Bryce Harper forced his way into the Nationals' lineup this weekend. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson had planned on resting outfielder Bryce Harper this weekend. According to Nationals' beat reporter Mark Zuckerman, Harper wasn't too keen on the idea of riding the bench this weekend.
Harper jokingly told Johnson "play me or trade me" in a text message in an attempt to dissuade Johnson from benching the 20-year-old. Harper had missed over a month with knee bursitis before returning to the lineup on Monday.
"Since trading him is out of the question, I guess I'm going to play him," Johnson said in response to Harper's demand.
Harper is just 1-for-19 since returning on Monday with the one hit being a home run on the second pitch he saw since his return from the disabled list. Despite struggling mightily at the plate, Harper is indeed in the lineup this weekend against the Padres.