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March 1, 2019

Shortly after the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) season ended, Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton was asked by USA TODAY Sports about how the Phillies would approach this upcoming offseason. “We’re going into this expecting to spend money,” Middleton said, “and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.’’

To most Phillies fans, this meant one thing: Signing former National League MVP, and six-time All-Star Bryce Harper to a 10-year deal worth around $300 million, making him the highest-paid player in MLB history. Or in other terms:

As I write this—after all the drama, anticipation, and waiting—I can say with full confidence that Bryce Harper is officially going to be a Philadelphia Phillie for the next 13 seasons. On Thursday, February 28, Middleton made good on his statement and offered the outfielder a contract worth $330 million dollars.

But as any Phillies fan will tell you, this wasn’t a walk in the park. We had to endure months of false stories, tweets, and comments that drove this city mad. And the driving force behind the madness? Social media. (Editor’s note: Shocking.)

Social media made Bryce’s offseason a complete circus. Even up until the day of the deal, we saw posts that suggested he was going to sign with the Dodgers. Now, though, that’s all behind us, and the Phillies are left with a roster that is well-poised for October baseball.    

As some form of Philly sports fan therapy, let’s break down the three social accounts that drove us up a wall during this process.

Exhibit A: MLB The Show

Along with being the most sought-after free agent this offseason, Bryce Harper will also grace the cover of PlayStation’s MLB The Show 19. The video game has taken a creative approach to Harper’s free agency by running campaigns that tease which team’s uniform he will be wearing in the game.

They’re also fans of stirring the pot:

Woof.

Exhibit B: Jon Heyman

Jon Heyman, an MLB insider, appeared to be doing his best impression of the “Hey, can I copy your homework?” “Yeah just make sure it looks different” meme throughout the whole process. Featured below are three different tweets from three different days:

You can see why my frustration would start to build up, right?  

Exhibit C: Bryce Harper  

Bryce himself was responsible for a lot of the social media madness that transpired during his offseason. It started out with his engagement with the aforementioned MLB The Show tweets, which I understand—I’m sure there’s a contract somewhere that says he’s obligated to engage with the account.

Things got a little exciting when he cryptically tweeted “Loading…”, which many people (myself included) took to mean that he was ready to make his decision. (We were wrong.)

He then took to Instagram and commented on Phillie Rhys Hoskins’ Instagram at spring training. Personally, I thought that “suhhhh kiiiddd” was short for “suhhheeee you soon kid,” but Harper left us hanging for another two weeks after that comment.

I’m not sure what to make of Bryce holding out for so long. Some say that he was just trying to get the most money; others think he was trying to avoid Philly. All I know is that the posts below this are way better than the ones above.

View this post on Instagram

LOADED…✅

A post shared by Rhys Hoskins (@rhystothehoskins) on

Welcome to Philly, Bryce. We hope you like Gritty.

About the Author

Matthew Dennis

After interning with ChatterBlast during his senior year at Temple University, Matt was brought on the team full time as an account coordinator. When Matt is not online, you can find him attending a Philadelphia sporting event, trying out a new restaurant in the city, or rewatching The Office in its entirety for the 28th time.

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