Bryce Harper thought he drew a 3-2 walk in the seventh inning at Double-A last night, but as he headed to first base home plate umpire Max Guyll called him out on strikes and the 18-year-old Nationals uber-prospect angrily slammed his helmet down in disgust.
Guyll immediately ejected him from the game, at which point Harper got in the umpire’s face, screaming and pointing and digging his spikes into the dirt to show where he believed the pitch crossed outside the strike zone.
Chris Knight of the Harrisburg Patriot-News snapped the fantastic face-to-face action photo you see displayed to the left and CSNWashington.com has video that shows the entire incident unfold:
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Obviously this wouldn’t be any kind of story if Harper wasn’t involved, as plenty of minor leaguers are ejected in similar fashions every week, but it does play into some of the negative aspects of his reputation and the incident making headlines is part of the increased attention that comes with being a former No. 1 overall pick and the top prospect in baseball at age 18. Plus, he did kind of freak out.
For more details, check out the game story from the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.