Harper Will ‘Absolutely’ Participate in 2018 Home Run Derby

WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper has said it several times over the years, but he reaffirmed Tuesday morning that he would “absolutely” be participating in the 2018 Home Run Derby.

Harper previously bowed out of the 2017 edition, and he hasn’t participated since 2013. It’s unclear if the Nationals slugger will compete in another Derby after 2018, but then again, it’s unclear if Harper will be with the Nationals after 2018.

Of course, the 2018 All-Star festivities will take place at Nationals Park, and Harper is eager to put on a show for his fans, as he told SportsCenter on Tuesday. He also noted about D.C.: “It is America.” So there’s that.

Other highlights from the interview include:

*Harper wearing the now-famous “Anthony is my favorite player” shirt, likely in an effort to help get teammate Anthony Rendon to the All-Star Game.

*Harper on Jayson Werth’s hair: “He’s a specimen up top.”

*Harper, discussing his own hair, declared his affinity for Blind Barber hair products, which will undoubtedly be good for Blind Barber’s business.

*Harper finally explained what happened with his cringeworthy helmet throw in the Hunter Strickland brawl. As it turns out, Harper played with San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik in the minor leagues, and because they’re such good buddies, he was just asking Panik to hold his helmet for him. Mystery solved.

*Finally, and this is perhaps the gem of the interview, Harper revealed the best hitting advice he ever got: “Be as sexy as you can.” Good advice.

Never change, Bryce Harper. Happy Fourth of July.

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