Is Bryce Harper Baseball’s Wayne Rooney?

One more thing. I had a nightmare recently that I can’t shake.

Look at this goofy picture of Bryce Harper.

Now look at this photo of Wayne Rooney.

Harper needs no introduction for readers of this blog. Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, may be less familiar to baseball fans. I’ll give you the short version: He broke out into the English Premier League–the biggest of the big-money European soccer leagues–as a 17-year-old goal-scoring phenomenon. He played several seasons for Everton F.C., a fine club, but overshadowed by richer rivals like Manchester United and Liverpool, F.C. (the Yankees and Red Sox of English football, if you like). At 20, Rooney joined Manchester United, and proceeded to astonish the soccer world with his goal-scoring prowess.

Okay, you’re saying, if Harper turns out like Rooney, then the Nats have a real treasure on their hands! Sure. But the sporting world has come to expect two things out of Rooney: sublime talent and vile thuggery–the latter the product of a violent temper. Rooney is, in my opinion, one of the dirtiest players in the world.

In my deepest nightmares, I see Bryce Harper as a baseball Wayne Rooney: crushing home runs like Rooney scores goals–and starting needless fights like, well, Rooney starts fights needlessly.

OK, maybe it’s just a nightmare, after all.

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