Is Bryce Harper a traitor?

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) appeared to suggest as much Monday night, when a provocative image of Harper altered in the likeness of Benedict Arnold — the Revolutionary War officer who infamously defected to the British — appeared on her official Twitter account.

But the tweet was quickly deleted, and Bowser said Tuesday it had been published without her approval.

“There was a tweet from one of my accounts that I didn’t approve of, so it was deleted,” she said in response to a reporter’s question at an unrelated news conference.

Unlike the mayor’s personal Twitter account, her official account is usually managed by her office’s communications staff.

The unapproved tweet included the hashtag #OnePursuit and an ominous message about the former Washington Nationals player’s imminent appearance on the field in the District Tuesday night with the Philadelphia Phillies: “See you tomorrow, Bryce.”

The message appeared to channel Washingtonians’ mixed feelings (to put it mildly) over Harper’s reappearance at Nationals Park for the first time in an opposing team’s uniform. After playing for the Nationals for the first seven seasons of his career, the 26-year-old Harper agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in February.

In contrast to the adversarial tone of the tweet, Bowser made gracious comments about Harper recently on NBC Sports Washington’s “Racing Presidents” podcast.

“We loved what Bryce did for our team and our town and the community,” Bowser said on Opening Day last week, citing, among other things, his support for D.C. statehood. She added, “Certainly we wish we were celebrating with Bryce today, but we wish him well.”

The deletion of the tweet comparing Harper to Arnold was not enough to prevent the tweet from catching fire on social media and sports blogs. Whether it got inside Harper’s head will be seen Tuesday night at Nationals Park.