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Nationals' Harper: 'I might be a little bit smarter next year'

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who's drawn criticism for his reckless style of play, may not be as inclined to take silly risks next season, reports Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post.

“I might be a little bit smarter next year,” Harper said. “We were 18 games out. I shouldn’t even have been on the field, probably. But that’s the type of player I am. I’m going to go out there and give it all I can, and I’m gonna play every day like it’s my last. That’s what these fans expect; that’s what baseball expects; and that’s what I wanna do.”

Harper was limited to 118 games last season, missing time in May after running into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium, and subsequently landing on the disabled list with knee bursitis.

“I don’t want to run into another wall,” Harper continued. “That killed me for the whole season. Having 15 stitches and having my knee all messed up and things like that, I don’t wanna do. I might go out to right field or left field with catcher’s gear on. I’ll see what I can do this year and try to get better out there. Take better routes the best I can and hopefully be a little bit smarter against the wall and get a little bit better.” 

The precocious 21-year-old, who's already made two All-Star appearances, isn't especially concerned with personal accolades going forward, though.

“My main goal is, even if I’m one of the worst players in history, if I have six rings I don’t really care,” said Harper. “I want rings and that’s what I wanna do. So I’m going to work my tail off to bring titles back here and see where we’re at.”

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