Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Bryce Harper: Phillies fans not as rude as fans of Mets, Braves

17 Comments

Speaking to the media as All-Star Game festivities were under way in Miami, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper dropped a bombshell. Per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, he said that Phillies fans were not as rude as fans of the Mets and Braves.

There are several possible explanations Philly fans haven’t been as rude to Harper. Perhaps the reputation of Philly fans has been greatly exaggerated. (It has.) The Phillies have been terrible since 2013, so enthusiasm is at its lowest since the early 2000’s. While the Braves haven’t been anything to write home about recently, they have been competitive in the recent past, so there’s just a bit more animus at relevant Nats players. Maybe most importantly, Philly fans may also be aware that Harper can become a free agent after the 2018 season. The Phillies will have tons of money to spend, so Philly fans don’t want to do anything to sour Harper on a potential move up I-95.

It’s not like Harper hasn’t had beef with the Phillies and the fans. Then-Phillie Cole Hamels hit Harper with a pitch in May 2012. After the game, Hamels straight up admitted he was trying to hit Harper intentionally. Hamels was suspended five games. Harper took a jab at Philly fans a couple weeks later, saying, “Hopefully they don’t throw any batteries at me.”

That wasn’t the only thing Harper had to say on Monday, though. He also suggested a potential alteration to the All-Star Game in which two captains draft teams. He imagined Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw potentially pitching to teammate Justin Turner. Interesting.

Video: Athletics tie home run record on the road

Franklin Barreto, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha
AP Images
Leave a comment

The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.

Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.