The Reds-Pirates series finale got a little heated on Sunday afternoon when Pittsburgh right-hander Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich. The offending incident occurred in the second inning, when Dietrich spotted a 91.7-m.p.h. fastball from Archer and cranked a 436-foot, two-RBI home run all the way out of PNC Park — then took his sweet time admiring it before running the bases.
When Dietrich stepped up to the plate again in the fourth inning, Archer retaliated by throwing behind the batter. The benches quickly emptied and Yasiel Puig broke away from his teammates to take on the Pirates’ entire lineup, inspiring what may be the single greatest photo to come out of a dugout-clearing fracas:
Following the dust-up, Reds manager David Bell, right fielder Yasiel Puig, reliever Amir Garrett, and Pirates relief pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez were ejected. It doesn’t appear as if any players were seriously harmed in the brawl, but any resulting suspensions have yet to be announced.
The Reds currently trail the Pirates 3-4 in the fifth.
When the Phillies go on the road, and even sometimes at home, outfielder Bryce Harper is a magnet for hecklers. Fans have been chanting things like “overrated” at him. But it hasn’t really been working.
Last night, Harper was being booed and ridiculed by fans at Fenway Park according to MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato. Harper shut them up with a two-run home run in the fifth inning which gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead, the score by which they would eventually win. Manager Gabe Kapler said, “I thought it was really interesting. There were some hecklers. I don’t know if they were Red Sox [fans] or who they were, but they were on him pretty good up until that moment. That was a pretty explosive moment for the dugout celebration.”
It is not the only time Harper has been heckled only to homer shortly thereafter.
Last week, Harper was 0-for-3 in a game against the Cubs. On his way back to the dugout, a fan yelled, “$330 million, 0-for-3.” Per TMZ Sports, Harper responded, “Shut the f–k up, stupid!” He would go on to hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Two weeks ago in San Francisco, fans chanted “overrated” at Harper. He promptly hit one of his two home runs in the Phillies’ 9-6 victory.
Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009, when he was 17 years old. Tom Verducci compared him to LeBron James, a comparison that has stuck with Harper ever since. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 draft. He’s more than used to being in the spotlight and more than used to hearing a little criticism. He lets his haters be his motivators. Maybe his detractors should approach it from the opposite angle — try killing him with kindness. Yelling, “Bryce, you have great hair!” might get him to go on an 0-for-54 skid.