I gotta tell you, while it sucks to not be anywhere near in the mix for postseason baseball this year (the Phils are a good 10 1/2 back of the second wild card spot and really have no legitimate chance, barring some miracle, of playing well into October), it means I can enjoy the rest of the happenings in the league without getting all worked up, or finding myself over-analyzing every little thing that happens.
That made the brief Twitter feud between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves last night all the more hilarious.
To set the scene for what happened, in the bottom of the 3rd inning last night, Bryce Harper drilled a 437 foot home run off of Julio Teheran. The well-documented cocky sumbitch admired his work after crushing the ball, and then proceeded to take his dear ol’ time rounding the bases. (24ish seconds, according to tater-trot.com—not the longest trot of the season by far, but about 6 seconds longer than Harper’s average round tripper.) In his next at bat, on the first pitch Harper was drilled in the thigh by Teheran—and I mean DRILLED, wait until you hear the thud—which led to the exchange of sweet nothings between the two, the benches and bullpens clearing, and warnings being issued. It also led to probably one of the better Twitter exchanges between to professional sports clubs in recent memory.
First, video of the incident:
Ouch… And the exchange:
The Nationals have since deleted their response to that tweet above, but it’s been retweeted enough that we can directly quote it here: “@Nationals: @Braves Which part, giving up the home run, or drilling the 20-yr-old on the 1st pitch his next time up?”
Slightly reminiscent of the defensive that the San Jose Sharks went on after other NHL teams and ESPN tried to capitalize on the Sharknado craze a few months ago.
Back to the Nats though. While I enjoyed the exchange and it provided quite the chuckle, of course I’m going to be critical of it, because I’m a Phillies fan and that’s just how I’m wired to be.
I get the act of responding to the Braves’ tweet (though I’m not sure they were saying Harper made the “clown move” because this tweet, I think, was sent after Teheran plunked Harper), however, bringing up the fact that Harper is 20 years old and using that as an excuse for the way he acts isn’t going to cut it in my book. This “kid” has a history of being el numero uno douchebag–hence his being targeted by Cole Hamels during their first at bat against one another. Harper may only be 20, but if we’re going to rag on Johnny Manziel and say he needs to grow up (and he’s still in his teens) then we best be saying the same things about Bryce Harper. He ought not be exempt from that conversation. At least Johnny Football is still in college and sort of has an excuse for the way he behaves himself. Harper has been in the big leagues for well over a year now and knows how he’s supposed to act and what will happen if he steps slightly out of line. He said all of the right things in the post-game interview, accepting the fact that he probably deserved to be beamed. It’s clear he gets it. Now whoever runs the Twitter account for the Nats needs to catch up. (Maybe deleting that tweet is the first step in the right direction.)