Says Jayson Stark on

“They made their decision, and I made my decision as well,” Harper told The Athletic a few days before the first World Series in the life of the Washington Nationals. “I made the best decision for my family. And I am so happy to be in Philly. It’s the place that I wanted to be.”

He then launched into a veritable chamber-of-commerce commercial for Philadelphia. He loves his new team, loves his new teammates, loves his new fans, loves where he lives, loves “the blue collar-ness” of his new town. And all of that, he said, has “made me love the game of baseball more than I ever have.”

So that’s cool. And, by all accounts from the people closest to him, it’s also pretty much the truth. But would he rather be playing in the World Series next week? That’s not even a question worth asking. So you know what was worth asking: Was he jealous, in any way, of all those guys spraying champagne in his old locker room?

“No,” he said again, without a millisecond’s hesitation, “because like I said, I made my decision, and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.

“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am,” he went on, “and not saying to myself, `Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, `Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous.’ No. I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”

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