Bryce Harper got ’em talking again late Saturday and early Sunday morning, dragging his foot through the Braves logo behind home place before his first at-bat in Atlanta.
Braves fans booed him during his approach to the plate each time he was up, and many saw the foot-dragging as a deliberate response.
“Harper, now [in] two at-bats has done the same thing as he makes his way to the left-hand batters box,” Atlanta’s television play-by-play man said during Harper’s second at-bat. “Watch what he does when he gets to the ‘A’ behind home plate.”
“Just endears himself to more Braves fans,” quipped the color man.
The Braves broadcast then showed a slow-motion replay of Harper’s foot drag, but it was obviously the first at-bat, since there was no one on base at the time. (There were men on first and third for his second at-bat.)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution went one further, reporting that Harper did the maneuver three times:
The Nationals outfielder dragged his foot across the Braves emblem in the dirt behind home plate – in a clearly intentional move – in each of his first three trips to the batter’s box in Saturday night’s game against the Braves.
Harper has been roundly booed in each plate appearance during the series. He apparently chose to take the lack of southern hospitality out on the Georgia clay. He kicked at the Braves’ ‘A’ emblem on his way into the left-hand batter’s box once, twice and three times.
The television broadcast disagreed, with the play-by-play man saying “no ‘A’ desecration from Harper this time,” before the third at-bat.
And the team’s official Twitter account even got involved, although it never mentioned Harper’s name.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 10, 2014
This being 2014, Harper
was asked talked about the incident after the game.
Bryce Harper says he wasn’t trying to kick Braves’ A logo. “That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m coming to the plate. I have no idea.” — James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) August 10, 2014
Update: Here’s Harper’s full comment on the incident, offered to reporters when he heard from a team staffer after the game that this had become a thing. Reporters had been asking Harper about his thumb, and he brought up the logo affair.
“That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m walking up to the plate. I really had no idea,” Harper said. “When [a team staffer] came up to me, I had no clue that I did anything. Seriously, that’s the last thing on my mind going to face Harang or Kimbrel or somebody like that. I had no idea why that was such a big deal. Of course, that’s the last thing on my mind.”
But Braves fans, predictably, lost it online. Let’s stick to the PG-rated stuff. Obviously you could multiply this ten-fold, if you wanted.
— Gradick Sports (@GradickSports) August 10, 2014
Apparently Bryce Harper dragged his foot across the “A” behind home plate. Just another example of him being the least likeable human ever. — Taylor Forester (@mmmbobcats) August 10, 2014
There wasn’t a “K” on the dirt for Bryce Harper to drag his foot over after Harang struck him out looking on a fastball.. #SitDownMeat
— Nick Pierce (@npierce84) August 10, 2014
Just saw a vine of Bryce Harper dragging his foot across the A behind home in ATL.. What an absolute clown move, bro — Straight Margarine (@iyellyahtzee) August 10, 2014
I officially have no respect for Bryce Harper. Did you seriously just drag your foot across the Braves logo?? What a tool.
— Riley Sanderson (@thaSANDEman) August 10, 2014
Bryce Harper since trying to mess up the “A” behind home plate: K Hurt thumb Looks like an absolute idiot on a flyout.. #RespectTheA
— Gattis Facts™ (@GattisFacts) August 10, 2014
— Charlotte McDonald (@CharleeMcDonald) August 10, 2014
Will this make it to ESPN’s debate shows? Well, you tell me.