I do not like Bryce Harper.
I do not like him here, there or anywhere…well, except on a baseball field. Where I like him. A LOT!
On a baseball field, maybe Mike Trout is the only player I like watching more.
Robby White, Lenny Dykstra, Ryan Freel…all guys I liked to watch play baseball when I was growing up.
They all hustled, turned a single into a double. Went home with dirt on their uniforms. Picked dirt out from between their teeth. They played the game the only way it was meant to be played-wide open.
I saw Bryce Harper play his first professional game here in Rome, GA. After the game, I was impressed that he showed a lot of attention to the kids, even giving one of the kids his bat (nice move). But then I wasn’t so impressed when he walked by me and my brother in the Steak N Shake parking lot later that night and would not stop to take a picture with us (bad move).
A few weeks back, Bryce Harper got off of his team bus after a game, walked across the street outside the stadium, approached a homeless woman and gave her a jar of money. He didn’t draw any attention to himself when he did this; the only way we know about it is someone saw him do it and reported his kind gesture (really nice move!).
But this is Bryce Harper-and it doesn’t seem that he can leave good enough alone. So, a few days later, he dropped the mother of all curse words on national TV while yelling at an umpire (really, really bad move!).
And that’s the deal with this guy. He does something great one day, and then he makes up for it the next day by doing something really dumb!
But, as I have given thought to Bryce Harper over the past few weeks since I saw the video of him yelling at an umpire, I’ve forced myself to answer a question…what is it really about Bryce? Why do most of us not like this guy?
And I don’t really like the answer…the real answer for me with Bryce is that maybe I don’t like him because I see in him what I see in myself?
One day I will do all that I can to help a person in need, and then, the next day, I go in another direction and yell at a dude driving a BMW who cuts me off in traffic.
For me, sometimes the things I do not like the most in others, are the things I struggle with the most in my own life.
What if, when we are tempted to openly criticize, we remembered Jesus’ words of advice: First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Joey Haynes is a follower of Jesus, husband, father, minister, sports fan, avid reader and occasional writer. He is proud to call Rome, Georgia home and is blessed to be the Lead Minister of the Church at Rome. You can find him on Facebook, or check out his website at www.thejesusman.net