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Is this fun enough for you?
The Nationals have a new slogan this season, and it’s probably not the one the marketing team envisioned.
Instead of the “One Pursuit” tagline the team rolled out for the 2016 season, what seems to have caught on with the fans is Bryce Harper’s seemingly impromptu “Make Baseball Fun Again.”
Spawned in the the wake of a national magazine interview in which he lamented the unwritten rules that make the game “tired,” and yearned for the spontaneity and celebration that make the game “fun,” Harper’s line of caps and shirts bearing the slogan has hit fans and the media like Harper’s own bat on a hanging slider.
So when Harper’s lumber leads the Nats to 14 wins in their first 18 games, it raises one question: Can baseball get any more fun?
Can it get any more fun than Harper coming off the bench on his first day off this season to hit his first career pinch-hit homer, clobbering Kevin Jespen’s four-seamer 411 feet into center field to tie the game?
Can it get any more fun than when another game-tying run scores from second on a two-out bunt by a relief pitcher, batting because there are no position players left on the bench?
Can it get any more fun than a game-winning homer from a backup outfielder with a career .245 average?
Can it gate any more fun than the reigning league MVP hitting his first career grand slam for his 100th career homer, then hitting another slam the next time he comes up with the bases loaded?
Can it get any more fun than watching Harper mash baseballs at a pace of a home run every other game, and seriously wondering if he can keep it up for the entire season?
Can it get any more fun than being a fan of the team with the best record in baseball for more than two weeks running?
It probably will get a lot more fun if Harper and the Nats achieve the success they seem to have portended.
But so far, Harper and the Nationals have, indeed, made baseball fun again for Washington fans. For their opponents, and managers who seem intent on pitching to Harper, no so much.