by Chris LingebachBy Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Bryce Harper seems to be sending the message that he’s worked his tail off to get into baseball shape this offseason, and he’s going to be who he’s going to be in 2014, regardless of what people think about him.

Harper spoke with CSN’s Mark Zuckerman last Thursday, in an interview that would prove Harper hasn’t lost his rebellious streak, and doesn’t care for your trite ‘clown question bro’ remarks, or your comparisons of him to Mike Trout and Manny Machado.

[via CSN Washington]

“How glad will you be though, when people aren’t asking you about running into a wall, like you did last year?” Zuckerman asked.

“Everybody’s still on the clown question and all that crap too. It’s in the past,” Harper said. “Everybody needs to get over it. I’m not 16, 14, 13-years-old anymore.  I’m playing in the big leagues. I’m 21-years-old. I’m ready to go.”

“When you look at what other guys have done  in their first few years in the big leagues, do you feel like it’s been a natural progression to this point, or do you feel like, ‘Man, I should have been even higher than this now’?” Zuckerman asked.

“I could care less what people think,” Harper said. “I could care less what anybody thinks. [Mike] Trout’s very good, [Manny] Machado’s really good.”

“I’ve been to the NL East title. I won it. Nobody else can say that. None of those  younger guys can say that at all. Being able to come in here,  have a great team that I can win with and I can be around, [unintelligible], I could care less what other people think. As long as that team in that dugout loves me, that’s all that matters.”

It seems, with a fully healthy left knee [he had minor offseason surgery to repair a bursa], Harper is primed to take the next step in his career, a conversation which begins and ends with winning.


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