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Harper Didn't Have Butterflies, Glad To Have Passion Back

Apr 29, 2012 4:35 PM EST

Bryce Harper hustled and played with passion in his Major League debut on Saturday afternoon as the Nationals lost to the Dodgers in extra innings.

He confessed that it wasn't easy to find passion while playing for Triple-A Syracuse in cold weather.

"I really had that fire and passion back in my game," Harper said. "Coming here, playing with a winning team like we are, it's a great opportunity to play and have that passion back."

Harper was surprised before the game that he wasn't more anxious. He mentioned "trying to stay as mellow as I can" after Davey Johnson had counseled him to "relax and have fun" in his debut.

"I really didn't have butterflies at all," Harper said. "I'm waiting for it to sink in and feel it. In the dugout before the game, I'm sitting there thinking, 'I'm in the big leagues.'"

Via MLB.com