Bryce Harper is an extraordinary player. And he’s an extraordinary player on an ordinary, average, run-of-the-mill team. Go figure.
By all accounts, Harper should win the NL MVP Award this year. Seriously. His team is woefully and dolefully disappointing, but Harper has heaped a whole bunch of home runs and RBI’s and other stats to boot so it’s hard to argue against him winning the award.
At their best, the Washington Nationals are an ordinary team. At the beginning of the season, they were the odds on favorites to win the NL East, and some had them making a run for the World Series. Not. They got out of the gate fast, but stumbled and fumbled the Division to the Mets (https://godandsports.net/2015/04/23/the-mets-are-in-first-place/) who look to be one of the many teams that have a shot at winning it all.
To understand just how valuable Bryce Harper has been to the Washington Nationals this year, consider this: On September 3rd against the Atlanta Braves, Harper — the 22-year-old outfielder who, in his fourth season in the big leagues is the clear front-runner for National League MVP — led the Nats to a 15-1 rout by scoring four runs and driving in another … without even swinging. He came to the plate four times and walked four times. In total, he saw 20 pitches and swung at exactly zero of them. The following day, in his first at-bat, he finally saw a strike — and hit it out of the park. Just as he did the day after. And the day after that.
So how does an extra ordinary player survive on an ordinary team? It happens every day. It happens because the extra’s amongst us have to pull us and power us and lift us and shift us and carry us and command us and coral us and sometimes cajole us because there are times when most of us are ordinary at best and less than ordinary at worst.
So if you find yourself in the situation where you are the extraordinary player on an ordinary team, thank you. Thank you for hitting and homering and catching and fielding and doing everything better than the rest of us. Please keep it up and keep it going and keep it together and hold the fort down till the cavalry comes. You deserve to to play under the bright lights and to receive all of the accolades and awards in the world.