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A complete social media history of the Bryce Harper saga

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Bryce is finally a Phillie, but it was a torturous journey to get here. Let’s relive the whole thing, shall we?

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper is a Phillie. It actually happened.

The face of Major League Baseball will have a Phils jersey underneath it for the next decade and after months of waiting, Philadelphia can finally experience pure joy again.

Folks, this is one of the greatest days in franchise history, and it was a crazy journey to get here. For those of us who couldn’t tear away ourselves from our Tweetdeck and social media accounts throughout the winter, it was a time of hope, followed by patience, followed by a lot of impatience, followed by a solid month of insanity.

We’re happy, but exhausted. Let’s take a look at how we got there, told exclusively through social media and the reporters/insiders/fans/unhinged masses that held your hand and, on many occasions, squeezed it way too hard, during this process.

NOVEMBER

When the off-season started, many assumed the Phillies would target Manny Machado instead of Harper, as evidenced by these predictions below.

Credit Buster for sniffing out the Giants as a suitor early, I suppose.

The Nats made a play, but struck out.

The Yankees buzz just never got going.

And agent Scott Boras held court and tried to be poetic. It didn’t work.

Bob was feelin’ it, kids.

Ah yes, the “STUPID MONEY” quote. This essentially required the Phils to add one of Macharper at this point.

Harper at first? he he he

This gave everyone a fun, fuzzy feeling for a few days.

And as November ended, most believed it was going to be Machado going to the Phils and not Harper.

DECEMBER

Bob routinely brought the crazy sauce. Jeff, meanwhile, bummed us out with all this White Sox stuff.

At this point, odd-makers differed from the general feeling that the team was targeting Machado and had the Phils as favorites for Harper.

The Nationals, rebuffed by Harper, decided to go in a wholly different direction and nabbed Patrick Corbin out from under the Phillies’ and Yankees’ noses. It also meant they probably weren’t going to come back to Harper later on.

Meanwhile, Bryce was living his life.

It was around this time rumors circulated that the Dodgers were looking to trade their glut of outfielders, with the assumption they would then target Harper.

WINTER MEETINGS

Finally, the Winter Meetings began, and while the Phils met with Harper’s agent in Las Vegas, there was no face-to-face meeting with Bryce.

Sigh. Mystery teams. eye roll emoji

Despite not landing Harper, the Phils did make some news by trading for Jean Segura and surprisingly signing Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million deal.

Hey, that WAS fun, Buster!

Uh, yeah. That $400 million... didn’t happen, obvs.

Eventually, the Dodgers pulled the trigger and everyone in Philadelphia panicked.

Awesome.

JANUARY

By now, we’re looking at our watches and noticing it’s getting kind of late in the off-season to still be so close to the starting line.

It seemed like there were 10 or 20 false indicators like this.

At one point, a freaking video game started messing with us. A VIDEO GAME.

Eventually, finally, the Phillies flew across the country to meet with Harper face-to-face in Vegas.

Bob, apparently impatient with the slog of the off-season, decided to try to will Bryce Harper to the Phils. Machado, by this point, had become an afterthought.

Visions. Visions.

We haven’t seen much of Heyman up to this point here, but you’re going to see a lot of him moving forward. Whether any news was actually delivered, well, you be the judge.

And now the Phils were slightly behind the Nationals (???) as favorites to sign Harper. Vegas and off-shore books are so weird. It’s just one of the reasons I don’t gamble on sports.

Now, the White Sox are back in the conversation? Oh boy.

Hey so all those worries about the Dodgers swooping in and landing a generational talent, no worries kids, they got A.J. Pollock. Gotta avoid that luxury tax, you know.

There was one day in January when we saw Phillies-themed fungo bats made for Bryce Harper by a Pennsylvania-based company splashed online, and there were rumors the team was going to hold a news conference announcing he had signed.

Unfortunately, it was another let-down, and our collective sanity began to wane.

Meanwhile, a few days later, the San Diego Padres smelled blood in the water and tried to play shark.

FEBRUARY

February began with the Phils in the driver’s seat to land either Harper or Machado. And yet, it all still felt so far away.

EIGHT TEAMS?

J.T. REALMUTO TRADE

The Phils did have a big day earlier this month, trading for the best catcher in the game, J.T. Realmuto, and making themselves look a whole lot better to Harper in the process.

But then, a few days later, the San Francisco Giants met with Harper, and we had to hear a solid week of stories talking about how much Harper loves the city of San Francisco. Never mind the fit with the Giants was completely wrong for him.

So wait, they’re “quite serious” about him, but...

Anyway, it was enough to get the odds-makers moving numbers around.

Buster Posey just makes everyone feel good. It’s really that simple.

Buster, the voice of reason.

At this point, pitchers and catchers had reported to Clearwater, and some fans decided a little self-sacrifice was necessary in order to lure Harper to Philadelphia.

The Phils opened camp happy with their squad, but also gently made it clear they hoped not to be done adding to the roster.

Everyone got all worked up when some Redskins “insider” from 106.7 The Fan in DC decided to try and be a baseball insider for a week and, in the process, made a name for himself by peddling bad information.

And then Harper started trolling us. IS THIS A SIGN???

Over the weekend of February 16-17, things got really nuts.

Bowden said it appeared the Phillies and Harper were “rounding third and heading for home” in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, Nats players, fans and writers were talking themselves into Bryce Harper being the PROBLEM in Washington, the thing that held the team BACK.

A former MLB executive tweeted out a “rumor” he saw tweeted by a fake account.

This tweet, in a nutshell, summed up the 2018-19 MLB off-season.

Howard...

Yes, shaming Harper into signing in Philadelphia is absolutely going to work. Good thinking.

Did I mention Phils fans tracked a private plane flying from Vegas to Clearwater, too? Yep, we did that.

Obviously, Vegas felt pretty good about the Phils landing Harper, having them tied for 2nd among NL teams to win the pennant.

And Bowden, undettered, firmly believed Harper was going to get that record-setting contract from the Phillies. He wasn’t wrong.

MANNY MACHADO SIGNS WITH PADRES

Then, like a shot out of the dark, one of the two free agent shoes finally hit the floor. Machado was a Padre.

So now we knew the absolute floor in place for any Harper deal with the Phils. At least 10 years and more than $300 million. This is when most of Philadelphia collectively felt like they were going to throw up. It also provided the perfect opportunity for New York-based reporters to get in their last licks throwing cold water on Harper coming to Philadelphia.

Well, not all New York reporters...

I mean, how can you not love Scott Boras?

This made us feel better.

Then, Matt Klentak opened his mouth and uttered a tone-deaf statement he would have had to live down had things not gone the Phils’ way.

Klentak wasn’t done.

Predictably the city went nuts, especially because it now felt a Harper decisions was truly close. And the numbers started going up in the minds of some.

$400 million after refusing to go to $300 million for Machado? Hmmmmm.

And if one thought the White Sox might make a play for Harper after missing out on Machado, those thoughts were quickly doused.

So in one day, the Padres, White Sox and Nats all appeared to say they were out, and the Giants were only apparently willing to do a lucrative, short-term deal.

It was at about this point that Jon Heyman officially lost his faculties.

On February 22, the Nats officially bowed out.

Martino’s quest to squash any Harper-to-Philly momentum was really quite impressive, right to the end.

Yeah, sure, the owner was flat-out lying.

But now, there was confusion as to whether the Padres were out... or back in again.

MIDDLETON’S VEGAS ADVENTURE

On a Friday night, without warning, came the tweets that excited the Philadelphia fanbase beyond words.

Speculation that this may all be near an end began to run rampant through the baseball Twitterverse.

But it soon became clear Bryce Harper would not be a Phillie right away.

Then, conflicting reports began to emerge.

Narrator’s voice: “Phillies owner John Middleton would, in fact, leave without a deal.”

MYSTERY TEAMS

In the wake of the Phillies visit to Vegas, and the talk of an impending deal that Monday or Tuesday, the “mystery teams” began showing themselves.

First, did the San Francisco Giants indeed make a “long-term” offer to Harper and Boras?

And, all of a sudden, the Dodgers were reportedly back in the game, too.

Were the Dodgers ready to “back up the Brinks truck?” Perhaps.

Meanwhile, back at Phillies camp...

And now, after two days of all-Dodgers, all the time, the Giants entered the picture again.

Steve Phillips poured salt in the wound.

And at the same time, the Phillies did this.

And on the last day of February, word started to trickle out that the Phillies were still trying to low-ball Harper and Boras.

BUT IT WAS ALL A LIE!!!!

AND FINALLY... BRYCE SIGNS!

Like a shot out of nowhere, when we were all at our lowest, when doubt was at its highest, came the news we had waited 118 torturous days to hear.

And as the details began to leak out, it became clear that, with everything you just read and experienced, with all the rumors and “sources” relaying information to us all, NO ONE KNEW ANYTHING.

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Getting the house ready for @bharper3407

A post shared by Jake Arrieta (@jarrieta49) on

And a final lesson for us all when the Phillies potentially do this again in two years.

It happened, guys. It really, actually happened.