Jul 13, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT
Media day for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game took place on Monday afternoon as all of this year’s participants took questions from reporters ahead of Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati.
Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer were asked just about everything, so we thought it was best to share the highlights in question-and-answer form. You can also see videos of their media sessions below their comments…
On hitting 3rd in NL lineup: “I had no idea I was hitting third. Thank you for telling me. I’m excited to play in a lineup with these guys, a certain group of guys that are some of the best in baseball. I’m very excited, very humble to be in this lineup. Just excited to be part of the whole thing.”
On Max Scherzer starting Sunday and not being able to pitch in All-Star Game: “I think anybody in baseball would’ve done that. He’s got the mentality to go out there every single day. We needed that W, and I think he knew that. It’s a lot more important than one inning in the All-Star Game.”
On why he would only do the HR Derby if his did was pitching to him: “It’s the being comfortable factor, also. Being comfortable looking out there and seing him throw to me. To see him out there, it’s more than just seeing another BP guy. You calm down a little bit, because you’ve seen him out there throwing to you day-in and day-out for your whole life. It’s definitely a bummer that he got hurt. But I’m looking forward to seeing these guys tonight, very excited for Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and those guys.”
On Pete Rose: “The only thing I can really remember is sliding into third base with his hair going crazy and him running over the catcher in the All-Star Game. Pete’s a great player. He always was. I have nothing but respect for him and the way he played. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
On coming here even though he can’t pitch: “It’s too much fun. Being in that clubhouse is special. Seeing all the All-Stars, all the guys you play against in the league, it’s too much fun. There’s no way I could ever pass up this opportunity.”
On if there’s extra pride in being an All-Star from both leagues now: “There’s something to that. But every All-Star here in the National League can also be an All-Star. Both sides are equally impressive.”
On what other pitchers impress him: “The other pitcher I see right now that I’m in awe of is Chris Sale. I think what he’s doing this year is unbelievable. I’ve seen it the past few years, so it doesn’t really surprise me. But god, his slider, changeup and what he can do with his fastball is amazing to me.”
On Bryce Harper: “It’s great. He has that elite ability. I played with Miggy and watched him play. And he has that ability to hit a pitcher’s pitch for home runs. You just don’t see that from many guys. But the thing is, he’s still growing. He’s still learning the game. And that’s what makes him exciting to watch, because he’s going to continue to get better. He’s not going to necessarily hit for a higher average or this. But he’s going to understand the game more. As pitchers start to figure him out, he’s going to have to do things differently. And that’s a game he understands. We’ve talked about it. It’s really exciting to see him grow in certain ways.”
Is it a scary thought to think there might still be more in him? “Oh, there’s still more there. I firmly believe it. That’s how good I think he is. He’s just going to be able to do more things more consistently and understand more situations to be more productive. It’s not that he’s going to hit the ball now 700 feet. He’s just going to understand what the pitcher’s trying to do and still be able to get the job done.”
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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