Washington mayor likens Phillies’ Bryce Harper to traitor Benedict Arnold

A photoshopped picture of Bryce Harper on the uniformed torso of Benedict Arnold appeared on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Twitter page on Monday. (Twitter)Philadelphia Phillies‘ Bryce Harper before a spring training game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O‘Meara)

WASHINGTON — Former Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper returned to the nation’s capital Tuesday with the Philadelphia Phillies and was met with some tough love from fans who burned his jersey and a mayoral tweet that likened him to an infamous Revolutionary War traitor.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Twitter page on Monday featured a photoshopped picture of Harper on the uniformed torso of Benedict Arnold. The tweet was quickly deleted, but drew cheers from Washington Nationals fans still fuming about Harper’s signing with a National League rival.

Bowser told the Washington Post the tweet was published without her approval, but the sentiment captured that of many “Nats” fans who felt slighted by Harper’s departure.

Harper played high school and college baseball in Las Vegas before being drafted by the Nationals with a No. 1 pick in 2010.

He was the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year and tied for the most home runs in 2015, when he was named the NL most valuable player.

Benedict Arnold was a Revolutionary War officer who defected to the British in 1780.

Harper turned down a $300 million, 10-year offer from the Nationals and became a free agent before signing for $330 million over 13-years with the Phillies.

The Las Vegas-raised slugger has started the season with two home runs in three games going into his first appearance in Nationals Park as an opponent on Tuesday.

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