Bryce Harper opens up on what makes the Phillies clubhouse so special

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper gestures as he runs the bases on a three-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher John Curtiss during the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

It’s been over 5 years since Bryce Harper signed a huge 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. At the time, he was the hottest free-agent around and wanted to commit himself to a City where he could raise a family and see himself for the rest of his career. Fast forward today, and Harper candidly sat at a press conference in West Ham’s London Stadium to reflect on his journey so far.

Bryce Harper looks back on his time with the Phillies so far

“Once i signed there, knowing the way it was supposed to kind of go, John’s mentality and what he wanted to happen, it was incredible knowing what kind of trajectory this team was on.” He said when I asked about how much has changed since that fateful day.

I feel like we’ve fulfilled that. Our main goal is to win a World Series and that’s what we’re striving for every single day We’ve had a great season this year but a lot of things can happen, we need to keep rolling, keep doing our thing and understanding what we need to do individually and just keep going to get better.

Bryce Harper was recently awarded the NL Player of the Month award for the third time in his MLB career. Through the month of May, the 31-year-old recorded a slash line of .313/.407/.583 and led the National League in OPS (.990), RBI (24) and fWAR (1.4). His 174 wRC+ was good enough for second place in the NL, with Harper recording 30 hits, 19 runs, 16 walks. seven home runs, five doubles and two stolen bases in the process.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper reacts after hitting a two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals’ John King during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

A new era of Phillies baseball

It’s strange to think that he’s only gotten better as time has gone on. But as Bryce Harper has gotten older, a lot has changed. He’s now a Father of three children, and has seemingly carried a lot of the lessons learned through Fatherhood into the Phillies clubhouse. It’s helped really galvanize the team and create an atmosphere where everyone has the ability to shine to their fullest potential.

The Phillies have become one of the most lovable teams in Baseball. From the incredible support shown to struggling players like Trea Turner, to the belief placed in younger breakout stars like Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott, the Phils have built a welcoming environment where every player can find a place to belong.

“I think as a team we don’t care who you are, where you’re from, who you were with before, if you’re in our clubhouse, you’re part of our team and part of our family, we want you to know we have all the confidence in the world. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you’ve been in the game, we have full confidence in you.

That sentiment has never been clearer than it is this weekend. Travelling over 3,000 miles for a series in London, the Phillies had to manage the situation accordingly to ensure the best chance of a sweep. Rob Thompson noted how much easier that job becomes when the players are as close as they are, playing cards, hanging out, and unwinding together. There’s no drama, no need to micro-manage. The players are fully bought in to what has become a rich winning culture, and the leadership of players like Bryce Harper has really helped in cementing that foundation.

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We do a great job of that with our younger guys as well.” A smiling Bryce Harper went on to explain. “Alec Bohm has turned into a premier player in our league, Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh have done a great job for us, Rojas has done a phenomenal job as well.“

With the All-Star break approaching, there’s still a lot of Baseball left to play. That’s not lost on Harper or his teammates, who have been through every bump in the road possible in a two-year span that has seen them make the World Series and almost challenge for a second consecutive berth. They’ll be hoping to finish that story and make the third time the charm, but that all starts by staying focused on the task at hand and not getting complacent, something Harper refuses to let happen.

I think we can pull a lot from each game, understand what went wrong and what we can do better as individuals and just get better every day.”

Bryce and the Phillies will look to stay hot against a Mets team that has fallen short of expectations this season. But no opponent goes overlooked, no matchup under the radar, and no day taken lightly. With a strong base of leadership to build on, the Phillies have full belief in themselves to make it all the way to a World Series and bring one home for the first time since 2008. With the proof in the pudding on the field and the words off of it only further instilling that sense of confidence, it’s hard to really disagree with the notion that this team feels destined for greatness.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski