Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper sent manager Davey Johnson a text message that said "play me or trade me" after learning of Johnson's plan to rest him this weekend against the Padres, most people thought he was joking. He wasn't.
"I was pretty serious about what I said, I want to play every day," Harper told reporters, including CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman. "I want to play. I want to play every single day. I think if he wants to put me in the lineup, then I want to be in the lineup. If he doesn't, I'm going to try to make him put me in the lineup."
Harper entered Saturday's game against the Padres in an 0-for-18 slump since he hit a homer in his first at-bat after being activated from the DL. The manager planned to give the young star a break, but changed his mind after receiving the text message.
The two met before the game to discuss the message. "He came in and we had a nice chat," Johnson told reporters. "As far as I'm concerned, he's good to go." (via Zuckerman)
"Since trading him is out of the question, I guess he's playing," Johnson quipped.
Harper had a solid day offensively, going 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBI. The 20-year-old hit a game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, and the Nationals ended up defeating the Padres, 5-4.
He also learned he was elected a National League starter in the All-Star Game.