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Bryce Harper knows the Phillies face a tough road to the postseason in 2021.
The Philadelphia Phillies are once again desperate for success in 2021. The team has not been to the postseason since 2011 and the addition of Bryce Harper has not yet even led to a winning season.
Harper is the face of the franchise and seems to understand the weight put on his shoulders. He recently spoke with the media while at spring training and expressed just how tough it will be to compete in a strong National League East division in 2021.
Bryce Harper knows the Phillies face a real challenge
“I think this is the best division in baseball; I don’t think that’s even a question,” the 28-year-old star said in a videoconference call on Thursday shared by ESPN.com. “We have five teams … that are really good. I think this is going to be a juggernaut of a division.”
The NL East is a fascinating division. Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, won the World Series in 2019 and then fell to last place in 2020.
The Atlanta Braves have won the division three years in a row and even the lowly Miami Marlins made the expanded postseason in 2020. The New York Mets now have Francisco Lindor and are projected to be a real powerhouse. So where does that leave the Phillies?
The answer fans don’t want to hear is that the Phillies appear to be destined for mediocrity again in 2021. Changing that is up to Harper and the likes of J.T. Realmuto, Zack Wheeler, Andrew McCutchen and all those on the team making big money. The front office has been spending like a winner without getting the desired results.
Harper also mentioned in the interview that the hiring of Dave Dombrowski this offseason is a good sign for the Phillies. He is known for his championship pedigree and for doing whatever it takes to win. Phillies fans would likely be fine with him trading away some top prospects if it meant finally getting back into October and competing for a World Series.
The Phillies have the raw talent to be a contender. Now fans will want to see it all come together in 2021. If they have another losing season, no one in Philadelphia is going to care that the division was a bit stronger.