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Bryce Harper has attempted to keep his profile low so far this spring.
OK, so perhaps that's not as significant as Ryan Zimmerman's $100 million contract extension or the open competition for roster spots. But given the attention Harper had been getting not only for his on-field performance but also for his online personality, it's sure to catch a few people by surprise.
Why did Harper delete the account last night?
"I just wanted to," the 19-year-old outfielder said. "I was done."
Harper wasn't interested in providing more details than that, though it's perhaps no coincidence he halted his tweeting less than 48 hours after the Nationals held a full-team meeting on PR and media relations, bringing in a media consultant to advise players on how to handle themselves with the public and reporters.
"We warned them about 'Tweeter' and Facebook and all kinds of sites," manager Davey Johnson said Monday, revealing his lack of expertise in the social networking medium. "Nothing's secret anymore. I did point to a couple guys and said, 'Now you listen to this.' I'm not mentioning any names, but you know probably who."
Harper drew plenty of attention over the offseason when he tweeted about his favorite teams outside of baseball: the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers and Duke basketball. But he also spent plenty of time interacting with fans, encouraging them to ask him questions over the site and then offering up quick responses.
"I like giving them the real me," he said upon reporting to camp. "I want them to know the real me."
At the same time, Harper has been keenly aware of the spotlight he's under this spring, knowing the Nationals' decision whether to put him on the Opening Day roster could have as much to do with the way he conducts himself in the clubhouse and online as how he plays on the field.
Harper made that clear upon arriving in Viera when he was asked what he most needed to do this spring: "I'm going to come in here, work as hard as I can, keep my mouth shut and play."
Looks like he's sticking to that mantra.