“Dear MLB,” GQ wrote before this season. “Please don’t muzzle the most entertaining prospect since Babe Ruth. Thank you, fans everywhere.”
In the ensuing story, Will Leitch wrote that Bryce Harper “seems to have emerged fully formed to piss off the baseball establishment,” and that he’s “a cocky, ornery cuss who can back it all up.”
That’s what we all thought. But we all seem to have been wrong. Sunday afternoon was just the latest incident involving Harper this season, in which a supposed grown-up wanted to have a media spat, and Harper stayed way above the fray. (See Ozzie Guillen screaming here, the full video of the incident here, and a screen-by-screen breakdown here.)
Grown-up Cole Hamels: “I was trying to hit him....Sometimes the league is protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball.”
Grown-up Mike Rizzo: “[Hamels is] fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”
Teenaged Bryce Harper: “He’s a great guy, great pitcher, knows how to pitch. He’s an all-star. It’s all good.”
Grown-up Mike Schmidt: “It’s all so confusing to us old folks....Harper is...on the National League All-Star team, an eight-home run and 25-RBI All-Star, while at least five others with deserving stats won’t be. Fan voting at its finest.”
Grown-up David Whitley: “We live in the Age of Kardashian, where popularity trumps accomplishment. I’m not saying that Bryce is the next Kourtney or Kim, but I would have bet Bruce Jenner’s Botox budget that hype alone would have gotten Harper to next week’s game in Kansas City.”
Teenaged Bryce Harper: “I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to all-star game his last year. If I was going to make a vote, I’d go vote for Chip.”
Grown-up Ozzie Guillen: “I was just telling [Harper] how cute he was....What he did [today] was unprofessional....I’ll just leave it like that. I’ll talk to his manager in a little while.”
Grown-up Davey Johnson: “Ozzie had complained that the pine tar was too high up on Harper’s bat. So we changed it. Then he was still chirping about. It got on the umpire’s nerves. It got on my nerves. He was trying to intimidate my player, I guess.”
Teenaged Bryce Harper: “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
Dunno what happened to the cocky, ornery cuss, but this ain’t it.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Stephen Strasburg ended the longest losing streak of his brief career.
Cool story about a Nats’ bullpen catcher actually getting a shot.
D.C. United had to play with 10 men and got rocked in Houston.
Catching up with Pops Mensah-Bonsu.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Logan Morrison backs his skipper:
“The next time Harper came up and pointed his bat at Ozzie, I guess kind of showing him up. I don’t know if that’s an ejection or not but [Ozzie] did it in a way that wouldn’t show him up, so I guess Harper showing him up is kind of a slap in the face..”
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Hey, why not: Here’s Guillen’s press conference.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are in Miami at 7 on MASN. The Orioles are in Minnesota at 8 on MASN2. The Brazil-U.S. women’s and men’s doubleheader at Verizon Center starts at 5:30 on ESPN2. All TV/Radio listings are here.
Harper has a mustache again.
LeBron on Harper and RGIII: “They are two of the best young athletes we have today in professional sports.”
After aligning with the Caps and Hershey Bears, Reading Royals officials “didn’t hide the fact they were dancing in the aisles of the Sovereign Center earlier this week. This alignment couldn’t be more perfect for the Purple and Black.”
Ted Leonsis: “We have had a very peaceful and calm off season compared to many other NBA teams. For that I am grateful.”
EVEN MORE BEER TALK
In his column ripping the Adrian Fenty lovers and Vincent Gray critics, Courtland Milloy wrote that the yuppie types have been “too busy tweeting flash-mob snowball fights and guzzling imported beers at urban sandy beach bars” to pay attention to the have-nots. Which is all fine, but the yuppie types no longer guzzle imported beers. Northern California American Pale Ales, maybe.