The Washington Nationals beat the Dodgers handily Monday night in Los Angeles, but their play was overshadowed by Bryce Harper’s violent, bloody collision with the right field fence in the fifth inning. Harper walked off the field, but the injury did require 11 stitches:
Harper also underwent “precautionary” X-rays on his jammed left shoulder, manager Davey Johnson said. He also bruised his neck and knee. The prevailing sentiment was that Harper would probably miss a game or two — even if he pleaded to stay in Monday night as blood dripped down his neck.
“Bryce is going to be all right,” Johnson said. (Read more about the game here.)
Harper did not suffer a concussion. The league requires certain protocols to evaluate players for concussions and has a special seven-day disabled list for athletes with concussions. Video of the collision is available here.
Adam Kilgore asks whether the young player should learn a little more restraint in order to avoid seriously injuring himself:
Harper can do just about anything he wants on a baseball diamond, but at 20 he lacks the instinct to protect himself. He has still not found an internal off switch or learned how to turn the dial to the left. Harper’s lack of abandon helps make him the player he is, helps separate him from so many others. It also may endanger his long-term prospects and threaten the Hall of Fame career earmarked for him since his youth.
“He’s not worried about the wall or anything,” Johnson said. “He should know it’s on the warning track and back off, but that’s not his nature. I don’t want to change that. I feel sorry for the wall if he keeps running into them.”
I feel sorry for the wall if he keeps running into them. It was easy for the Nationals to joke about Harper’s latest brush with injury once they learned he didn’t have a concussion and that the X-rays he went for were only precautionary. Should they be more concerned? Should the Nationals be worried that he doesn’t worry about walls? (Continue reading here.)