Bryce Harper Cries After Winning NL MVP Honors ... 'This Year Was Tough'

Bryce Harper was so overwhelmed by winning the second MVP award of his career on Thursday ... he broke down in tears.

MLB Network cameras captured the emotional moment ... just seconds after the league announced the Philadelphia Phillies star was the recipient of the honor.

Harper -- who was wiping tears off his cheeks throughout his interview with the network -- said this one meant a significant amount to him, considering he had started the year in April by being drilled in the face with a 97 MPH fastball.

"This year was tough," Harper said. "Starting off getting hit in the face, it was definitely a tough couple days for me. Tough couple weeks for me trying to get back."

Harper thanked his family, his wife, his teammates -- and even his chef for helping him get through the year, joking, "I never went to bed hungry!"

Harper -- who previously won the NL MVP back in 2015 with the Washington Nationals -- beat out Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis for the honor this year ... and it was well deserved.

The 29-year-old hit 35 home runs, scored 101 runs, logged 84 RBI and batted .309 in 141 games.

MLB's Victor Robles Praying Mantis Lands On OF's Head ... Stays For An Inning!!!

How's Victor Robles filling the void of no more Max Scherzer and no more Trea Turner in the Washington Nationals' dugout??

Apparently with insects ... 'cause the Nats outfielder played with a praying mantis on his head for a full inning during his game Monday!!!

The hilarious scene all went down during the Nationals' tilt vs. the Phillies in D.C. ... when the 24-year-old outfielder got a surprise visit from a green friend.

Broadcast cameras captured the bug on Robles' dome while he was in the dugout ... and when he left the bench area to hit the field, the mantis stayed with him!!

For the entire inning, Robles and the mantis hung out in center field ... and at one point, Robles even informed his little friend of how many outs were in the inning!

Doesn't seem the creature brought Robles or the Nats good luck, though ... 'cause they went on to blow a 3-2 lead to lose the game, 7-5.

In fact, the Phillies went on to claim the mantis as their good luck charm, saying on social media, "RALLY MANTIS."

Tough week for the Nationals, huh?

Philadelphia Phillies Fan Makes Unreal Foul Ball Catch ... Doesn't Spill His Ice Cream!!!

Forget the web gems ON the field ... a Phillies fan made such an incredible 1-handed catch on a foul ball in the stands Sunday night, Alex Rodriguez even praised the dude!!!

The insane stab all went down in the 7th inning of the Phils' loss to the New York Mets ... when Michael Conforto sent a pitch screaming down the left-field line.

You can see in video of the play, the ball was a blur as it headed for the seats ... but one dude stuck out one paw and made the grab!!

And, get this ... the guy didn't even spill a drop of the ice cream he had in his other hand!!!

The play was so remarkable, A-Rod -- who was broadcasting the game for ESPN -- said, "Get that fan a contract!"

Rodriguez later added after seeing the replay, "I mean, come on!"

What's even more amazing about the play ... statcast experts say the ball had an exit velocity of 97 MPH off Conforto's bat!!!

The guy then made the biggest pro move of all -- he gave the baseball to his date, and it sure as hell seemed like she was impressed.

Eat your heart out, Bryce Harper.

Bryce Harper Drilled In Face By 97 MPH Fastball ... But MLB Star Somehow 'All Good'

Bryce Harper is lucky to have avoided complete disaster Wednesday ... the MLB star was drilled in the nose by a 97 MPH pitch, but thankfully, he says he's somehow "all good."

The Phillies outfielder was up to bat in the 6th inning of Philadelphia's tilt with the St. Louis Cardinals ... when Génesis Cabrera's pitch got away from him and smashed BH right in the face.

The clip is horrifying ... the fastball appeared to catch Harper right between the eyes -- and Bryce immediately left the game for the training room.

Of course, with players like Giancarlo Stanton having suffered SEVERE damage from being hit with pitches in the face in the past ... many feared the worst for Harper.

But, fortunately, Harper said in a video after the game he passed all tests and expects to recover in no time.

"MY FACE IS STILL THERE"
@bryceharper3 / Instagram

"Everything feels good," Bryce said, showing off nothing more than minor swelling on his nose. "Everything came back good -- CT [scan], all that kind of stuff."

"So, face is still there. So, we're all good. See you guys soon!"

As for Cabrera -- who also hit Didi Gregorious in the back in the at-bat following Harper's -- he felt so badly about the night, he apologized after the game.

"I really wish him the best," Cabrera said of Harper. "I hope he has a speedy recovery, in whatever it is that happened, and that he'll be able to return to baseball activities."

"The game got away from me at that point. I'm really sorry for everything that happened today. None of it was intentional. And again, I'm sorry for everything."

By the way ... the Phils went on to win the game, 5-3, despite the loss of Harper. The two teams will play again Thursday morning.

Bryce Harper Rocks Insane Phanatic Cleats ... For MLB Opening Day

Bryce Harper's pheet looked phantastic on MLB's Opening Day Thursday ... 'cause the Philadelphia superstar rocked some custom Phanatic cleats for the occasion -- and they were INSANE!!

One of the spikes was covered in green fur, fake eyeballs and had the word "Phanatic" written across its side.

The other shoe had a little miniature Phanatic sewed into it ... with the mascot's baby feet popping out by Harper's toes!!!

The heat was created by custom shoe artist Soles By Sir ... who said of the spikes Wednesday, "Yes, we did a little something!"

Of course, Harper's no stranger to custom gear ... he's famously rocked Kobe Bryant tribute cleats in the past as well as some ultra-patriotic 4th of July footwear back in 2016.

As for the rest of Harper's Opening Day 'fit ... it was all just as on point as his cleats -- he showed up to the stadium in an Allen Iverson jacket that was clean as hell!!

#SWAAAAAAAGGG!!

Bryce Harper 1-Year-Old Son Crushes Tee Ball Home Run ... Swings Just Like Dad!!!

BABY HARPER

Baseball clearly runs THICK in the Harper blood ...

Here's Bryce Harper's 1-year-old son hitting a MOON SHOT home run off his toy tee ball set Wednesday ... and, yeah, safe to say Dad loves it!!!

The Philadelphia Phillies superstar's kid was getting in some hacks with his plastic baseball bat this week ... when suddenly, the little man fired off a rocket DEEP to left-center!!

Check out the swing ... little Krew Harper already has the one-handed follow-through down pat!

Bryce was impressed with his boy's ability ... writing of the clip, "That'll work."

The effort is pretty amazing ... Krew was only born in August 2019 -- so, only about 17 years to go until the MLB debut?!

By the way, baseball stars' infant sons crushing homers is becoming quite the thing in the MLB ... have you seen Freddie Freeman's kid with the bat??

BORN FOR THIS

Yeah, who's questioning baseball's future now?!?!

MLB's Jose Alvarez Takes 105 MPH Line Drive To Groin ... Carted Off Field

6:24 AM PT -- 8/21 -- HE'S OK!!!!!

Speaking a few hours after the incident, Alvarez told reporters somehow everything checked out fine after a trip to the hospital.

"It was pretty bad," Alvarez said. "Obviously, it hit me in my private parts. It’s a pain that’s hard to describe."

"But, thank God I feel much better now. Everything was good in the hospital. Nothing wrong. Nothing bad. Hopefully, I’ll be good in a couple days."

PHEW!!!!!!!!!!

WARNING: THIS VIDEO WILL MAKE YOU SQUIRM!!!

A Philadelphia Phillies pitcher was hit square in the groin by a 105 mph line drive Thursday ... and the ball caught so flush with the guy's man junk -- he needed a cart to leave the field.

Relief pitcher Jose Alvarez was facing Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel in the bottom of the 5th -- when LG launched a comebacker that found its way straight into Alvarez's crotch.

Alvarez was able to shake off the pain for long enough to get the out at first ... but immediately after, the dude crumpled to the grass, wincing and grabbing his ding dong area.

Jose was down on the field for several minutes ... before, eventually, trainers loaded him onto a cart to take him into the locker room.

Unclear the extent of Jose's injuries ... but dude did give a wave on his way off the diamond -- a decent sign everything might be all right after all.

But, man. Yikes.

Originally published -- 8/20 12:48 PM PT

Philadelphia Phillies Shut Down Workouts ... Coach, Staffer Test Positive For COVID-19

10:39 AM PT -- As expected ... the Phillies' games against the Blue Jays this weekend have been postponed.

The Philadelphia Phillies have brought all team activities to a screeching halt ... after 2 members of the organization tested positive for the coronavirus.

Remember, the Miami Marlins announced a serious COVID-19 outbreak after playing a series in Philly over the weekend ... with at least 19 reported cases as of Thursday morning.

The problem -- some Marlins players reportedly found out they tested positive for COVID prior to Sunday's game against the Phillies ... but the rest of the team decided to play anyway.

Now, the Phillies are reporting 2 members of the team -- zero players -- have tested positive ... and are taking no chances at letting things get worse.

The team says it's shut down all team activities "until further notice" ... which also leaves the Phillies' weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays up in the air.

The Phillies' series against the Yankees was postponed due to the COVID outbreak ... but MLB commish Rob Manfred says the outbreak is "no nightmare."

Story developing ...

Philadelphia Phillies Mascot New Phanatic Look ... Doesn't Look Very New At All 🤔

The Philadelphia Phillies debuted a new look for their beloved mascot, the Phanatic, this weekend -- but in very anticlimactic fashion ... he appears to have not changed very much.

The lovable, green monster furball trotted out onto the field Sunday ahead of the team's game against the Pirates in Clearwater, FL -- where they're hosting their Spring Training home opener. The buzz was that the costume would look a bit different ... for legal reasons.

Long story short ... Phillies brass are in the middle of this legal sitch with the original creators of the Phanatic's design, Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, who drew up what fans have come to enjoy for decades now. Well, the rights expire this summer ... and the two designers want their fair cut in order to have the mascot continue being used by the team.

It doesn't appear the Phillies wanna pay Erickson and Harrison though, so they've come up with this new design that's supposed to be different enough to avoid having to pony up potentially millions. This is what they came up with, and frankly ... kinda the same, no?

ACTUALLY ... there are slight modifications to the suit. The nose is a bit shorter and more evenly rounded, and it looks ol' Phanatic here dropped a few pounds too. The new mascot also has different colored socks, shoes and a bigger caboose -- plus, wings along the arms.

The question in court will obviously be ... are these changes unique enough to stand as its own new creation??? Hmmm ... our eye test is telling us, nah. Thoughts, judge?

Bryce Harper Told Heckler To 'Shut The F**k Up' Before Massive Home Run

SILENCING THE HATERS
@schettino10

Before Bryce Harper sent a baseball to another planet in walk-off fashion Thursday night ... he told a heckler to "shut the f**k up" -- and the scene was hilarious!!!

The Philadelphia Phillies superstar has heard constant chirping from fans this year after signing a 13-year, $330 MILLION contract this offseason ... 'cause he hasn't quite performed up to expectations.

So, after he was 0-for-3 to start the Phillies' game against the Cubs ... a fan let him have it on his way back to the dugout.

"$330 million, 0-for-3," the fan said ...

"Shut the f**k up, stupid!" Harper clapped back.

Of course, there's no doubt the fan did exactly that just an inning later ... 'cause in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded -- Harper sent a baseball 413 feet to give the Phils a series sweep over the visiting Cubs!!!

It had to feel good for Harper -- who's now officially busted out of his slump with 7 home runs and 15 RBI in the last two weeks.

Begs the question ... what does Miles Teller know that the rest of the baseball world doesn't?!?!

8/14/19
STILL WORTH IT
TMZSports.com

Miles Teller Defends Bryce Harper Phillies Made A Good Investment!!!

8/14/19
STILL WORTH IT
TMZSports.com

Bryce Harper is NOT a bust ... and his $330 MILLION contract WILL pay off for the Phillies -- so says Philadelphia superfan Miles Teller!!!

"I think it's a good investment!"

Of course, Harper has been a disappointment for the Phils since inking a 13-year contract this offseason ... he's batting just .248 with 22 home runs.

But, Teller -- who's been a die-hard Phillies supporter since he was kid -- didn't seem too concerned about the outfielder when we got him out in Bev Hills this week, saying he believes Harper will bounce back, eventually.

"He'll be with the Phillies for, what, 13 years?" the "Whiplash" actor says ... "So, I think, you know, it's one of 13."

Philadelphia is certainly hoping Harper can still salvage this year ... the team is just two games out of the Wild Card race in the National League!!

And, if Harper can't put it all together and the Phils don't make the playoffs -- Teller tellls us he'll be understanding.

"Sports are hard, man."

#Truth

Alex Rodriguez Jewelry & Electronics Stolen In Rental Car Heist ... Cops Have Video

THE BREAK-IN
Bryan Carmody

9:09 AM PT -- 8/13 -- TMZ Sports has obtained video of the aftermath of the break-in ... with cops fingerprinting the Nissan to try to get a lead on the thieves.

You can see in the video, the rear-passenger side window is smashed in ... with glass shards still hanging from the door frame.

5:57 PM PT -- The San Francisco Police Department tells us the stolen items include jewelry, a laptop, a camera and electronic equipment ... and the SFPD Burglary Unit is handling the investigation.

5:29 PM PT -- A rep for A-Rod tells TMZ ... “The financial value of the items stolen from Alex Rodriguez’s vehicle while he was having dinner is being grossly exaggerated."

One source with direct knowledge of the case tells us the value of the stolen items is nowhere near $500k ... and we're told that figure is not even close to what the items are really worth.

A-Rod just broke his silence too ... saying, “I am saddened that several items that were of a personal nature and irreplaceable with sentimental value were taken. I am encouraged that local law enforcement has security footage of the crime and are doing all they can to get the items back."

Alex Rodriguez had HALF A MILLION DOLLARS worth of stuff stolen from his rental car while he was in San Francisco broadcasting a Giants-Phillies game ... TMZ Sports has confirmed.

Law enforcement sources tell us the MLB legend -- who was in town for his ESPN gig as a baseball color commentator -- had his rented SUV broken into just a few blocks from Oracle Park on Sunday.

We're told the burglary happened around 10 PM ... and the thieves made off with $500,000 worth of electronics and jewelry.

Rodriguez had been at the stadium nearly the entire day ... he and his ESPN crew called the Giants' 9-6 win over Philadelphia on "Sunday Night Baseball."

Law enforcement sources tell us they've made the case a high priority ... with investigators working overnight to collect evidence.

We've reached out to Rodriguez for comment ... but so far, no word back yet.

Originally Published -- 8/12 3:22 PM PT

Philadelphia Phillies Dad Holding Baby Catches Foul Ball ... With 1 Hand!!!

WHAT A CATCH ... by the dad in the stands!!!

A Philadelphia Phillies fan made an AMAZING 1-handed grab at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday ... snagging a foul ball while HOLDING HIS BABY!!

The Phillies were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks when Nick Ahmed fouled a pitch off into the right field stands ... where a dude clutching an infant got under the ball.

With his kid on his hip, the dad reached up and CAUGHT IT WITH 1 HAND -- without dropping the baby!!

The crowd went wild. The Phillies went wild. It was ... WILD!

The broadcasters on NBC Sports Philadelphia were impressed too -- "With a baby in hand, he was able to make the grab," one of the guys said ... "Oh man, what a baller!"

After the catch, the man told reporters he played high school and college baseball ... so he's got a little experience.

Nice grab, dude!

By the way, the Diamondbacks ended up beating the Phillies in a 6 to 1 beatdown. Wonder if Dad can hit!?

Roy Halladay Still Impacting Phils' Locker Room ... Zach Eflin Says

ALWAYS THINKIN' ABOUT HIM
TMZSports.com

Roy Halladay -- nearly two years after his tragic death -- is STILL having an impact on the Phillies' locker room, so says stud pitcher Zach Eflin.

"We're always thinking about him," Eflin tells TMZ Sports ... "There's a lot of things I take away from him."

Halladay died after the plane he was piloting in the Gulf of Mexico crashed into the water on November 7, 2017.

It was a horrific moment for baseball -- losing such a legend at just 34 years old -- but Eflin says his legacy is still carrying on strong in Philadelphia.

In fact, Eflin tells us he's still to this day using tips Halladay taught him during their offseason together ... and says, "He's awesome, man. He was an amazing person."

Halladay will be recognized for his baseball greatness later this month ... the 2-time Cy Young winner is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 21.

Justin Verlander Impressed With Scherzer ... Pitched w/ Broken Nose!

PLAYIN' THROUGH THE PAIN
TMZSports.com

Justin Verlander is giving props to Max Scherzer for coming back strong from a gnarly broken nose injury ... telling TMZ Sports, "I appreciate him working through the pain."

Of course, Mad Max took a baseball straight to the face during a bunting drill in Nationals' batting practice Tuesday ... and suffered a nasty broken nose and a black eye as a result.

But, Scherzer toughed it out and pitched for Washington just 24 hours later ... and DOMINATED -- throwing 7 innings with no earned runs and 10 strikeouts against the Phillies.

Verlander -- who played with Max for a few years in Detroit -- says he saw his ex-teammate put in the work ... and he was impressed!!!

By the way ... we also asked Verlander if he thinks he's done enough in his own career to deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame -- and he tells us he ain't so sure.

But, with 213 career wins, 2,839 strikeouts AND an MVP award on his resume ... come on, JV!!!

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