Bryce Harper left the Washington Nationals for a record 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. But with the Nationals now in the World Series for the first time, Harper wants to make it clear that he has no regrets.
“They made their decision, and I made my decision as well,” Harper said in an interview with The Athletic‘s Jayson Stark. “I made the best decision for my family. And I am so happy to be in Philly. It’s the place that I wanted to be.”
Harper, who just turned 27, spent seven seasons with the Nationals and was an all-star in six of them. The 2012 NL rookie of the year and 2015 NL MVP, Harper was the face of the Nationals’ franchise, but despite all his regular season success, the club never won a playoff series and lost in the Division Round four times while he was there.
Now in the first year without Harper, the Nationals have found more playoff success than ever before.
“I said, I made my decision, and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made,” Harper told Stark. “You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.
“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am… and not saying to myself, `Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, `Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous.’ No. I’m so happy for them.
“You know how hard it is to get into the post-season and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”
The Nationals are still waiting to see whether they’ll face the Houston Astros or New York Yankees in the World Series. But no matter the matchup, Harper says he’ll be watching.
“I like watching sports,” he said. “I enjoy watching games. So if the Astros beat the Yankees or vice-versa, I [can’t wait] to see that lineup for the Yankees hit against them, or seeing that starting staff for the Astros against that starting staff of the Nats.
“That’s pretty cool baseball right there.”