Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected from Monday night’s game in New York against the Mets after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Mark Carlson in the fourth inning. Harper was called out on strikes for the first out of the inning and seemed particularly annoyed with the strike two call. Later in the inning, Carlson called a high strike on César Hernández. Harper barked at Carlson from the dugout and was immediately ejected. Manager Gabe Kapler stormed out of the dugout in defense of his superstar and somehow did not get ejected as well. At one point, Harper nudged Kapler into Carlson, which might end up resulting in a heftier fine for Harper.
Carlson called a high strike for strike two on Harper in his first at-bat in the first inning as well, which might have influenced his displeasure with the strike zone. Both that and the pitch to Hernández were clearly balls.
Matt Gelb of The Athletic notes that Harper is the first Phillies player ejected from a game since Justin De Fratus on June 16, 2015. It makes more sense considering the Phillies have played few meaningful games between 2015-18, but is still astounding nevertheless.
Roman Quinn replaced Harper in center field, batting third. Harper finishes the night 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.