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12 | EXPRESS | 05.10.2019 | WEEKEND





The average runs scored by the Nationals over their previous 10 games before their series opener against the Dodgers on Thursday night, which ended after Express’ deadline. Over that 10-game span, Washington went 2-8 and scored more than three runs only once. The return of third baseman Anthony Rendon to the middle of the lineup this week should help in the long run, but the slugger was hitless in his first two games back from an elbow contusion. (EXPRESS)

lefty hitters to a .125 average in his best year, on the cusp of the majors. Last winter, as each of the 30 major league clubs declined to welcome him into its farm system, he essentially went unnoticed. Occasionally, he would talk to his kid brother. “I would tell him, ‘I’m so frustrated,’ ” Bryan Harper said. “‘I just want to get going.’ ” “Yeah,” Bryce Harper would say. “I hear ya’.” “It’s like, ‘Bryce, shut up,’ ” Bryan Harper said. The Lancaster reliever is OK, thank you. Yes, his brother has the 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, and Bryan is earning $2,000 a month to pitch in the independent Atlantic League. Pull into a place such as Regency

Furniture Stadium — where the banner outside reads, “Welcome to Crustacean Nation” — in a town such as Waldorf, Md., and you wonder if you’re there to see careers revived and kept alive or to peter out and die. Those are the options. One question becomes inescapable: Why? “I got too much left on the

Red Sox — well, some of them — meet Trump


The tarp was on, and the outfield was a grassy soup late Sunday morning as Bryan Harper stood outside the people-on-top-of-people visitors’ clubhouse at Regency Furniture Stadium and said, quite plainly and believably, “I’m happy to be here.” He wore Under Armour sweats and a backward black baseball cap because it wasn’t yet time to pull on his Lancaster Barnstormers grays for the game against the host Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, destined to be postponed anyway. He is 29, a young man. He has been told he’s too old. He is a left-handed pitcher who has appeared in 213 minor-league games, during which he held


The other Harper: Bryan, 29, still has big league dreams

While Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal, his brother Bryan earns $2,000 a month.

WHITE HOUSE | President Trump holds a jersey presented to him by Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez, right, during a championship ceremony Thursday on the South Lawn. Manager Alex Cora and several players of color from the 2018 World Series team didn’t attend.

Nats sign former Gold Glove OF Gerardo Parra, who was hitting .198 before Giants dropped him

table, man,” he said. “I have too much left in the tank. When I told Bryce I was going to have to go to indy ball, he was like, ‘Just go do it, man. Don’t worry about it. Whether it works out or not, if you feel like you can still do it, go do it.’ ” What’s the chance at this point, really? The year Bryce made his major league debut as a 19-year-old with the Nationals

and became the National League’s rookie of the year, Bryan was posting a 10.59 ERA with the Nats’ short-season Class A affiliate in Auburn, N.Y. From there came a slog completely familiar in baseball, which has countless more Bryan Harpers than Bryces. By 2016, Harper had earned his way to Class AAA Syracuse by using a fastball that sits at 89-90 mph, mixed with a change-up and his wipeout slider to dominate left-handed hitters. Then he had Tommy John surgery. Last summer, the road back left him, on July 13, on the mound at Class AA Harrisburg facing the Hartford Yard Goats. Bryan holds the same hope as every Atlantic League player: perform well, and a big-league farm director might need him. He knows it might not happen. “If I’m here all year, and if I put up good numbers, and nobody wants me, then maybe I’ll revisit it in the offseason,” Bryan said. “But right now, I’m worrying about what I’m doing today, what I’m doing next week, and that’s it. I’m all-in. I have to be.” Follow Barry Svrluga on Twitter @barrysvrluga



Silver: Hire more women to coach and ref in league

Jags LB Smith steps away to ‘get my world in order’

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants half of all new referees joining the league to be women — and he’d like to see teams hire more female coaches. Silver said Thursday that two of the past five refs added from the G-League were women, bringing the total number of female officials to three. “There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball,” he said. Becky Hammon became the league’s first full-time female assistant when she joined the Spurs staff. Mystics guard Kristi Toliver worked as an assistant coach for the Wizards this season. (AP)

Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons and a 2017 Pro Bowl selection, is stepping away from football to “give this time back to myself, my family & my health.” Smith, 28, made the announcement Thursday on Instagram, saying “at this time I must take time away from this game & get my world in order. I appreciate all the support I will & will not get. I just ask that y’all respect my decision to not play football this season.” A fifth-round draft pick from Florida State in 2014, Smith has 445 tackles, nine interceptions, 7½ sacks and five forced fumbles in five seasons. (AP)

Giants catcher Posey on 7-day concussion list after foul ball hits him in helmet

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