Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper took to Twitter late Tuesday night to celebrate the return of baseball following a lengthy labor dispute between MLB players and owners. Harper's tweet confirmed that he will, in fact, participate in the upcoming season despite his wife's pregnancy and the coronavirus pandemic.
Phillies fans certainly hope that Harper's presence will make more of a difference in 2020 than in 2019, a season which began with high expectations and ended with an 81-81 record, a mere one-game improvement from 2018. Nonetheless, Harper appears eager to return to the batter's box.
Get amped, Phillies fans!! Harper is expecting a second child with his wife Kayla, and instead of opting out to be with her, he'll be playing in 2020 and will probably use the new designation for when his daughter is born.
Now all the Phils need is a scorching hot 60-game stretch from their star slugger.
A shortened season likely bodes well for a stacked Philadelphia lineup which also includes hard-hitting players like JT Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins. With individual games meaning more for playoff seeding, a few hot stretches from Harper and Philadelphia's other bats could mean a postseason appearance, especially considering what the 2019 playoffs would have looked like in a 60-game season.
While Harper's legacy is still largely marked by his struggles to make the postseason, he has an opportunity to shift the narrative in 2020. For a fringe playoff team like Philadelphia, getting into the postseason field is half the battle. If Harper can replicate Washington's 2019 success after getting there, he could permanently change his legacy.