Major League Baseball decided to not suspend or fine Bryce Harper after reviewing his ejection Sunday in the first inning. The league also will not suspend veteran umpire John Hirschbeck, whose actions in throwing out Harper came under fine in many corners as overly zealous.
“That’s great,” Harper said. “I’m glad I don’t have to pay the $1,000. That’s another $1,000 in my pocket. That’s MLB’s decision. I respect that, definitely. If I was to get fined, I’d respect that, too.”
Between getting thrown out Sunday, a scheduled off day Monday and Tuesday night’s rainout, Harper got three straight days off.
Manager Davey Johnson saw Harper’s ejection as a silver lining, because it provided a day to rest his bruised left side.
Last Tuesday night in Atlanta, Harper crashed into the chain-link outfield fence trying to rob a home run. He left midway through the next night’s game because of a bruise, and he played through it for the remainder of the Nationals’ road trip.
Jayson Werth wasn’t in the initial lineup against the Tigers on Tuesday, the day he was expected to return after missing the entire series in Pittsburgh, because of the wet field conditions. Manager Davey Johnson said Werth is expected to return Wednesday.
Werth last played on Thursday in Atlanta, after missing two games with a sore left ankle from a foul ball and a tight hamstring. He left that game after the fifth inning when the hamstring flared up again. Werth’s doctor examined the hamstring, Johnson said, and reiterated that the outfielder’s leg muscle wasn’t pulled.
With heavy rain Tuesday afternoon and evening, the Nationals-Tigers game was postponed. The makeup game will be at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, by chance a mutual off day for both teams.
The Nationals and Tigers were originally scheduled to play a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday, a matchup between two preseason World Series favorites.
The Tigers next play the Cleveland Indians at home on Friday and the Nationals next play at home against the Chicago Cubs.
The Nationals’ rotation will remain intact despite the postponement.
Jordan Zimmermann, who was scheduled to start Tuesday, will start Wednesday, and Dan Haren will start Thursday.
The Tigers’ starters will remain the same, too. Anibal Sanchez, who has an 8-0 career record with a 1.97 ERA against the Nationals, will start Wednesday and Doug Fister will start Thursday.
There will be no refunds or exchanges for later games, which represents departure in team policy that a Nationals spokesperson attributed to “higher demand and less capacity.”