Losing Bryce Harper in free agency would destroy most teams, but instead the Washington Nationals have made an improbable run to the World Series without the All-Star outfielder.
Despite facing a red-hot Cardinals team in the NLCS, the Nationals only needed four games to win the series. Washington has relied on starting pitching and timely hitting to win the National League.
As you'd expect, the biggest storyline surrounding the Nationals has to do with Harper's offseason decision. There are several critics out there saying that his departure was beneficial for Washington.
Harper spoke with Jayson Stark of The Athletic this week about watching his former team clinch a spot in the World Series.
Even though he's watching his former teammates thrive without him, Harper said that he isn't jealous. The former MVP also stated that he doesn't regret signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The full dialogue between Harper and Stark can be seen on The Athletic.
Washington's run to the World Series isn't a direct result of Harper leaving for Philadelphia. At the end of the day, he led the team to the playoffs multiple times during his time there.
Part of the reason that Harper is receiving so much criticism right now is because of his persona. He's a polarizing figure that fans either love or hate.
If the Nationals end up winning the World Series this season, it's safe to say Harper will face a ton of questions about his decision to sign with the Phillies.