So Bryce Harper, after admiring his latest Class A home run and slowly trotting around the bases, offered an airborne smooch toward the opposing pitcher in the Hagerstown Suns’ 3-2 victory over the Greensboro game Monday night.
Turns out that that was some kiss. Everybody — just everybody — has an opinion on whether it was proper baseball etiquette, whether he will face some retaliation, whether he should have done it at the A level, whether it indicates a character flaw in the guy Deadspin calls “a freakishly talented manchild.” Whew.
Mike Schmidt offered a pro’s take.
“I would say Bryce, if you're going to hit a lot of 'em ... you'd better learn not to show up the pitcher because it's just going to get tougher and tougher on you if you watch your home runs,” Mike Schmidt said on ESPN. “Just hit your home runs and hit 'em like you're used to hitting 'em, not like you're surprised when you hit one.”
At some point, Schmidt said, other players “would police this young man.”
“I hate to bring this into it, but I would think at some point the game itself, the competition on the field, is going to have to figure out a way to police this young man,” Schmidt said. “If indeed his manager won't, the game will end up taking care of it.”
Others on the interwebs are using stronger words, words that don’t really fit a family-centric place like The Washington Post. Suffice it to say that the reaction has been swift and generally negative. Here’s a sampling from Twitter:
@bdamis: Maybe they should bring up Harper for just one at-bat against Roy Halladay, set him straight.
@jppalm: tell me he got plunked next time up.
@DanLevyThinks: Can't wait to applaud his failures
Post Sports Live: The Harper smooch