July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; National League pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) of the Washington Nationals takes the field for practice for the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE
What if Bryce Harper had been given the chance? Would he have hit another HR like the one he hit in Tropicana Field back however many years ago that was (this guy doesn't want to look)? We'll never know. Bryce Harper is not in the 2012 edition of MLB's HR Derby. Unfortunately, neither are the hard-hitting duo of Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, two of the hardest-hittin' pitchers in Kansas City this week for the All-Star festivities. The Nationals' reps in the 2012 mid-summer classic had fun at today's press conference however and Harper even got to talk to the original Nats' manager (who's also a Hall of Famer) this afternoon in Kauffman Stadium according to a report on Twitter:
Crazy Nats moment happening now behind the NL battin cage: Frank Robinson chatting up Bryce Harper.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 9, 2012
MEANwhile Harper moved ever closer to the stage where he's going to be asking people to ask him to say his most famous catchphrase (No, not "I didn't do it."), as reporters from around the country tried to get Harper to utter the one line everyone was waiting for...
Harper asked, "You get a lot of clown questions?" He answered, "That's one right there."— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 9, 2012
Meanwhile, the suddenly-available Stephen Strasburg did the rounds of the local radio stations, making appearances and talking about his innings limits and everything on ESPN980's the Sports Fix with Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan and on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier:
Gio Gonzalez just humbly sat back and soaked it all in according to NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, who quoted the 26-year-old second-time All-Star explaining that he thought the entire Nats team deserved to be there. Maybe if Joe Torre were managing and the Nationals were the Yankees... But I digest. Anyhoo. If you plan on watching the HR Derby, feel free to talk about it below. Before things get started, check out the SB Nation's affable Amy K. Nelson's most-recent report from the home of the 2012 All-Star Game... And by the way, I predict Harper wins the HR derby, without even participating. He's. That. Good. Peace. I'm out. And stuff.