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Ozzie Guillen-Bryce Harper feud defused with a gift

Jul 18, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Images

The other day Ozzie Guillen and Bryce Harper got into a pissy little fight over how much pine tar was on Harper’s bat. On Monday, some Nationals’ veterans figured out a good way to defuse it all:

They had the unknowing Harper sign a bat and added a message along with a generous amount of pine tar before sending it to the Marlins’ clubhouse. “It had pine tar all over the place,” Guillen said, laughing. “They put the rest: ‘To my hero, Ozzie. Love you.’ I thought it was funny.”

The peacemakers: Edwin Jackson, who Guillen managed in Chicago, and Adam LaRoche, whose father used to play with Guillen.  I suppose all the fuss is over now.

Which, good. But man, this whole “every Bryce Harper controversy turns into a happy little story in the end” stuff is getting a little old. It’s like Clint Eastwood on his farm at the beginning of “Unforgiven,” saying “I ain’t like that anymore.” Eventually something’s gonna happen that’s gonna make Harper kill someone’s wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down, right? Figuratively I mean. Because we can’t escape out nature?

  1. ajcardsfan - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I know I’ll get thumbs downed for this, but I just can’t pass up an opportunity:
    “What a tar-iffic story”

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      Good pun. I gave you a thumbs up.

    • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      Have no fear when pun-tificating!

      • jon623 - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM

        @bigleagues, I quotes your bit on Reggie Jackson in nother article’s comments, just so you know. Gave you complete credit on it.

  2. RickyB - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Deserve’s got nuthin’ to do with it.

    • djpostl - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Well, he shoulda armed himself…

      • anxovies - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        Any man who don’t wanna get killed better get out the back.

  3. drunkenhooliganism - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Sometime, maybe in 2024, Harper is gonna act inappopriately. Maybe he’ll throw his bat in anger after being hit by a pitch four times in a game. Maybe Ozzie Guillen will up his game to walking up to him in the middle of a game and taking a leak on Harper’s shoes and Harper will slap Guillen with his batting gloves. Maybe he’ll zealously celebrate hitting a home run to win game seven of the world series.

    And when that day comes, then the people will finally be able to scream out that they knew he was an immature jackass all along.

    • Tim OShenko - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      How does one overzealously celebrate a Game 7 walk-off homer? I would think that just about any celebratory practice, short of bludgeoning all the infielders with your bat as you round the bases, would be acceptable.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        I didn’t even say overzealously. I’m thinking a second fist pump after hitting a game winning homer in game 7 might set off the, for lack of a better word, haters.

      • cleverbob - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        Better to play it safe and celebrate underzealously. Btw, thumbs down for use of haters when you could have classed it up with “detractors”.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Or perhaps, he will take longer than 17-18 seconds to round the bases. Maybe take in the awesome moment and do it in 20 seconds.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        But if he doesn’t celebrate enough, he’ll be branded for having no passion for the game.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        True, Kevin. Somehow, I doubt that will be a problem. I’d be more concerned about him having a Kendrys Morales celebratory moment and missing the following season or two. Or even worse, being trampled to death by his teammates.

        That said, it’s a little hard to wrap my brain around the Nats winning the World Series. I’m still in “hey, this contending thing is fun” mode.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Oh, I have no problems with Bryce Harper at all. I absolutely love everything about him. I’m just saying people who have decided they’re going to hate somebody will find a way to hate him no matter what. People hated JD Drew for his impassiveness and they hate Nick Swisher for his enthusiasm.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Also true.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      Or maybe in 2024 he will hit himself in the face with a bat.

      Oh wait

  4. napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    It’s amazing how all of these events have the story arc of a crappy sitcom. Harper and Hamels tussle at a game, Harper shakes him off and steals home base giving some sort of scripted pithy one-liner as he walks back to the dugout. Harper dishing out his catch phrase “That’s a clown question bro” to an overbearing reporter. Harper and his friends playing a prank on the old curmudgeon who’s getting in the kids place…

    We’re about 1 or 2 more of these from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Nationals.

    • dexterismyhero - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      We’re about 1 or 2 more of these from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Nationals.

      Please no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I gave you a thumbs up anyway though…..

    • anythingbutyanks - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Too many of the Nationals’ better players are white. This one is probably Perry-proof.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        I would point you towards Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys starring Kathy Bates. No National, possibly no PERSON is whiter that Kathy Bates.

        No one is Perry-Proof.

  5. natstowngreg - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Bryce Harper keeps defying the narrative. Maybe–just maybe–it’s time to recognize that it’s the narrative, not Harper, that is the problem.

    Yes, as drunkenhooliganism points out, it will take only one act to bring out the “I told you so” types. But the longer Harper goes without committing such an act, the easier it is to dismiss them as the bitter, shriveled souls they are.

    BTW, whatever happened to the commenters who pronounced Harper a bust when he was drafted? Just curious…

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      The fact of the matter is the guy is 19 years old, so its not completely unheard of that he would be a little immature when he was a baseball prodigy, and that this whole process could have served to help him grow up. BUT, while the kid has had a good rookie year and the trajectory seems to definitely be looking upward, I wouldn’t go ahead an anoint him as a superstar in the Majors. He’s having a good year for a rookie, but he’s ranked 57th in the league in OPS and probably shouldn’t have been an all-star this year (at least not by merit).

      I know I’m just going to get a ton of thumbs down for this comment, but I would hope that a lot of people would dispense with the hyperbole and just let the kid play ball for a few years… there’ll be plenty of time to say what he is and is not down the road.

      • gostlcards5 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Seriously, you’re knocking Harper because he’s 57th in OPS? (I just realized…a valid question is: 57th in the NL, or 57th in all of MLB? — I don’t know and am too lazy to look today…ha ha)

        Either way, for all of MLB, if you figure 30 teams with a 24-man roster, that’s 720 players. Figuring that about half of them are position players (if you go by the TLR rule of carrying 37….whoops, I mean 12…pitchers on the roster), that leaves you with 57th out of 360 players. That’s in the top 15.8% in the league, at 19 years old! Even if you’re only talking about the NL (which has 16 teams), he’s in the top 29.8%….at NINETEEN years old! I say that’s not too shabby for a kid, who in all likelihood, is going to improve as he continues to play against the best competition in the world.

        –By the way, not that I meant to come off as yelling. I’m not a Harper fan (particularly), although I like to see how he (and Mike Trout) are going to progress as players. I will say that the kid, since coming up to MLB, has been nothing but a class act, with a few funny “clown question” type things thrown in for entertainment. Give the kid a break, let him grow up, and then let’s see what exactly he becomes.–

      • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        No, it’s not just a good year for a rookie. For a nineteen y.o. rookie, it’s nearly unprecedented. Basically, he’s looking at Tony Conigliaro as the only player to have a better age-19 rookie season with the bat. If we include non-rookies at that age, we and Mel Ott and Ty Cobb. That’s it.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        Tony Conigliaro finished his career with a .264 average and twice as many Ks as BBs. Your proving my point – the kid is a nice player, and I’m not saying he’s not going to blow the doors off one day… I’m just saying right now he’s not in the top 30 guys you would want on your team for the rest of the year, and there are NO guarantees beyond that for that matter.

      • retief1954 - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        napoleon, great post, you nailed it IMO, but hoping sports fans and writers “would dispense with the hyperbole and just let the kid play ball for a few years…” is a pipe dream. Not in THIS country, and not in MLB’s overheated, over-hyped, breathless, faux-drama, media-infected world where every knucklehead has to get his thoughts and predictions out there on record, so a few months or years from now they can point back and say, “See? Told you so!” We live in the age of People Running Their Mouths All The Time Who Shouldn’t Be, unfortunately.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:16 PM

        You’re right, Bryce Harper could get beaned in the face and have his career ruined. I take it all back, we shouldn’t be excited about him at all.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        Reteif I’m glad you see what I’m driving at.

        And Jeez Kevin you really do miss the point don’t you? I’m not telling you not to be excited. You clearly have a chubby for this kid and his talent and that’s fine. All I’m saying is that the kid has played HALF A MAJOR LEAGUE SEASON. There is no need to say that he’s a brash a-hole or that he’s a humble saint. There is no need to say that he’s Willy Mays and Ken Griffey combined, OR that he’s the next big bust. There is and will be plenty of time to determine who and what he is later on. For the time being enjoy the season he’s having and later you can figure out where it all fits in baseball lore.

        The same goes for Trout too.

  6. buddysguys - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    i would have walked back over with that bat found Harper and smashed it off the wall into my own head…..that’ll show em’

  7. stackers1 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Ozzy is the “Duck Of Death”.

  8. ezwriter69 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    “Because we can’t escape out nature?”
    Maybe the problem is in making sweeping judgements about the “nature” of a nineteen year old who you’ve never met and have no idea what he’s really like?
    Maybe that says a LOT more about your nature than his?

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