Oh, Bryce Harper, maybe you aren’t ready for the Major Leagues just yet. At age 19, you might be a superstar prospect in the making, but you have shown with recent antics that you’re probably not ready to handle the big time just yet.
I’m not referring to your .244 average or the fact that you’ve struck out more times (16) than you’ve walked (10) in your first 21 games, Bryce. I’m more specifically referring to how you have handled yourself “professionally” both on and off the field.
First, you slammed a bat against a wall after making an out against the Cincinnati Reds. The bat got the best of you, though, bouncing off that concrete wall, smashing you in the face, and causing you to get 10 stitches.
“I’ve done it a million times. It’s just a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. It came back and got me,” you said at the time.
Today, only a few hours before your Washington Nationals are set to face off against the Philadelphia Phillies, you decided to stir the pot again, turning your attention to the rowdy Philadelphia fans:
“Hopefully I get a couple boos. I’m excited to get up there and play. Hopefully they don’t throw any batteries at me,” he said, referencing the infamous incident in which fans threw batteries at J.D. Drew when he played outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals.
What’s the point of all this, Bryce? Are you trying to prove a point, announce that you have arrived on the big stage?
Ironically, I was impressed by the way you responded the first time controversy was thrown your way, literally, when Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels hit you intentionally, and then admitted to it. You were a professional, then, walking down to first base and not getting into a verbal jab after the game.
That’s how you’re supposed to act.
Today’s incident, and last week’s too, continue to prove that you’re still an immature child who isn’t ready for the limelight…just like the scouts said when you played high school and minor league ball.
I, like every other pure baseball fan, am excited to see you play, and I’m excited to follow your career. But you don’t endear yourself to me, and others, when you throw a tantrum after failing and when you insult a team’s fans for apparently no reason.
If you don’t want batteries thrown at you, Bryce, then you shouldn’t make it look to some like you are extending an invitation for them to do so like you did today.
Just grow up and play the game.