At 1:34 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, the Phillies made history. After months of rumors and speculation, the Fightins brass finally clinched the deal and signed prodigy outfielder Bryce Harper to the team.
The price? Oh, nothing much, just $330 million dollars and 13 years of his life — aka the largest deal in baseball history. Are those home runs worth it? TBD, but Vegas odds are already pegging the Phils as World Series contenders.
(Not for nothing, but Billy Penn predicted this deal back in November 2018.)
The self-possessed, fashion-conscious Harper, who is 26 now and will be 39 by the time his contract expires, is in for an awakening when he comes face to face with the Philly attitude.
We’re all hoping for the best outcome here. Bryce, we want you and your wife Kayla to feel welcomed. But we also kind of feel the need to fill you in on what’s going to happen — physically, spiritually and emotionally — when you become a Philadelphian.
Here’s our prediction of what 13 years in the City of Brotherly Love will do to Bryce Harper.
He’ll get gritty, whether he wants to or not
With his well-coiffed beard and lofty permed pompadour, Harper appears a picture of clean-cut cool.
The baseball bro’s got his wife’s Instagram handle on his bio, loves Jesus, buys his parents lavish gifts, abstains from alcohol and, from what we’ve been able to find, has so far avoided any horrendous controversies.
In Philadelphia, though, his cocky charisma is likely to trip over a pothole, splattering upon the unkempt (and unswept) street.
There’s little doubt the city’s toughness will eventually wear down his — and hopefully be absorbed into his character, turning him into one of us.
He’ll have to give up on being stylish
Look at this fashionable Phillie, people — and enjoy the image while it lasts! That baby blue suit with the color-coordinated tie and pocket square? Bold, elegant, but unfortunately, beyond anything most heterosexual Philadelphia men would fathom wearing.
We’re afraid the days of rocking pastels will come to a halt once you start living in the 215. Prepare to fill up your wardrobe with grey sweatpants and beer-stained jerseys, reserved exclusively for your fanciest occasions and hottest dates with your wife.
Or, if you go the West Philly hipster route, mom jeans that barely reach past your shins, striped socks that have seen too much and hair that hasn’t been washed since Trump was inaugurated.
And yeah, we know you’re the owner of a barbershop/speakeasy. Don’t expect that to save you.
Side note: Will humanity even exist by then?
Apparently, a lot of people don’t even think 2032 is going to happen.
Looking at humanity’s track record in the past decade, existence as we know it might not be a thing by the time Harper makes it past the last spring training with the Phillies.
No matter what, he’ll be rich af
With his record-breaking $330 million contract, Harper is literally going to have 13 years of solid gold platters.
Dreamgirls has absolutely nothing to do with young, white men making millions for swinging a bat, but that lyrics couldn’t ring any truer.
So, while Harper will have to live among the grit with the rest of us Philly plebes, he won’t have to live like us.
With that type of money he’ll be able to afford like, at least four dinners at Vetri. Easily. (And then post about it on his joint foodie account with his wife, Kayla.)
Other than buying a breathtaking Rittenhouse brownstone, becoming a member of the posh Fitler Club, partying with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, making sure his future kids go to private school and owning a Shore McMansion, we’re hoping Harper truly falls in love with Philly — in spite of its aforementioned flaws — and chooses to contribute to his new home in a proactive way by donating to charities.
Real talk: Fans and teammates already adore him
After the announcement of Harper’s signing, fans were already lining up to purchase tickets at the box office, in spite of the chilly weather (and their work schedules). In the end, the Phillies sold at least 100,000 tickets in a single day
For the most part, fan reactions have been mostly positive, though some have been skeptical of the objectively outrageous price-tag the Phillies gave up to entice Harper to sign. Even the team’s owner, John Middleton, knows it is “stupid money.”
As for his future teammates, they’ve been showing equal amounts of enthusiasm and optimism.
Per a report on Philly.com, Aaron Nola, pitcher for the Phillies, called Harper a “superstar.”
“Our team is already better without him. But now that we got him, it takes it up a notch,” Nola said in the interview.
Welcome to the family, Bryce! Try not to get sick of us so soon.