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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Unprompted, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel referred to Bryce Harper two times in his pregame press conference on Thursday.

Per Philly.com, Manuel agreed with a reporter who said Washington is playing good baseball because of their rotation, but added this:

"The left fielder has some KirbyPuckett and he's gota youngChase Utley in him," Manuel said. "That brought a lot of life to the table."

Later on in the presser, Manuel was babbling about how the Phillies were able to win Wednesday night's game against the Rockies in large part due to hustle, something his team hasn't shown much of in 2012.

"When I go and look, the only guy I can think about who isconsistent about that is the left fielder from Washington," Manuel said."Try to find somebody else who does it every at-bat. What other guys doit?

"I've seen guys come to the big leagues who were real goodplayers, tremendous players and then all of a sudden they become starsand they run about halfway down the line."

I'm going to take a guess and say that Cole Hamels and some other choice Philadelphia players weren't thrilled with their manager's praise of Bryce Harper.

The two budding rivals don't meet again until July 31st at Nationals Park.

(H/T @doubleuefwhy)

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