Jun 3, 2010, 11:42 AM EST
Next week Bryce Harper will be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but last night the 17-year-old phenom may have seen his junior college career come to a premature end by getting ejected for arguing a called third strike.
Unhappy with a fifth-inning strikeout during the National Junior College World Series, the soon-to-be Washington National took his bat and drew a line in the batter’s box where he thought the pitch crossed, at which point the home plate umpire tossed him.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the ejection would normally carry a one-game suspension, but because Harper was also ejected once during the regular season the suspension is increased to two games. At most his Southern Nevada team could have three games remaining this season, but they’ll have to win twice without Harper to make it to the junior college championship game and have him available.
In the grand scheme of things a player being ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes is certainly not a big deal, but Harper’s maturity and makeup have long been in question. His coach, Tim Chambers, naturally defended Harper, saying he was wrongfully ejected by “an umpire with an attitude” and calling it “an awfully quick trigger … on a stage like this, in this environment.”
I’ll say this about Harper: In terms of the hit his reputation will take from the ejection and suspension, he sure picked a great time to have a run-in with an umpire.
UPDATE: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has video of the ejection, so you can judge for yourself.
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