The start of today’s Nationals-Rockies game was delayed for nearly four minutes by a “National Anthem Standoff” between Washington’s Aaron Barrett and Colorado’s Brandon Barnes.
The goal of the standoff — one of those weird but wonderful baseball traditions — is to be the last player to return to the dugout after the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. (The start of Game 6 of last season’s NLCS was delayed more than 10 minutes by a similar standoff between the Dodgers and Cardinals.)
Barnes really should’ve known better than to mess with Barrett. Here’s how their standoff went down.
Aaron Barrett and Brandon Barnes are having an anthem standoff. Both standing outside the dugout well after. Rick Schu fed Barrett water.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 23, 2014
After Tarasco’s pep talk, Jerry Blevins came over to apply sunscreen. He would return later with an oxygen mask.
Coors Field now showing a split-screen of Barrett and Barnes, playing songs with the word “wait” in the title. — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 23, 2014
Barnes and Barrett are still standing there. Jorge De La Rosa has about one warm-up pitch left. — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 23, 2014
“It’s a pride thing, and both these guys are competitive,” MASN’s F.P. Santangelo said. “They feel like whoever stands there longest is going to win the game. That’s what this is about.”
At this point, Barnes appears to try to get Barrett to agree to a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ to determine the winner. But The Bear, now armed with an elbow guard courtesy of Bryce Harper, would have none of that.
As Denard Span digs in, Aaron Barrett claims victory. Bryce Harper slapped an elbow guard and a helmet on Barrett. — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 23, 2014
After the home plate umpire whistled at and stared down Barnes, he gave in and headed toward his dugout. Barrett was victorious.
The rookie reliever received a well deserved hero’s welcome in the Nationals dugout. Take your ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ elsewhere, Brandon Barnes. Barrett explained the standoff to Adam Kilgore after the game.