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To Boo, Or Not To Boo?: That Is The Question For Nationals Fans Tonight

If you’re mad at Bryce Harper, I feel bad for you, son. There are 99 people to blame for his departure from Washington, and he ain’t one.

To Boo, Or Not To Boo?: That Is The Question For Nationals Fans Tonight

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

In the world of over-hyped things ESPN loves to talk about, a former superstar returning to the city that gave them their hearts is high on the list. Before LeBron James even signed with the Lakers, ESPN was already profiling every team’s first visit to Cleveland. It’s always an interesting moment in the sports world.

Look at Isaiah Thomas‘ return to Boston after getting traded to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, Jacoby Ellsbury’s return to Fenway, or more recently Jimmy Butler’s return to Minnesota. The list goes on and on, but these are the moments we live for as fans. These moments are either steeped in catharsis or drenched with hatred. I mean, check out John Tavares return to New York after leaving the Islanders in the offseason.

Which brings us to tonight’s baseball game in D.C. between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. The headline has already been printed:

Bryce Harper Returns to D.C.”

After a lackluster season from everyone in D.C., with the exceptions of Juan Soto and Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper turned his eyes to brighter days and new horizons as he set sail into Free Agency.

The Nationals made Bryce a qualifying offer, which they had to, and he quickly turned it down. Nothing shows a guy you want him more than anything like treating him the same way the Orioles treated Matt Wieters.

With offers coming in left and right, it seemed that the entire league was getting in on the Bryce Harper Bonanza. Well, every team, except the Nationals. They already gave Bryce an offer… and he still kept looking. That tells you everything you need to know about the Nationals offer. It was small, it was not what he wanted.

It was an apathetic gesture, superficial at best.

After looking into playing on the West Coast, on a short-term deal in Los Angeles and considering sending balls into McCovey Cove for the Giants, Harper inked a 13-year, $330 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Of all the places for Harper to land, Philly is the worst case scenario for the Nationals.

Keeping Harper within the division will hurt every damn year, especially if you can’t get your squad off the ground. The Nationals are in a bit of a financial pickle in the upcoming years, and with young studs like Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Victor Robles seeing stars like Ronald Acuna, Xander Bogaerts and others inking extensions in the nine-digit range, it’s worrisome for their future stars.

Harper’s contract proved that he valued one above everything else: security. Harper’s deal locks him into playing for the Phillies for what could be the rest of his career. There’s no arguing this 13-year deal is bonkers, but if Harper wants to plant roots and he won’t have to for a long, long time. Yes, the money is hefty, but at 13-years, any player worth their salt is going to be making a mint in over a decade.

And so now I turn my attention to the Nationals faithful who’ll be turning out to Nationals Park this evening. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you it’s this:

Don’t Boo Bryce Harper.

Did Bryce want to stay in Washington? I’m sure he did. There had to be some #UnfinishedBusiness going on there. Did Washington want Bryce to stay a National? The fans absolutely did. The Front Office? No. They made little to no attempt. And that’s not a move that will just go away over time. It’s one that will send shock waves through the organization for years.

If, at tonight’s game, you feel any kind of anger towards your former star and Chosen One, turn around and look into the Owner’s Box. It is 100% their fault Bryce is gone. It’s their fault he’ll face the Nationals 18 times a season for the next 13 years.

Your ownership decided that Bryce Harper’s contributions to the Nationals franchise wasn’t worth the price it took to keep him there. The Nationals only wanted to make an offer, but never wanted to sign Harper. They wanted it to seem like they cared.

Now THAT… is something to boo.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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