “We may get one of those dart guns out in the bullpen. And when he goes out this year we shoot him right in the rear end and remind him, you know, get it down.”

Interesting proposition. Although if the Nationals want to speed up Harper’s maturation process, perhaps the team should suggest that he grow out a rocking handlebar mustache like his brother Bryan. That will age a man toot sweet. So fast, in fact, that he’ll be using the antiquated phrase “toot sweet” lickety-split.

That one, too.

[H/T D.C. Sports Bog]