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Bryce Harper on Braves fans: “I live for the booing”

Aug 18, 2013, 9:15 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

Bryce Harper, the victim of two misplaced baseballs on Friday, was booed lustily before every at-bat throughout the Nationals’ three-game set in Atlanta this weekend. Harper reached base in four of five plate appearances on Friday, went 0-for-2 after entering the game in the ninth inning in last night’s 15-inning affair, and went 2-for-4 in this afternoon’s 2-1 loss in regulation to the Braves.

Even before he was drafted by the Nationals in the first round of the 2010 draft, Harper was known for being arrogant, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. That hasn’t changed much in Harper’s second season in the Majors. Phillies starter Cole Hamels admitted to intentionally throwing at him last year, and now the Braves have accounted for three of his four hit-by-pitches this year. As the Phillies have fallen off considerably, it appears that a Braves-Nationals rivalry is brewing. Harper quite enjoys it.

With today’s 2-1 victory, the Braves improved their first-place lead over the Nationals to 15.5 games with 38 games left to play. Hopefully the rivalry will be more meaningful next year.

  1. mybrunoblog - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Yes, Harper was known for being arrogant when he played amateur ball against other 16 year olds. Since he has reached the big leagues he’s been a real professional in my eyes. I like this kid. Heck of a baseball player.

    • baseballer28 - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      How about blowing kisses at the pitcher after hitting HRs? He did that in the minors against other professional players, not 16 yr old as you suggest. This guy is the most arrogant, overhyped piece of shit in this history of this game. He should get plunked every time. Someone should do us all a favor and end his shit with 98 MPH in the face. He deserves it for treating the game the way he has. And his organization. Classless, cheap pieces of shit.

      • paperlions - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        You might want to become familiar with the entire story. The pitcher had been talking shit all game and staring into the Hagerstown dugout each time he struck a guy out. The pitcher (Zachary Neal) was being an asshole all game long. Harper took him deep and the pitcher followed Harper around the bases carping all the while, watch the video and you’ll see the pitcher yelling something to Harper as Harper is on his way home, at which point Harper blew him a kiss.

        Besides being a giant douche, Zachary Neal is now 24, in AA for the A’s (after being with the Marlins before), and is a non-prospect.

        You should do us all a favor and STFU when you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

        Feel free to provide one example of Harper being a classless piece of shit. Otherwise, kindly shut the fuck up.

      • drewsylvania - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        GFY you overreacting blacked-out emperor.

      • daveeproc - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        “Someone should do us all a favor and end his shit with 98 MPH in the face.”

        Yeah, he totally deserves a brain injury. Grow up.

      • hova84 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Paper, not that I’m condoning what baseballer28 said at all, but Harper did say that if the Nats weren’t 14.5 down at the time he had tried to put Teheran “6 feet under”. Don’t know if that qualifies as classless or not, but it is a bit intense for getting hit in the leg, intentional or not.


      • Kevin Gillman - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:39 PM

        Is he classless for how he treats kids that approach him for autographs? Or how about visiting sick children in the hospital? No, Bryce is good for baseball, nothing wrong with showering the boos too.

      • jjschiller - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

        And THIS guy is just OOOZING class..

      • bfunk1978 - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        Arrogant, maybe. Over-hyped? I say he’s lived up to it and then some.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Look everyone! I think 28 is gonna’ set the all-time thumbs down record.

  2. innout10 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Hell of a ball player…it’s good he enjoys the boos even when down 15.5 gms. Boos usually sound better when u are winning.

    • Bryz - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      Boos usually mean more when you’re winning, too.

  3. gibbskins9 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    And the Braves live for kicking your butts

    • coreywindom - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      2 over times games in a row….braves won 1 and nats won the other,…the next game was 2-1……I get the feeling you don’t understand the meaning of “kicking butts”…..they might have won…but just bairly and they had to play their asses off…its pretty obvious that after Harper hit that MONSTER homerun in the first game, the braves were doing all they could to keep harper out of the batter’s box…..I used to like the braves but I have lost all respect for them

      • hova84 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        I think he is referring more to the 12-4 season series record. That is a pretty good butt kicking. Research before you respond.

      • autolegend - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

        And we the Braves fans acknowledge your dislike for us by winning games and throwing balls at Bryce just to rub it in.

        How’s that for class?

      • blacksables - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        When did baseball start playing overtime? I always thought they played extra innings?

  4. scdocal - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    He also said he would be stoked to play in front of crowds like this every night. Just goes to show how the casual fan knows nothing about Braves fans and how they come out in numbers.

    • shabby60 - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      15th in MLB home attendance, and at 65% of capacity at Turner Field, which ranks 20th in MLB. That is considered coming out in numbers?

      • hova84 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        To be fair, turner field is a converted Olympic stadium. It seats well over 50K. So that stadium capacity stat is going to be a little skewed.

      • hova84 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        Sorry, it is just under 50k as it currently is.

      • Walk - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        Not sure about todays game, but last nights game which was almost rained out had a reported 41,000 tickets sold. I am not sure how many stayed but there were a lot of fans still around in the 15th.

      • scottbravesfan - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:59 AM

        Turner Field is the second largest stadium in MLB behind only Dodger Stadium. It holds 50,000 fans. So putting the capacity % is incredibly misleading. The Braves have drawn over 2 million fans 23 straight years. Only the Dodgers have ever done that before in the history of the sport. Allow me to repeat that, the Braves have drawn over 2 million fans for 23 straight years, only the Dodgers, who play in a market with 16 million people, have ever done that before. Not the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Cardinals, no one else except the Dodgers and Braves can say that.

        And the best part is there are more Braves fans outside of Atlanta than in it. Because Atlanta is such a transplant city and with the Braves games being on TBS for 30 years. Just check out Nationals Park whenever the Braves play there, half the fans are Braves fans.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    I really love the fact that the Braves are kicking the Natinals asses in the standing. And I don’t even dislike Harper.

  6. chill1184 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    “Good. Good. Let the hate flow through you”

    – Baseball Palpatine

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      I thought Ty Cobb was the Baseball Palpatine?

  7. drewsylvania - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Have yet to see anything that could legitimately be called arrogant from Harper.

  8. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    “I love these fans. I really do. They’re unbelievable for their team”

    And just how the fuck is this being arrogant? Some people seem to have made up their mind that Harper is a dick, based off his actions when he was a super-star in highschool. Most people were arrogant dicks in highschool, let alone the kids that knew they were going to make millions playing professional baseball. Since he’s arrived at the majors he’s been nothing but a stand up gentleman, and even goes out of his way to compliment a rivals fans. People need to stop pushing their personal agendas and get over themselves already.

    • drewsylvania - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      Exactly. Some people like to see others fail because it makes themselves feel better about their sad lives.

  9. razorbyrd - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM


    it would appear that YOU are the classless piece of shit…

  10. Carl Hancock - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I too thought Bryce Harper was a cocky punk prior to his call up to the Nats last season. But honestly, he’s surprised me with how he has handled himself. He’s had plenty of situations where he could have handled them badly and instead he handed them like a pro. Whoever is in charge of mentoring him and keeping him on the right trick is doing a great job.

    • doowops46 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      as a Cub fan…I’d take him…he seems ok to me

  11. jan1998 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I believe this article about him commenting on playing in front of Braves’ crowds was not at all within the context of reported MLB attendance numbers. It seems like he was referring to the unabashed passion, spirit, and fervor displayed by those fans for their team during that entire game. No matter whether there is a sold-out standing room crowd only or just a couple of thousand, I have noticed over time these fans are always noticeably adamant in showing unyielding devotion regarding this team.

  12. scdocal - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    @ shabby. Yes Braves are averaging a little over 2k more fans a game this year while baseball in general is struggling to bring fans to the ballpark. Their television ratings have increased exponentially as well. Yeah we average a little over 32k per game but when there is a big series we come out. The Cardinals series brought out 138k for the series. So yes Atlanta fans are coming out in numbers to series against solid teams. I expect playoff games to be sold out as well.

  13. misterj167 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    I don’t care much for Harper but he’s got talent and enthusiasm. Smarts, not so much. Warning track, dude!

    My dislike of the Nationals and their fans really started this year when they began talking dynasty after having a single winning season. At least the Phillies fans had something to brag about, winning the division five times and getting a trophy. They’re still jerks but at least they had a reason.

    I gotta admit even I didn’t think we’d (the Braves) be running away with the division at this point, I figured we’d be neck and neck with the Nats all year with the rest of the division far in our rear-view mirror. But the Nats really imploded this year, and it’s always nice to see an egotistical balloon bust. And to make the well-paid buffoons on TV look like idiots. Unfortunately, theirs is not a skill set that punishes stupidity. You can be wrong all you want as long as you don’t drop an F-Bomb or something…

  14. insidefastball - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    For all of the hype, we are going to have to wait until next year to see if this guy can provide all-star level numbers for an entire season. He seems to love the publicity thus far, but he just isn’t Mike Trout on the field.

    • eightyraw - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      I can’t believe we have to wait another year. He probably won’t even be the youngest player on an opening day roster in 2014. If he doesn’t put up All-Star numbers at age 21 then maybe he just wasn’t worthy of the hype.

    • yahmule - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      His season really derailed after he hit the fence in LA. I think he gets a bit of a Mulligan for this season.

  15. unsportsmenmic - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:09 AM

    Reblogged this on UnSportsMenMic and commented:
    As a Nats fan who lives in ATL the fans really do get on Harper, but I wish he would live for the winning and not for the booing

  16. yahmule - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I love the kid, but his comments about wanting to be like Joe Namath and do whatever he wants just before his first opening day were indeed brash and not well considered. I don’t understand why people think giving him credit for maturing is a negative thing, but the agreed upon approach seems to be that pretending all criticism of him was always a gross overreaction. Group think is as fascinating as it is frustrating.

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