(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Bryce Harper has yet to find his groove at the plate since returning from the disabled list, going 4 for 21 with nine strikeouts in six games, but the Nationals outfielder has already made quite an impression with his actions both on and off the field.

“A lot of people the other night on the Internet saying that Bryce Harper had a black eye,” MASN’s F.P. Santangelo said during last Friday’s broadcast. “I think people are looking for things. He had the eye black on early in the 6 o’clock start [last Wednesday against the Rockies], he wiped it off with a towel and there were some remnants of it. The Twitter world blew up with, ‘Bryce Harper hit himself in the eye and gave himself a black eye.'”

I didn’t notice at the time, but there were indeed a few tweets on the subject.

As Santangelo noted, Harper’s ‘black eye’ was actually eye black. 

(Via MASN)
Bryce Harper in the second inning. (Via MASN)
(Via MASN)
Bryce Harper in the seventh inning with smudged eye black. (Via MASN)

“You sure he didn’t get in a fistfight with the manager because of the lineup quotes and Matt [Williams] clocked him?” Bob Carpenter joked.

“I think that’s what it was,” Santangelo said. “Absolutely. That’s what I’m going with.”

“He’s one of those guys,” Carpenter continued. “Every little thing is going to be noticed about Bryce Harper.”

Pretty much. Every little thing that Harper does will be noticed and, often, blogged about. Take Sunday’s game, for instance, when Harper made an impressive effort to chase down a foul ball in the eighth inning (top photo) and appeared to try to break his bat over his thigh after striking out earlier in the game.

“That maple doesn’t really break that easily,” Santangelo said after MASN showed a  slo-mo replay. “It’ll change. Timing’s not where he wants it.”

(Greg Fiume/Getty)

That’s a phenomenal photo. While some may question Harper’s strength, I view it as a ringing endorsement for his bat supplier. 

 Thanks to Bog reader Rudy.