Morning Briefing: Bryce Harper doesn’t mind being second to Mike Trout

We heard all offseason that Bryce Harper really wanted to set the record for the highest-valued baseball contract of all time. And after waiting until almost the last minute, he got it, signing a 13-year, $330-million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The record lasted about 10 seconds before Mike Trout beat it by agreeing to a 12-year, $426.5-million deal with the Angels.

So Harper must be a bit unhappy about that, right?



At spring training with the Phillies, Harper told reporters that he had spoken to Trout about their contract prospects: “When I talked to him this offseason, I told him, ‘Man, I want to get as much as I can so that you can blow me out of the water pretty much.’ And he did. I’m very happy for him.”

I guess money can buy happiness after all.

He’s done

Former Lakers coach Byron Scott is pretty sure that we are witnessing the final days of Luke Walton on the Lakers bench.


“Listen, I think Luke did a great job under the circumstances,” Scott told TMZ Sports earlier this week. “He’s in a situation that’s extremely, extremely tough.”

“At the end of the day, I can tell you this from past experience, coach is always first to go. That’s just how it is.

“I don’t think firing him is something that is warranted, but if you look at their team, you look at their record, you look at the season ... everybody thought they would make the playoffs.”

And who knows more about the Lakers firing their coaches than Scott, who was dismissed before the team hired Walton. Maybe they can go on a cross-country tour with a two-man show.


Going out on top

Haloti Ngata is retiring from the NFL, but he doesn’t seem like the type who’s going to be sitting around doing nothing.

The five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle chose to announce the end of his playing career from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. On Monday, he posted an Instagram video of himself standing at the summit of the tallest mountain in Africa (19,341 feet above sea level), holding a sign that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.”

“Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude,” he wrote with the post. “Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years. I’m retiring on top.


“I might be finished playing football, but I’m holding tight to the friendships, memories and wisdom I’ve gained along the way.”

He added: “Walking away with no regrets, just peace in knowing I gave it my all and had a helluva lot of fun doing it.”

Ngata’s sign also featured the logos of the three teams he played for during his 13-year career.

He was drafted 12th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and won a Super Bowl with them following the 2012 season. He served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances in 2014.


Ngata went on to play three seasons with the Detroit Lions and spent what would be his final NFL season with the Philadelphia Eagles, during which he recorded 17 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble in 13 games.

He finishes his career with 519 tackles, 63 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles and 32.5 sacks.