Bryce Harper will play in World Baseball Classic … on one condition
Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper arguably is the best player in baseball at the moment, so it obviously would be a major coup if those in charge of the U.S. team could get him to agree to play in next year’s World Baseball Classic.
Harper recently indicated he’d love to play for his country in the upcoming global tournament, but only under one condition: The team has to be 100 percent committed to winning it all, and that involves getting the best American players to sign on as well.
“I think when you really look at it, if the guys play that you really want to play with, then definitely I’ll play. But if we’re not going to have the opportunity to win, then I don’t want to play,” Harper told CSN Mid-Atlantic, via Hardball Talk. “If we do that, then I’m definitely in. If not, I probably won’t do it.”
Among the players cited by Harper that would pique his interest in joining the team are Noah Syndergaard, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Nolan Arenado.
“I really just think if we have the support of all the players in the big leagues on the American side, then I’ll definitely play,” he said before specifically signalling out Sydnergaard. “I’d love to. Hopefully we get some guys like Thor in New York and guys like that,” he said.
The United States have yet to win a World Baseball Classic in three previous appearances, finishing sixth in the most recent one in WBC. Suffice to say, Jim Leyland — who earlier this month was named Team USA manager for the 2017 WBC — and anyone else in a position of power should be doing everything they can to demonstrate to Harper that the US squad will be in it to win it.