It was Davey Johnson's intention to keep Bryce Harper out of the Nationals' lineup this weekend after the latter struggled through an 0-for-18 stretch since hitting a home run during his first at-bat back from the disabled list.
That is, until Johnson received this text message from his 20-year-old slugger: "Play me or trade me."
Don't worry, it was a joke. When you give me that look, it's a joke.
Anyway, Johnson replied by telling Harper to come in and see him, and after talking it over, Harper was in the lineup against the Padres Saturday after all.
"Since trading's out of the question," Johnson began, "I guess I'm going to play him."
It was a good thing Johnson did; Harper drove in three runs on a bases-loaded walk, an RBI single and a sacrifice fly as the Nationals defeated the Padres by a 5-4 score.
"I was pretty serious about what I said," he told reporters after the game. "I want to play. I want to play every single day. I think if he wants to put me in the lineup, then I want to be in the lineup. If he doesn't, I'm going to try to make him put me in the lineup."
He's joking, right? Right?
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