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Bryce Harper on Phillies fans: “Hopefully they don’t throw batteries at me”

May 21, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

Before we get to Bryce Harper’s quote, something Cole Hamels said to Bob Nightengale of USA Today regarding the Nationals and Harper is wroth some scrutiny:

“Yeah, I accidentally stirred the pot,” Hamels told USA TODAY Sports. “It was unintentional. But that’s just the way it happens sometimes.”

OK, now it’s unintentional? So … you weren’t practicing Old School, Prestigious Baseball after all? Whatever, dude. For what it’s worth, Hamels does admit that his aim of plunking Harper backfired and that Harper showed him what he was made of, so I guess there’s peace on that front.

But maybe not with the fans, as Harper is stirring the pot himself:

Harper, 19, seems to know, and relish, what might await him in Philly. “Hopefully I get a couple boos,” he said. “I’m excited to get up there and play. Hopefully they don’t throw any batteries at me.”

I wish someone would tell Harper how this works. How it’s wrong, wrong, wrong to stereotype Philly fans like that. Yes, they’ve thrown batteries at people and have committed all manner of fan asshattery one can think of, but when they do it, you’re not supposed to say anything about it. You’re supposed to say “hey, that’s an unfair stereotype,” and then note how sometimes fans of other teams do bad things too. Oh, and when fans of other teams do things you’re supposed to jump out of your skin to say “Can you imagine what would happen if that happened in Philly? The haters would be all over us!”

But under no circumstances are you to suggest that Philly fans may behave in ways they have behaved in the past and, if they do, you should never ever point it out, because that makes you a hater.

158 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. pestiesti - May 21, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Hamels did intend to hit Harper, he just wasn’t intending for anyone to car.

    • pestiesti - May 21, 2012 at 8:32 AM


  2. ThisIsBaseball - May 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    I think he meant stirring the pot was unintentional. The pitch was still intentional.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      We need Tim Lincecum to weigh in on this one. Pot does not need to be stirred. Shake is usually considered a bad thing as well.

      • The Common Man - May 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        But baking is encouraged. Both literally and figuratively.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        Yes CC: Unless you are completely out…and that shake is from some serious fire.

      • bigleagues - May 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Shake has gotten a bad rep for no apparent reason.

  3. rpink24 - May 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    It was ONE battery, not batteries. :) And, the Phillies didn’t draft Harper, so he is exempt from this form of abuse.

  4. The Baseball Idiot - May 21, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Could you please provide a list of the other teams that have fans to rival the Phillies in their asshattery?

    • Kevin S. - May 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      Eagles. 76ers. Flyers. Soul.

      Okay, I couldn’t help myself. Seriously though, Jet fans, Raider fans and Dodger fans are all up there.

      • Kevin S. - May 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Also, every European soccer fan, ever.

      • spellingcops - May 28, 2012 at 3:44 AM

        Soccer isn’t really a sport.

    • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Given the fact that you even ask this question today of all days and point at largely petty things in the past in Philly as opposed to taking a real look at facts such as the Stow beating and yet another last night in LA. I’d like to nominate both the Dodgers and whatever team you’re a fan of.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 8:55 AM

        Yes, because we didn’t cover the Stow beating at all, Never. What’s the Stow beating?

      • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        I know you know what it is Craig. I think Baseball idiot soon forgets though. That is all.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        CJ, I lived in areas throughout my life where I’ve close access to 10 different MLB franchises. I know all about fans, good and bad.

        I’m not sure what you think I’ve ‘forgotten’, since all I did was make a very general statement. And that was more for the opportunity to use the world ‘asshattery’ than anything else.

        asshattery = old school English

    • deathmonkey41 - May 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      In football, you have the Jets.

    • cleverbob - May 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Baseball: Dodgers, Yankees, Giants, Pirates
      Football: Jets, Giants, Raiders, 49ers, Steelers, Ravens
      Hockey: Canucks, Penguins, Rangers

      et cetera, et cetera.

      Same assholes, different colors on their jerseys and hats.

    • cur68 - May 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      Leaf fans.

  5. digitaldonnie - May 21, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Here we go, now all the degenerate Phillies fans are gonna comment. “We never threw a single battery”, “Cole is a class act for this”, “my mom and dad arnt brother and sister, they are cousins. big difference”.

    • rpink24 - May 21, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      Come on, it was only a size C battery. It’s not like it was a car battery. We keep the bloodlines pure just like royal families used to do. Besides, brother, sister, cousin, you can’t tell the difference after awhile.

  6. brianbowman16 - May 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Craig, you are now officially the F’n man!

  7. skeleteeth - May 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I’m liking this Harper kid more and more…

    • stlouis1baseball - May 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      You know it’s funny Skeleteeth…I thought the same thing to myself!

  8. CJ - May 21, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that you haven’t already posted about the beating at a CBP parking lot last night. Philly fans are at it again. Wait, what’s that? Oh, it happened in LA. Nevermind then. Carry on.

    • bravojawja - May 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      I know, right? Just like there was no coverage here whatsoever when that Giants fan was beaten into a coma at Dodger Stadium last year. Nope. None at all.

  9. b7p19 - May 21, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    This is a GREAT way to start of the week. Thanks Craig.

  10. makeham98 - May 21, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Another assault at Dodger Stadium yet this gets his attention. . .

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Of course….facts getting in the way of a good narrative again.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        Or, false dichotomies fueling Philly fan persecution complexes.

        We have a post coming up about the Dodger Stadium thing. And, amazingly, that having happened doesn’t mean things in Philly never happened.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Things do happen in Philly, just like they do everywhere else.

        Though i’m struggling to remember the last Philadelphia sports incident which required the word “hospitalization” in the story. Like a coma, a beating, someone’s finger being lobbed off because of a classy fan smoking in the stands: can someone help me with this?

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        Yeah, no hospitalization here. This guy just went to the morgue:

      • Jonny 5 - May 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

        “I wish someone would tell Harper how this works. How it’s wrong, wrong, wrong to stereotype Philly fans like that. Yes, they’ve thrown batteries at people and have committed all manner of fan asshattery one can think of, but when they do it, you’re not supposed to say anything about it. You’re supposed to say “hey, that’s an unfair stereotype,” and then note how sometimes fans of other teams do bad things too.”

        But under no circumstances are you to suggest that Philly fans may behave in ways they have behaved in the past and, if they do, you should never ever point it out, because that makes you a hater.”

        Really replace “Philly fans” with “African Americans” or “Homosexuals” or “Mexicans” or “any other minority” And Craig is a full fledged “right wing nut” hell bent on ruining the country and labeled a bigot. Wow, just wow. Put “Philly fans” back, blink your eyes. Viola! Applause!! You’ve outdone yourself this time Calcaterra.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 9:11 AM

        Bet you had that one ready to go before this post, the old trump card, even though it happened at a train station.

        Again, like I stated, this sort of thing happens in any city, not a single one o them is absolved of violent crime.

        You’re instigatory tone is what solicits this kind of reaction, which you would not write if you weren’t looking for it.

        You should be happier on a Monday morning, aren’t the Braves leading the division?

    • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      so people getting severely beaten compares just fine to throwing batteries. Thanks, now I know what a false dichotomy is.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Who’s comparing them? They’re both things that have happened. No one has dared suggest that they’re anything comparable.

        I mean, if you want to go down that road you can always go here though …

      • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

        didn’t happen on stadium property! (grasps at straws…)

      • Kevin S. - May 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        Nah, just started on the property, security stopped giving a shit once they had pushed it outside instead of getting the cops involved.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Really it was more of a failing of the Police Department than anything else.

      • chadjones27 - May 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        “failing of the Police Department “?
        How about, more like, failing of the brains of drunken idiots.

  11. flyerscup2010 - May 21, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    I want my 2 minutes that I spent reading this fine example of jounalism back. You’re not allowed to speak about fanbases since you live like 1,000 miles from “yours.” Bryce Harper made a joke, the fans will boo him when he gets here, and that will be that. You looking for things to whine about is the only thing here that I find unbearably annoying.

    • danaking - May 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Flyerscup 2010? Wow, is THAT a delusional screen name.

      • flyerscup2010 - May 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        I made it in ’09, I was actually feeling pretty good about it too during the playoffs up until Jeff Carter missed the open net and Patrick Kane didn’t miss the open net aka Michael Leighton’s Tupac hologram impression.

    • 18thstreet - May 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      There’s douches in every fan base. Honestly, many Red Sox fans drive me nuts. I’m relieved when I find normal ones that I can get along with. Opening day, I watched Red Sox-Tigers at a DC bar for a couple innings and I was thrilled to sit next to a Tigers’ fan.

      I’ve come to believe what distinguishes the Philadelphia fans is (a) a total lack of recognition of the douches in their ranks, (b) an utter lack of sense of humor when people mock you, deservedly or undeservedly, and (c) a tacit acceptance of your own douches, in that you’re not particularly embarrassed by them.

      • flyerscup2010 - May 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        No, we absolutely know there are douches. We just also know that there are more who are not douches, so getting lumped in with the minority that partakes in violent and sometimes criminal behavior is frustrating. Conversely, lumping us all in together is really simplistic and way to easy on the part of the “lumpers.” I’ve never thrown a battery, nor have I thrown a snowball (at least not at sporting events, and not since I was in grade school), and I get along just fine with Santa. I also think Cheesesteaks are just okay, and I’m a bit indifferent about Rocky movies. Most people here do not fulfill the stereotypes, so forgive us for being sick of constantly being reminded of the few who do.

      • 18thstreet - May 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        When I think of snowballs, I think of NY Giants fans. What did Philly fans do?

  12. flyerscup2010 - May 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    You’re like Skip Bayless, except people know who he is.

  13. digitaldonnie - May 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Craig, why even bother responding to these fools? Keep up the hate. I always leave shaking my head at these jokes of fans.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      That has to make you feel good Craig….an avid supporter urging you go “keep up the hate.”

      • cleverbob - May 21, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        You know you’re doing something wrong when that clown is applauding you…

    • Utley's Hair - May 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Hey, digitaldonnie, look up. Does the bridge need repainting yet?

  14. rpink24 - May 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Craig, I need to thank you for this article. I came into work this morning having zero interest in actually doing anything and this will keep me entertained for some time.

  15. pugdog1228 - May 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Hey Craig, “asshatery” is beating that poor dead horse yet again and again. It is the week mind that goes back to “Philly fan” yet again. How bout you do your job and write something insightful and well thought out, oh wait, let’s just bash Philly fan. Its so easy. Yaaaawwwwnnnn. Zzzzzz old and tired man….

  16. delsj - May 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Man, I really hate Florio & NBC for tying these half-assed blogs to PFT. Now I’m going to have to check back in all day to laugh at the comments of dregs trying to make their miserable existences seem better by commenting on Phillies fans.

    Continued good luck with the mid-life crisis, Craig, hopefully you are talking these posts out with your therapist. Impressive that you were able to post a response within 3 minutes of the first defensive reply. Can’t wait until Chandler wakes up around lunch time and adds his diatribe.

  17. hermitfool - May 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Step one-throw stink bait in the water
    Step two-watch Junior High Filly Fhans take the bait
    Step three-when the action slows, throw out more bait
    Step four-repeat as needed

  18. mungman69 - May 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I’ve been to many ballparks and stadiums around the country to watch all kinds of sports and I’ve seen many incidents and most of these incidents are alcohol related. If the teams really cared about how their fans acted they would NOT sell beer at the games.
    I know, I know, the teams make a lot of money on the sale of alcohol BUT shut off the tap and you shut off the crap.

    • skeleteeth - May 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Yeah that will definitely keep people from drinking in the parking lots too.

    • chadjones27 - May 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      They’re doing their best… beer is already around $8 in most stadiums, isn’t it? In this economy, and beer prices like that it’s getting increasingly more difficult to go all-Randy-Marsh on someone.

  19. bleed4philly - May 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    We do set the standard

  20. cktai - May 21, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    These posts always annoy me Craig. Normally you seem like such a levelheaded guy who understands the difference between incidents and typical behavior, who realizes the dangers of gross generalizations and the concept of confirmation bias. Yet in trying to bait Phillies fans, all this goes overboard. Then it just becomes a matter of trolling as much as possible.

    If you pretend to read those last two columns in the context of racial stereotypes instead of supporter stereotypes and you see exactly how overboard you are taking your Philly fan attacks. Which is not to say I equate Phillies hatred with racism. I just think the argumentation that you are using here is almost identical to that used against you by extreme conservatives.

    I understand that it is “part of the game” for you to troll Phillies fans, which is the result of you being a Braves supporter and this blog having many Phillies supporters, but really you don’t need this, and it makes the whole experience somewhat less enjoyable.

    Also I know that no-one forces me to read these posts specifically, but I like the blog very much, and I like Craig’s insights on most matters. I just wish we could get his honest opinion on these things instead of the opinion of his alter ego C.C. Phillyhater.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Except I don’t sit and say “all Phillies fans do this.” What I do is point out when things happen. When they do happen, Phillies fans get hyper defensive about me pointing out the things that actually occurred, much in the way I poked fun of them for doing in the post above.

      Seriously: go back and read the comments in the intentional puker posts from a couple of years ago. No one seriously pointed to that and said “all Phillies fans puke intentionally on little girls.” People did say, “well, here’s another incident in Philly,” which it was. And wouldn’t you know it, the response from the Philly people was much like it is here: “sure, point out Philly fan behavior, but so and so is worse and you’re just a hater who picks on us …”

      Except those incidents did happen. And we do, constantly, mention incidents when they occur elsewhere. And the people who follow those teams never get all defensive about it and act as if we’re picking on them. Philly fans do, however. Always.

      I dont’ suspect Bryce Harper will get with a battery in the upcoming series. But if he does, how much do you want to bet that, if it happens, Phillies fans here will find it far worse that I mention it than the actual battery throwing? And say “well, he asked for it!”

      I wouldn’t be a dime on that because it would like throwing a dime in the trash.

      • cktai - May 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        I’m not saying you accuse of all Phillies fans of acting like those idiots which got them the reputation, I’m saying that you tend to generalize the reaction of Phillies fans on your commentary board. Sure there is a large contingent of idiotic Phillies fans who act in the way you described, but that is, in my view, a natural result of 1. having a large number of Phillies fans in general who read the boards, and 2. having that reputation against which they feel compelled to act. I very much doubt that, as you argue, none of the fans of other teams ever display such behavior.

        Furthermore, even if there is a verifiable increase of inherent overly defensiveness among Phillies fans, I still do not think there is any good reason to actively attempt to incite such behavior.

      • cktai - May 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        The grammar and general sentence structure of the previous post leaves much to be desired. Suffice to say I’m not a native English speaker.

      • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        I think the difference is in national media, that when something happens in Philly, it’s like “Well, another incident in Philly today, you can add this to the list of booing santa, snowballing jimmy, puking on girls, fans gettings tazed, battery throwing, drunk guy gets beaten to death outside of bar, cheering when future half of famers get put in temporary paralysis, etc.”

        when something happens literally anywhere else, it’s like. “Well, here’s something you don’t see every day: Some dude got beat up in a stadium parking lot in LA. When I first heard about it I thought for sure it happened in Philadelphia.” No laundry list of sins of the fanbase’s past from 20 years ago (or even longer in some cases), and a crack at Philly anyway.

        Looking back it was a fair assessment on your post, but Philly fans are so used to the above that, admittedly, perhaps we hear it when it isn’t even there at times. But that doesn’t change the fact that it happens. All the time.

        If media wants to pick on Philly and run down the whole stupid list every time, I’m fine with that. I really am. But then let’s do the same for every other city too then, because the vast majority have similar stories as well.

      • pitchforkandortorch - May 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        Everybody chill out. Craig, it seems unbecoming of a journalist to enter the fray to post a defensive reply regarding the silly debate of which team’s jersey is more popularly worn by violent felons. This whole thread is idiotic and off-putting to the majority of your readers., all the more so because your post seemed gleefully geared towards generating this reaction.

        In general, this blog is better than PFT because PFT gets very preachy and sanctimonious, whereas for the most part this one is more rational. I read PFT because no one has better sources than them. Your blog does not enjoy the same advantage, so I think alienating readers–of any stripe–would be unwise. Stick to what you guys do well–entertaining, insightful, and occasionally funny analysis of events and news in baseball. This tripe should be beneath you.

        A Fellow Journalist

  21. darthsat - May 21, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    And this continues to be the most asinine theme of sports related subjects. Pure and simple study of numbers. A few hundred or even thousand miscreant fans does not a majority make. It is unbelievably pointless for sportswriters of any site or city to make these “articles” simply because the <1% of asshat fans who would involve themselves in throwing things, beat up people in parking lots, or other similar behavior is not going to read your site.

    So you who write such an article will never have someone who engages in crap like that actually read it. Instead, you and other writers waste the time of good fans and are essentially just Internet trolls.

  22. bigleagues - May 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM


    Perhaps you missed it, but Harper views boos as ying and yang and revels in each equally (so long as its not his teams fans doing the booing). Personally, I LOVE THIS.

    Also, while some close phriends of mine are Philly phans, I support the idea that it’s phoolish to stereotype that phanbase. That said, their history makes them justifiably villaphied. Thanks to the “Ice Bowl”, they secured their own wing in the BigLeagues Asshat Hall of Phame. Oh yeah, btw, that game was billed as the “Bounty Bowl II” by CBS with the National Phootball League Commissioner in attendance.

    How the times have changed. Go phigure.

  23. thefacts121 - May 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Craig, in order to test your hypothesis that Philadelphia fans have a persecution complex, you could lead an effort to stop persecuting for a short period of time in order to see what the reaction would be. As a Philadelphia sports fan who has never done anything remotely objectionable at a baseball game — which makes me part of a large enough majority as to statistically approach “everyone” — I know that this would be a uniquely pleasant time to read sports media. It would be delightful not to be called a violent misanthrope, even if for only the length of time of a control sample.

    You note (and I sense some sarcasm here) the common reaction to stories like these — to point out that one or two fans often misbehave at sporting events — without even coming close to refuting the underlying point that it is an unfair stereotype that doesn’t get pegged on other fan bases. I don’t stereotype Pittsburgh fans as a group of people who fight security guards or Dodgers fans as a group that attack strangers or Chicago fans as a group that attack coaches on the field. Neither do you; no one logically would. Yet somehow it seems logical to you to to say that “Philly fans may” attack a player on the field? I don’t think that this critique makes very much sense, and I don’t see how it is possible you do either.

    I am a big fan of yours and your blog. I’m going to keep reading your posts regardless of whether you give a mea culpa, reply with something dismissive here, or land anywhere in between. But I really think you’re better than this.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      ‘Yet somehow it seems logical to you to to say that “Philly fans may” attack a player on the field?”

      No, I didn’t. Bryce Harper did and I pointed that out. As it was in the pages of a national newspaper and because this kid is a newsmaker, it’s worth a post.

      What I did say is that, upon someone (Harper) saying such a thing, Phillies fans will act hyper-defensive. Which they are, in this thread, and elsewhere all over HBT since the blog began. I can’t characterize fan behavior at CBP, but I am a pretty good authority on the commenters who post here.

      • dennisund - May 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        The fact that you lack any semblance of professionalism pretty much disqaulifies you from being an objective critic of a team’s or city’s fanbase, especially as part of your profession. It goes without saying that you go out of your way to enflame a large sports market, since you readily admit it. You are clearly banking on ‘any publicity is good publicity’ while it is clear that you defend Bryce Harper because you relate to him. Here’s someone that no one in the city has any reason to care about, and then goes on to beg for negative attention. That’s called immaturity. To think that it takes a Phillies fan to say, ‘Grow up.’

      • thefacts121 - May 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        First of all, I appreciate you engaging with your readers on this topic.

        To be precise, what you said was “under no circumstances are you to suggest that Philly fans may behave in ways they have behaved in the past. . . .” To me that sounds like a (sarcastic) endorsement of Harper’s statement and not just reporting on it. For example, if after an actor makes a gaffe during an acceptance speech someone were to say “under no circumstances are you to suggest that actors aren’t geniuses” I think you would understand that statement to be endorsing a critique along those lines and not just repeating it. It’s that endorsement that I disagreed with in my post above, not Harper’s original comment. Did I (and I might add, lots of readers) misinterpret your statement?

        I’m also not really sure where the line is drawn between disagreement/defensiveness, nor what renders the former inherently wrong. Categorizing an argument (“hyper-defensive”) is not really the same thing as refuting it.

        In any event, my original praise for your work here still stands, and thanks for taking the time.

    • fquaye149 - May 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      “We don’t have a persecution complex. Just stop persecuting us, and you’ll see that!!!!!”
      –some dude

  24. mdpickles - May 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    This dead horse has been beat long enough.

  25. phillyphaithful21 - May 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Craig, you encompass all that is wrong with blogs, and media today. You use your position as a writer on what is a good baseball website to interject your own bias and skewed view to legions of followers who can not generate their own thoughts but rather hop on your bandwagon. Philly fans will forever be PASSIONATE. Does that passion cross the line on occasions absolutely. I will never defend situations where those select few fans are in the wrong but to spew that hate that you did at the end of this story about Bryce Harper is wrong. Remember that you are writing to fans of all teams.

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