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Phillies' Bryce Harper stops by the NBC Sports Philadelphia booth and eyes come back

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Bryce Harper has a future in the booth if she wants it.

The Phillies slugger, who is nearing a return to the team after breaking his thumb in June, joined Tom McCarthy and John Crook on NBC Sports Philadelphia for Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals. This was the first time Harper sat in front of the mic, and he suggested it may not be the last.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Harper. “Maybe I’ll come back before I go back and play.”

In addition to updating viewers with his status (which he hopes to return in September), Harper also threw a Phillies powder blue from his favorite player (Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner) during the game. We chatted about everything from our love of back uniforms. He also praised former Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who died this week at the age of 94.

» Read more: Tonight’s Phillies game not on NBC Sports Philadelphia

But he was especially useful during the game’s action. Harper praised the first baseman’s approach when Rhys Hoskins hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first off Paolo Espino to tie the game.

“What a great swing. He’s so good when he keeps playing baseball,” Harper said. “I mean, when he gets through the ball and goes to right center, it’s such an impressive at-bat. And it just happens.

“Espino is a guy who goes out and tries to keep you off balance and out of your swing,” Harper added.

In the second inning, Harper touched on Alec Baum’s recent successes, as he struggled early in the season and angered Phillies fans after television cameras caught him saying something. [expletive] I hate this place after the crowd mocked him for playing routine. Harper was happy to see Bohm talking to new Phillies center fielder Brandon Marsh in the dugout.

“I like him sitting on the bench talking about this stuff, because he’s in the game and he understands the game,” Harper said of Bohm. “He wants to be very good and I love his mentality, but he’s going to struggle. It’s okay to struggle. I think he needs to learn that.”

Harper was particularly pleased in the third inning when Bohm blew off a 3-run bomb to left field to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead. It was Bohm’s eighth home run of the season, his career-high, and a .417 batting average in his last 15 games.

Harper was also thinking about new Phillies pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who famously gave up stealing. In fact, Nationals third baseman Michael Franco stole Syndergaard’s second base in the second inning, his first stolen base of the season.

“He has a stand-up move, and that’s exactly how he pitches,” Harper said. “That’s where he gets leverage and length and stuff, and that’s probably something with JT. [Realmuto] you can talk to him

If the reaction on social media is any indication, Phillies fans were thrilled with Harper’s first stint in the booth. McCarthy, who is always goofing around on Twitter, highlighted one of the few complaints he received about the broadcast.

Kurk remained Kurk even with Harper in the booth. He was called out by McCarthy after using foul language on two occasions and couldn’t stop mocking Harper’s lawsuit.

“I have to respect Booth,” Harper said.

“Yeah, let’s get started sometime,” Kurk joked.

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