Bryce Harper suspended for one game


I suspected this would happen and now it has happened: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his actions following his ninth inning ejection against the Tigers the other night.

“His actions,” according to MLB, “included returning to the field, during Monday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park” after he was ejected. The press release did not mention his F-bomb to the umpire, but I imagine if that hadn’t have happened he wouldn’t have gotten the single game suspension. For what it’s worth, however, managers have been suspended in the past for not leaving the field following their being ejected or for returning later. Ask Bobby Valentine and his mustache about that.

Harper’s suspension had been scheduled to be served tonight, but he has elected to file an appeal. I would guess that he’ll just drop the appeal when he wants a day off on, say, a day game after a night game, as MLB is unlikely to reduce a one-game suspension to zero games.

I like Harper’s game overall and I’m not gonna lose my sleep over a young man getting caught up in the moment. But you can’t just come back on the field and start cussin’ out Blue and not expect a little blowback. This is the blowback and it’s not too bad. He should probably consider himself pretty lucky that MLB acted reasonably here and didn’t get too caught up in Bryce Harper Derangement Syndrome like some quarters of the media and the fan base at large do.

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN on opening day

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Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.

Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.

“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”

Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.

Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.

“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.

Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.