Harper depicted as 'Benedict Arnold' in tweet deleted from DC mayor's account

Dave Uram
April 02, 2019 - 6:49 am
Bryce Harper

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW NEWSRADIO) — The Twitter account of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted, then deleted, an apparent jab at Bryce Harper on Monday, the day before his first visit to the Nationals in a Phillies uniform.

The post showed a photoshopped image of Harper's face on Benedict Arnold's body with the message: "#OnePursuit: See you tomorrow, Bryce."

It was deleted within a half an hour from the mayor's official Twitter feed.

It's unclear what prompted its removal.

The Nationals host the Phillies for a two-game series that begins Tuesday night. It's Harper's first visit to Nats Park since signing with Philadelphia this spring.

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It's widely speculated what kind of reaction Harper will receive there. He was drafted number one overall by the Nationals in 2010 as a 17-year-old about to turn 18. After breezing through their farm system, Harper played seven seasons in Washington, winning four division titles, including Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Most Valuable Player in 2015. He was a six-time All-Star and won the Home Run Derby last season when the mid-summer classic was hosted at Nationals Park. He's provided that fan base tons of memories that flat out didn't exist before his arrival. 

Not to mention, Harper was also active in the D.C. community, which Bowser highlighted in a sit down with the NBC Sports Washington podcast "The Racing Presidents" last week. 

According to Barry Svrluga, a columnist at The Washington Post, Harper wanted to return to the Nationals on a deal that would keep him in Washington for the remainder of his career. But the club's second offer featured a lot of deferred money and ultimately forced him to look elsewhere. The Phillies 13-year, $330 million dollar deal with no opt-outs and a full no trade clause was what Harper was looking for. 

It's understandable if Nationals fans want to boo Harper for bouncing to another National League East team. At the same time, he did a lot during his seven-years there. 

"It's all in fun, so we'll just see what happens," Bowser told NBC Sports Washington. "He's a big boy, so I'm pretty sure he knows what to expect."

Regardless of what the reception may be, Harper is ready. 

"I mean, I'm sure some cheers, some boos as well," Harper said after the Phillies swept the Braves on Sunday night. "It's part of the game. It's part of sports. So, I'll always remember and cherish all the screaming and yelling and the exciting times that we had the last seven years. But like I said before, I wish them nothing but the best."

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106.7 The Fan's Chris Lingebach contributed to this report.