Check out the home run that Nats’ prospect Bryce Harper hit last night. Specifically, check out the way he stopped to admire it and the kiss he blew to the pitcher when he crossed home plate:
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Yes, he’s young. But there’s no excuse for that kind of thing. Even someone who cares as little about the unwritten rules as I do has to appreciate that Harper is being disrespectful here. That pitcher is trying to do his job. He didn’t get $16 million to tide him over as he tries to get through the minors like Harper is.
Maybe he gets away with that kind of thing in A-ball. But if he doesn’t learn a bit of humility at some point on his journey to greatness, he’s going to get his ribs broken.
UPDATE: I have a more considered, extended take here.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: