For Bryce Harper, it is time to put away childish things, and that includes tweeting.
The 19-year-old slugging sensation making his highly anticipated spring training debut with the Washington Nationals abruptly pulled the plug on his Twitter account this week.
“I’m over it,” he told our colleague Adam Kilgore Wednesday. “Just bored.”
Coincidentally, his boredom seems to have hit just a day or two after Nats manager Davey Johnson warned players about the perils of social networking for the newly famous during an annual media-training session.
“Nothing’s secret anymore,” Johnson later told Kilgore. “I did point to a couple guys and said, ‘Now you listen to this.’ I’m not mentioning any names, but you know probably who.”
You probably have a friend like Harper on Twitter — posting multiple times a day, about nothing, really, just a running monologue of pleasantries, like Snow White chattering to her woodland creatures. (Typical excerpts from @BHarper3407: “Morning twitter! On my way to the field! Hope you all have a great day! God bless!” “Country music always heels [sic] the wounds!” “Love college hoops!”)
He charmed fans by introducing his new puppy on Twitter — a chocolate-brown lab that he named “Swag” — and graciously chatted back and forth with them, amassing a following of some 30,000.
But not unlike celebrity-Twitter pioneer Ashton Kutcher (who handed off his account to publicists after some underinformed editorializing on the Penn State saga), Harper managed to step in it. Last fall, he irritated followers by rooting for the Yankees (hey, the Nats weren’t in the post-season, he explained). A month ago, he professed that he is “not a Redskins, Georgetown, Wizards nor a Capitals fan.” And he cheered, “Cowboys cowboys cowboys for life!!!” Hmpf. Welcome to D.C., son.
Nats officials told Kilgore Wednesday that the decision to suspend his account was Harper’s own.
Read also: Bryce Harper, coming very soon to a ballpark near you, 2/29/12