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Loving and hating Bryce Harper

May 8, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

NBC’s Jelisa Castrodale considers the phenomenon that is Bryce Harper. And, after noting his … uniqueness …

He was the guy who smudged his eyeblack down onto his cheekbones, the guy who cost his team a National Junior College World Series after an ejection and suspension, the one who blew a kiss to an opposing Single-A pitcher as he jogged around the bases. And let’s face it, his name is Bryce. BRYCE. That could only be more irritating if his parents had gone with EdHardyNickelbackCrocs …

Notes that he also has the potential to be everything we want in a ballplayer:

I’ll take Harper’s in-your-face ambition and (sometimes cringeworthy) honesty over other young players who hide their fake humility behind equally forced smiles. Harper’s willingness to tell you exactly what he thinks — whether arguing a call inches from an umpire’s face or admitting he “likes showing up the older guys” — is why he was booed during his debut at Dodger Stadium and why Hamels parked a 93 mph fastball in his back.

Ironically, despite all of the criticism about his own behavior, Harper seems to bring out the worst in other people, whether it’s coming from Hamels’ left arm or out of the mouths of the scouts who evaluated him as a pre-draft prospect.

It’s a good nutshell of Harper. And posits, quite accurately, I think, that in a lot of ways, this young brash pain in the butt is far more “Old School” than those who claim he needs a baseball education in that regard.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    When he learns to handle himself like Jackie Robinson did, he’ll get my respect.

    Until then, he’s a punk and a showboat. Albeit a very talented one who does seem to have left the childish antics in the minors where they belong.

    • bowens3181 - May 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Stop whining

    • akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - May 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      What part of his MLB tenure so far has shown him to be a punk OR a showboat? Examples, please. He didn’t react when he got hit by hamels, he hasn’t paraded around with his arms raised when he’s gotten hits, he hasn’t pointed to the sky or done anything other than point to the dugout like any other guy who reaches base in a critical juncture.

      Don’t fall into the lazy national media narrative that he’s anything but what he’s shown so far: an uber talented player who is just trying to help his team win. Form your own opinions based on facts.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Where did I say anything about major leauge tenure?

      • ptfu - May 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        The Baseball Idiot said: “Where did I say anything about major leauge tenure?”

        The Baseball Idiot said: “…he’s a punk and a showboat. Albeit a very talented one WHO DOES SEEM TO HAVE LEFT THE CHILDISH ANTICS IN THE MINORS where they belong.”

        Capitalization is mine, for emphasis.

        TBI, you yourself have admitted Bryce Harper seems to have left his childish antics in the minors. As in, NOT the major leagues. By saying his childish antics were left in the minors, you are implying that Harper has not done anything childish in the majors–which we all agree with. So why is Hamels punishing Harper for stuff he did when in the minors? That makes Cole Hamels the bush leaguer, albeit a forthright one.

        Now obviously Bryce Harper’s past behavior is nowhere near Jackie Robinson’s high standard. If you want to hold that against him then don’t hold your breath–that’s a really lofty goal for anyone, especially a confirmed showboat. Excellent goal, very very difficult to attain.

        Oh, and taking undeserved abuse quietly, and then stealing home* when nobody expects it, does remind me of a certain 1947 groundbreaking first baseman…yes, this is tongue-in-cheek. Robinson’s a million times better as a man, not to mention as a ballplayer.

        *I realize Harper didn’t do a Robinson-style straight-up beat-the-pitch-to-the-plate steal. My larger point stands.

      • HitsDingers - May 8, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        These anecdotes about Harper span like 5 years. You aren’t really refuting anything by limiting your time frame to the last 10 days, which is the extent of his major league tenure.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think Harper is a beast and I love watching him play. I’m a Phillies fan and thought he kind of owned Hamels the way he put his head down and hustled around the diamond. But there’s also nothing wrong with Hamels plunking him on the backside. When you’re spotlighted like Harper has been, your reputation proceeds you. The way he can change that rep is by continuing to make plays like he did (on offense) on Sunday.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        So pftu, what you’re trying to tell me is that Harper magically changed his personality on the day he was promoted?

        That 19 years of conditioning just ceased to exist, and that he isn’t just trying to keep his mouth shut until he knows for sure he’s staying in the league?

        That he’s never going to shoot his mouth off again, that he won’t show up pitchers again, and he won’t ever act like a complete jerk again?

        That was a truly magical day that one person’s entire personality can be changed overnight. I’m so happy to know that Harper will never act that way again.

        Afterall, we have your expert opinion on it.

      • brian32556 - May 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        A leopard does not change his spots. This is a bad man. And I can’t believe he’s a die-hard Yankee fan -a team so steeped in tradition. Does he think this type of behavior is going to get him noticed in NYC, so that when he becomes a free-agent the Stadium doors will swing wide for him? I hardly think so.

      • ptfu - May 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        I make no prediction of Bryce Harper’s future major league behavior. I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. Maybe Harper did figure out he should shut up and play. Big league stage calls for big league behavior. Maybe he didn’t, and he’s got a (short) lifetime of bad-guy experience, and a leopard can’t change his spots, and he’s fooling us for a while, yadda yadda yadda. Only Harper’s behavior will tell us, not random people. His behavior in the majors so far is promising.

        My point is, Harper’s major league slate is clean until he dirties it. If, or when, he messes up then he’ll surely get nailed with a fine, a fastball, or whatever. Major league punishment should be only AFTER major league transgressions. No pre-emptive punishment, no “correcting” what happened in the minors. Is Hamels the self-appointed morality police? Does Hamels think he has to plunk Harper into proper behavior? (not that it will work) That road is dangerous for everyone.

        We all do dumb things when we’re young. Relax, this is not an excuse; Harper deserved whatever he got in the minors, but not anything more now. That was the minors, this is the majors. It’s a fresh start for a kid who’s still growing–he could become something better than what we’ve seen from him. If he doesn’t grow, he won’t last, and all that talent will be wasted. Some people figure it out, some don’t. This is Harper’s chance. Consider his past without letting it dictate his future.

      • djpostl - May 9, 2012 at 2:00 AM

        You do know that his tenure in the minors was still one as a professional, right?

        And it was packed with douchebaggery.

    • runyetirun - May 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      Based on this opinion, your screenname is one hell of an aptonym

    • wendell7 - May 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      If handling himself “like Jackie Robinson did” is your measuring stick, you must not respect many ball players

      • paperlions - May 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        you misspelled “any”

    • braddavery - May 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      What on earth does Bryce Harper have to do with Jackie Robinson?

    • pellypell - May 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Look guys, Cole Hamels is on HBT.

      • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Win.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Haters Gonna Hate…

    • nicebryce - May 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      If you actually knew something about baseball you’d understand what the fuck is going on. When he blew the kiss to the guy, the pitcher had been intentionally hitting his players including Bryce, and had thrown at him earlier in the At-Bat. When he was rounding third base the benches were about to clear the the 3rd base coach said, “Don’t you dare charge him,” so Bryce blew him a kiss which was very fitting.
      He loves showing up older guys, be honest, who doesn’t? That’s one of the best feelings in the world and he was just the guy who said it and dumbasses like you took it as saying he goes out there trying to embarrass people. In essence, that’s the name of the game, someone’s gonna look good and someone’s gonna look bad every single play.

      I have watched Bryce in person multiple times, and not one time has he done anything cocky. He ‘s always the first one running out to the field and one of the first out, despite he’s one of the farthest positions from the dugout. He runs as hard as he can, he hustles, and he actually puts everything he has into eveyr game. When he makes mistakes it’s from him going too hard, not from slacking. He doesn’t do the eyeblack anymore, because he respects the other players and knows he’s a rookie, but he also realizes that doesn’t mean that those players are superior in terms of skill to him.

      This kid is gonna go far, and the Stasburg-Harper combo is gonna rape shit ont he majors for like 34567890- years.

      Boom

  2. Craig Calcaterra - May 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    So your standard of respect is “behave like the player credited with the most dignity and grace in the history of the sport.” Like, is that what you require of every player in order to get your respect, or are you holding Harper to some unreasonably high standard for some reason?

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I’m good with holding them all to that standard.

      I’m kind of lost as to why they shouldn’t in the first place.

      • mkd - May 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Two things to note:

        1) Jackie Robinson was 28 when he hit MLB. Bryce Harper is 19. That’s a hell of a maturity spread.

        2) If I remember my history correctly Jackie Robinson put his head down and played for his first two seasons because that was part of the deal with Rickey. But once those two years were up he started playing the game HIS way and became the most disruptive, agitating and aggressive player in the league. He slid hard, tagged hard, danced around, talked shit and messed with people’s heads. If you think Jackie Robinson was a man who played with quiet dignity and serene equipoise then you don’t know anything about Jackie Robinson.

      • nightman13 - May 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Sadly, dignity and respect are un-American nowadays if you haven’t noticed.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        Whoa there nightman, why the cynicism? That’s my department!

      • paperlions - May 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        If only you help non-player humans that are on the field of play during games to that standard as well…

    • evanhartford - May 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Craig,

      Being in the media has got to be tough. On one hand, you can hold the “correct” opinion and recognize that Harper is simply “reeping what he’s sowing”. I’m guessing that it helps ratings/hits if you play devils advocate when it comes to guys like Harper or Arod or whatever.

      But people need to stop acting surprised when guys like Hamels give guys like Harper some “chin music”. When you act brash, arrogant and foolhardy in ANY profession, people will throw you the proverbial “chin music” all day long.

      For his sake, I hope Harper grows out of it. The world is littered with untold numbers of athletes that have cost themselves hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements/salaries because of their attitudes.

      • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        You really have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

        No. No, you don’t.

      • hammyofdoom - May 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Please, show me just one instance of this guy being arrogant in the majors. If he’s getting plunked for shit he did in the minors, then starting pitchers are bigger headcases than I thought

      • evanhartford - May 8, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        pbsenerchia,

        This from Wikipedia, [Hit By Pitch] “Often, if a player is acting rude or unsportsmanlike, or having an extraordinarily good day, the pitcher may intentionally hit the batter, disguising it as a pitch that accidentally slipped his control.”

        I’ve heard that Harper has a tendancy for acting “rude and unsportsmanlike”.

        Care to humor me with an explanation for why I don’t know what I’m talking about or do you prefer to keep your posts short and stupid?”

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        “For his sake, I hope Harper grows out of it.” Doesn’t this ruin your (and Cole’s) very argument? He’s been nothing but a good ballplayer with maturity since he was called up. He said all the right things and hasn’t made any type of immature display yet. So many of the folks around here have judged this kid way to prematurely. It is clear that the media blitz on this guy for the last three years has colored the views of baseball fans as well as some MLB’ers. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Harper is getting treated a bit unfairly by us and by people like Hamels.

      • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        @evanhartford,

        Harper didn’t act rude or unsportsmanlike. Didn’t do anything – first at-bat of the game. Hamels said he did it b/c “welcome to the big leagues.”

        Also, ‘I’ve heard that Harper has a tendancy for acting “rude and unsportsmanlike”’ is an explicit admission that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, just as the rest of your original post (which cites no evidence, fact, or any other verifiable thing) is an implied admission that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

        Knowing what the hell you’re talking about starts with getting your facts straight.

      • evanhartford - May 8, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        hammyofdoom,

        I’m not sure why that’s relevant.

        Do you think hockey fans ignored Tim Thomas’ Facebook postings about not visiting the White House just because they occurred outside the rink? Do you think his teammates and opposing players didn’t take notice?

        Harper has acted stupidly in the past. Maybe he’s changed his ways. But don’t expect everyone to assume he’s turned a corner just because he’s been a good boy for a week’s worth of baseball games.

      • evanhartford - May 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Pbsenerchia,

        Why would that ruin my argument? Am I not allowed to wish someone well?

        Also, I’m not explicitly admitting anything. I read…a lot. And when I read something, I usually say, I’ve “heard” it rather than I’ve “seen” it because I don’t tend to watch minor league games, the college world series or Nationals games for that matter. Its a stretch to say that I have no idea what I’m talking about considering this quote from the Sportings News:

        “But it never was production that worried people about Harper. It was his attitude. He showed tendencies to yell at opposing players, teammates and umpires, and he was ejected from a game in the Junior College World Series in June after drawing a line in the dirt in the batter’s box to show an umpire that a called strike was outside. It was his second ejection of the season and earned him a two-game suspension.

        There was this from Baseball Prospectus before Harper was drafted: “It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid.
        “One scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents”

        Considering Harper’s history and reputation, I think you’re closer to not knowing “what the hell you’re talking about” than I am. I’m his reputation had some factor in Hamels plunking him. He’s been a major leaguer for a little longer than Moonlight Graham and yet you’re ready to dismiss his horrible reputation as ancient history.

        As I said before, maybe he’s turned a corner, but it will take a few years to know for certain.

      • nategearhart - May 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        No evanhartford, no one is surprised at all when a complete asshole like Hamels hits somebody on purpose. We’re just mad about it.

      • skids003 - May 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        evanhartford, I have met and talked to the umpire who ejected him. He said he had been running his mouth the whole game about everything you can imagine, that was only the straw the broke the camel’s back. Said the kid was a real jerk. Maybe he’ll change, but he has a long history to overcome.

      • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        So, you read a couple of places that he had a bad reputation in school and the minor leagues, and admit you’ve never actually watched him play, and yet you feel entitled to hold forth on who the kid is, how he plays the game, and what it means for him, for Craig, and for the rest of us. Got it.

        You may be less than surprised to find out that I too have the internet, and have read all that stuff, and have watched all of his MLB games. Please stop with the lectures. I called you out on BS’ing, that’s all.

      • evanhartford - May 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        Very “sound” logic pbsenerchia.

        Because I’ve read about Bryce Harper and never watched him play live (yes, I have watched highlights), I am “BSing” everything about him.

        Using your logic, this means that every history professor EVER, has bs’d his way through teaching and writing because, how the heck could they know ANYTHING about the American Revolution if they weren’t there to witness it?

        Keep on, keepin on PBS!

    • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      This is so apples and oranges I shouldn’t waste this space about this but….

      It should be noted that Jackie Robinson acted “like Jackie Robinson” did b/c he was under an agreement to do so for thee years with the Dodgers’ owner. Still, Jackie was under EXTREME circumstances and was asked to not respond to ANYTHING for his first three seasons. Imagine the type of shit he turned the other cheek to….horrible stuff. There is no comparison.

      After those three seasons, the media turned on him b/c he started reacting and when someone did something dirty to him he got in their face. This kind of shocked those who didn’t know he was biting his tongue and holding back on all the BS he received for three years.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        So you’re saying he is acting like Jackie Robinson?

        Wow, I guess my original post was pretty valid then, and the 93 people who have disliked are pretty stupid, and don’t know anything about baseball.

  3. darthicarus - May 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I think if we really want a feel for what Bryce Harper is really like, or what he should be like, Jose Canseco needs to chime in.

  4. illcomm - May 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I read an article today on another similar incident to Cole vs bryce. Clemens did the same thing to jt snow back in 93. was hitting 408 after 15 games and went on a nosedive afterwords.

    • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      No; Clemens didn’t hit Snow. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1915&dat=19930503&id=WDJHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XPgMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4223,563041

    • plmathfoto - May 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      I’m quite sure Clemens didn’t admit to it, he never admits to doing anything wrong, whether PEDS or throwing at hitters or throwing a bat at a hitter.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        That’s how one gets by in baseball, lie away and we’ll leave you alone. Tell the truth, not so much.

  5. pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    So, “when he learns to handle himself the way he is handling himself right now …” he’ll get your respect? Got it.

  6. hgulkkcaj - May 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I’m not a Nats fan by any means, and I usually will stand for the humble Tebow-like players, but I really like this kid. I’m not old enough to have ever seen Ty Cobb play, but I feel like Harper brings the same type of edge that Cobb brought (from what I’ve read). And, yes, I just compared Bryce Harper to Ty Cobb. His first week in the majors, he stole home on the same pitcher that intentionally hit him with the first pitch he saw. I love it! He plays hard, and he does things like steal home that you would never see most players do. Give him a chance – I personally am just going to enjoy watching this kid play.

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Cobb intentionally spiked players, fought his own teammates, and went into the stands and beat a man with no hands for heckling him.

      Not to mention the racist stuff.

      I still think my Jackie Robinson analogy was better.

      • mkd - May 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Why Ty Cobb was around at least 30% of the league (if not more) played, acted and thought exactly like he did. They spiked each other, fought each other, fought fans, were unrepentant racists, played drunk, played hungover, hated each other, hated the fans, hated the owners, screwed each other over and were just crappy human beings. The only reason Cobb is singled out is because he was 10 times better then all of them put together. If he had been a .242 punch and judy hitter his antics would have just been folded into the forgotten mists of time like every other sub-mediocre player in baseball history you’ve never heard of who doubled as a violent jackasses. Ty Cobb is different because he was GREAT not because he was TERRIBLE.

      • bsbiz - May 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        He may not have spiked anyone, fought a teammate, or gone into the stands, but he’s only 19. He’s got his whole career to live up to that hype.

    • Kevin S. - May 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Tim Tebow is not humble. His god-bothering is just a form of self-exaltation by proxy. There are plenty of incredibly devout ballplayers (one of who has gotten talked about quite a bit in these spaces recently), and the vast majority of them don’t call attention to themselves with excessive public displays of piety.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        “His god-bothering is just a form of self-exaltation by proxy.” Best Tebow summary ever and I’m stealing it. Thanks in advance.

      • bravojawja - May 8, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Me, too. The Gator fans in this town are insufferable.

      • skids003 - May 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        I have met Tebow. He is humble, and anyone making comments like these is just a stupid jerk. Just because he’s public with it shouldn’t bother you, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. It amazes me how anyone could hate someone as nice as he is. I guess in society nowadays some people like people better who act like jerks.

      • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        bravo, the Gator fans in any town are insufferable.

        Skids, you seem to be basing your opinion on one meeting. Was it a publicity thing? Meet & greet? Chance encounter?

        I ask because I’ve seen him play for several years, and the things he does on a football field put anything Harper has done a field to shame. And I don’t mean actual accomplishments at his craft, I mean in taunting opponents, and generally being a d-bag.

      • Kevin S. - May 8, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        If you think it’s possible to follow sports and ignore Tebow, you’re delusional. Part of that is the media slurping his every move, but it’s not like he’s trying to avoid the attention. And if Harper took a knee and bowed his head every time he scored a run, do you think there’s a person around who would think that’s humble?

    • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Tebow is fake-humble like Hamels is fake-tough.

  7. plmathfoto - May 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I guess reading the article naming your kid Bryce is a lot more irritating than Cole with that haircut

  8. illcomm - May 8, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    yeah he didn’t hit him. he threw over his head. to me that is just as, if not more dangerous.

    • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Fair enough – I guess it depends how far over his head … Plus, yeah, Clemens.

  9. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Way too early to tell

  10. Jonny 5 - May 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I like Harper and I’m a Phillies fan. I love seeing young guys make it in MLB. It’s kinda awesome. I will still reserve my rights as a fan of a division rival to hate on him when he plays my team though.

    • bsbiz - May 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Not only is it your right to hate on him when he plays your team, I believe it is your duty.

    • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      You’re a Phillies fan? No kidding! I thought you liked the Mariners or something.

  11. bobhpine - May 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Stealing home after getting plunked is about as Jackie Robinson as it gets… I’m sure Harper is dying for your respect

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Wow, you entirely missed the point.

      • hammyofdoom - May 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Actually, no he didnt. Bryce got obviously hit on purpose, and when he could have thrown a hissy-fit, charged the mound, or ANYTHING like that, he didnt. He shut up, rubbed his sore back, and stole home on the guy. THAT is maturity, that is handling yourself well.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        Yes, he did. So did you. It was my point. I made it. I think I know what it was.

        Your, and his, failure to understand it does not make me wrong. It makes you incaple of understanding the point I made.

      • spindervish - May 8, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        To be fair, your point was hardly worth reading, let alone comprehending. So you guys are about even.

      • pbsenerchia - May 8, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Actually, TBI, I believe YOU missed your point. Which is pretty sad. Since it is your point and all, and – well – one would think you knew what it was.

      • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        They can’t be blamed for missing in idiotic point that was apparently poorly conveyed.

  12. digitaldonnie - May 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    The only haters are the people who wish he was on their team.

    • kkolchak - May 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Yep–as a Nats season ticket holder, I suspect the next six seasons with Harper will be a heck of a lot more entertaining than the last six seasons have been.

      • natstowngreg - May 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        As a Nats ticket holder, agreed. Granted, the Nats have a very low bar to clear, entertainment-wise.

  13. delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Blowing kisses to the Pitcher – yes, that is Old School.

    I guess having a Phillie dislike make you a hero to Craig. Not that he hates the Phillies or anything. He will be glad to tell you at length he does not. Really. Seriously.

    • nategearhart - May 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      He blew the kiss AFTER the pitcher went on a swearing tirade including calling Harper a motherf***er.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 8, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        So two wrongs make a right? Harper didn’t have the ability to be the better man and just shrug it off?

        Oh, wait, no he couldn’t. I believe that’s the entire point.

      • nategearhart - May 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        He could, as he demonstrated in the Hamels incident. The swearing pitcher was a d-bag, and Harper blew the kiss (which, with the pitcher running his mouth quite extremely like he did, I can hardly even call a wrong on Harper’s part). This time, Hamels is the d-bag, and Harper acts like an adult and shows him up with the steal of home. Looks like he learned from the first experience, grew up a bit, and showed up the “veteran” who wouldn’t know “old-school” if Frank Robinson lined it off his face on a comebacker.

  14. digitaldonnie - May 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Craig….do u notice some of these posters act as if what you quote from another article is your own opinion? Them Bitch at you about it? Nonsense. Must be Phillies fans.

  15. millmannj - May 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Someone whose name is Jelisa is making fun of Harper’s first name? Pretentious much?

    • Jonny 5 - May 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      VERY good point.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 8, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      You beat me too it Millmannj! When I read that the first thought was “and your name is Jelisa?”

    • foreverchipper10 - May 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      True. So true. But the EdHardyNickelbackCrocs comment was gold.

  16. badmamainphilliesjamas - May 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Does anybody find it amusing that Castrodale praises Harper’s honesty, when it was just such honesty that got Hamels suspended?

    BTW, I’m a Phils fan who enjoys watching Harper, and thinks he’s been nothing but mature and professional in the short time he’s been in the majors.

  17. hammyofdoom - May 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I find it funny that people have this rosy view of “old school”. Didn’t Babe Ruth call out his shot and one-up the pitcher? There are tons of stories of hall of famers being cocky little sonsabitches, just look up some of the stuff on Ted Williams. Ted Williams practiced his batting swing while playing defense, if a young stud prospect was seen doing that today he’d be ripped. The presence of media has a ton to do with how ew see these young ball players

  18. bigleagues - May 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Why do old farts and uppity baseball conservative types feel the need to moralize about how a player should conduct himself when interacting with other players, the media and umpires?

    Most of the truly offensive player behaviors are kept far from the sports pages – or news coverage at all.

    Hammering a 19-year old for being cocky (and backing it up) is a tad absurd. And tiresome. Pathetic even.

    Blowing a kiss at an opposing pitcher? That’s FUNNY. We used to do do that stuff playing in the backyard all the time.

    And if you are the 19-year-old son of a steel worker, can you blame the kid for playing with an enormous chip on his shoulder? What should be terrifying to guys like Hamels is Harper is almost certainly gonna get bigger and stronger. If Harper gets inside SP heads now . . . he gains a long-term edge.

    • greymares - May 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      i’ll give the kid a break when it’s determined he turns out to be the star the experts claim he is. right now they may be right or he may turn out to be the Ryan Leaf of the baseball world.

      • bigleagues - May 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        Let’s start with playing for a contending MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM at NINETEEN years old – less than a year after being drafted and what would have been barely a year out of high school . . .

        Go ahead, name for us the number of players who have achieved that in the last twenty years . . . it shouldn’t be hard. It’s a pretty short list.

  19. youngyankee - May 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Not sure why there is a separation btwn his time in the minors and majors. Its irrelevant. He doesn’t get a clean slate and his past will always follw him.

    That being said, I really like Bryce but he absolutely deserved to get drilled. The message was clear “this is the majors, don’t even think about acting like a 13 year old”

    My gripe is that cole hamels was the messenger. Who the F is Cole Hamels?!? He’s not even 30, not sure what he’s doing being the gatekeeper of old school baseball. And his explanation to the media further proved the point.

    • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      So preemptive strikes are ok? That’s absurd.

      I know you haven’t called me a name yet, but you might, so I’ll call you an idiot first.

      Did you deserve that, or does it make me look like a jerk?

      • youngyankee - May 8, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        ha! doesn’t make u look like a jerk although it does make me question your grip on reality…

        batters get hit, intentional or not. so are you arguing the practice of intentionally hitting a batter because they might get hurt *boohoo*?

        the solution is clear, if cole wants to play MLB sheriff instead of pitch, then the best Phillie should get drilled in the numbers.

        Like economics, baseball is/has been governed by the invisible hand. Bryce knows why he got drilled and i gotta tip my cap to him for they way he acted and then sticking it to cole by stealing home.

        Cole coulda said the standard “that one sailed away from me” but he made it a point to let everyone know he hit him like everyone’s gonna stand up and give him a standing ovation which makes him a huge douche.

      • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        But the whole point is that he could have been hurt, and you can’t ignore that. If Verlander decided to drill Arod for some unwritten rule thing, and actually hurt him would you be saying the same thing?

        You can’t control every pitch and sometimes a batter gets hit. Sometimes it leads to injury. That happens, they’re all big boys.

        But to intentionally risk injury is just stupid, especially (since you brought up economics) considering the huge investments that teams make in these guys.

      • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Also, a lot of you guys are quick to throw out the “boo hoo” shit, but have any of you ever been hit with a 93 MPH fastball. I have a feeling your tune might change.

      • youngyankee - May 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        you are seriously doubting a major leaguers control. Cole hit him exactly where you’re supposed to -in the back right in the numbers. he didn’t go headhunt or try to take out legs here.

        going by your reasoning,should pitchers NEVER throw inside? because in my opinion the risk of injury on those pitches are far greater than the risk of injury of an intentional beanball.

        like you said, they’re all big boys a 90mph heater to the meat of your back is gonna sting but it’s not life threatening.

        cole didn’t give a shit about how much Bryce was worth to the nationals, so you show him in terms of what he does know. drill Rollins, pence, or whoever is their best bat in the numbers.

      • youngyankee - May 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        and don’t give me none of that “pitching inside is not intentionally riskin injury”

        every pitcher whether MLB or little league knows that’s the whole point of pitching inside, to instill the fear into the batter that you don’t crowd the plate or youre going to get hit.

        (was that preemptive strike okay?)

      • hasbeen5 - May 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        You conveniently didn’t answer my question about what would happen if a Yankee were on the receiving end. Sorry but you’re wrong here.

      • youngyankee - May 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        of course I’d be mad at verlander for hurting arod because I’d be thinking how the hell did someone who cant aim and hit a centaur’s massive back win the gotdamn cyyoung?!?

        your whole argument is based on a what if of very small probability if you hit someone like Hamels did.

        you said that the bean was uncalled for because it has the possibility of hurting the player. in the same reasoning, a pitcher should never intentionally walk a batter either because they could miss the catchers glove.

        the possibility and likelihood of a pitcher missing that target is so small, like the likelihood of a pitcher missing a persons back.

      • rarson - May 10, 2012 at 3:50 AM

        I am not for pitchers intentionally hitting batters. That said, this is Major League Baseball and it happens.

        Regardless, Cole Hamels is a punk for hitting Harper and an idiot for admitting to it (and a moron for his attempted explanation).

  20. btwicey - May 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    My name is also Bryce, Craig has made me quite self conscious all of a sudden…. :)

  21. dirt82 - May 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    He has brought more excitement to this game then anyone I have ever watched during my young lifetime. Everyone wants to hate because he is bringing flavor to the MLB.

    • cleverbob - May 8, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      And that flavor is Hot Pockets pepperoni pizza

  22. cleveredhardynickelbackcrocs - May 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    God I hate my parents…

  23. djpostl - May 9, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    I just love how all you tools defending Harper ignore the fact that a lot of the punk ass antics he displayed were in the minors, which is still a part of professional baseball.

    Might not have been MLB, but it absolutely was as a pro.

    Anything he gets because of it is of his own doing.

  24. foreverchipper10 - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    All this hate for Harper is coming from a bunch of people who would love, freaking love it if he played for the team you root for. As a Braves fan I know he is going to terrorize my favorite team for the next two decades (provided he stays put) but as a baseball I am going to love watching him play throughout his career. You all should too. And if you hate on him for being a little brash as a teenager then you need to reevaluate how you evaluate people.

    • cleverbob - May 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Hey, I had it all figured out when I was his age. Why can’t he get it together?

    • rarson - May 10, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      You are a baseball? As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball…

      • foreverchipper10 - May 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Haha oops. As a baseball fan. That’s what happens when I am interrupted at work when clearly trying to post on a baseball blog.

  25. rarson - May 10, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    Regardless of what anyone says about Bryce Harper, from what I’ve seen he’s a dedicated athlete, and a hell of a baseball player. Yeah, I get it: he looks kinda douchey, with the haircut and all, and he threw his helmet off when running into second base. Hell, I’m sure he’s even said a few inflammatory remarks.

    But look at the way this kid plays baseball. Seriously, for a rookie, he is DAMN good. You can’t hate him for the way he plays. He’s good, and on top of it, he doesn’t seem to be all that up on himself. He seems to be a team player.

    Maybe his head is twelve sizes too big and I just don’t see it. But I don’t. And I’m not even a Nats fan. I wish he was on my team.

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