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On Harper’s controversial slide

May 3, 2012, 3:57 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper knocks the ball out of Miguel Montero's mitt during the fourth inning.

There were very few plays of consequence during last night's 5-4 victory that didn't involve Bryce Harper in some fashion, right down to the 19-year-old ninth-inning double off the wall that set the stage for Ian Desmond's game-winning homer.

No less important, though, was Harper's aggressive baserunning play in the bottom of the fourth, when he scored from second on a Wilson Ramos grounder that ate up Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill.

Never letting up as he approached third, and watching coach Bo Porter give him the green light to make the turn, Harper hustled his way to a key run.

"I knew it was going to be close," he said. "On that kind of ball, you really got to bust you butt around the corner. I was reading Bo theRead more »

  1. Section 222 - May 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Conversation from the last post, though I'm sure I'll have something to say about this one. :-)Everyone keeps saying that Perry will be the one sent down when Wang returns. That's obvious, assuming Wang returns before Lidge. But when Lidge is ready to come back, someone else has to go. And when Storen is ready, someone else. The thing is that injuries happen unexpectedly. When we were talking about Wang's return several weeks ago, no one thought that Lidge was headed to the DL. So things can change, and no one can be certain what the options will be when decision time comes.We can, however, discuss the relative merits of the relievers (keeping in mind their options). At this point, the pecking order for demotion when the time comes, in my view, is:1. Perry2. Mattheus3. Stammen But I'd also consider DFAing Lidge if he's not really sharp when he returns before sending Stammen down. With Storen back, he's no longer needed as the faux closer, and having a solid RH long man who can give two strong innings is a real benefit to the team.

  2. GeneralCornRowWallace - May 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I have to say as talented as he is I worry about this Bruce Harper kid… he does not play the game fairly, slapping the ball out of a catcher's hands. Plush we heard about all this power he was supposed to have but all he can seem to do is hit doubles, in watching the games I clearly see him swinging has hard as he can but the balls don't go over the wall – they hit the wall.I am very worried about our offense and once opposing pitcher figure him out we are going to be in even more trouble. Looks like Rizzo might have wasted a TON of money on this kid, money we SHOUlD have used to sign Cecil Feilder to play first base! We would have been much better off. I continue to say Rizzo is in over his head and should be a scout, not a GM.

  3. Get Some Players - May 3, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    McPoop returns. Attention Mark.

  4. Tcostant - May 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Section 222. I don't think Stammen is going anywhere. He is arguable the Nationals best RP.

  5. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    What exactly is the rule on interference with the catcher? Did it change after Posey's injury? I realize you can't judge intent (though juries do it all the time) but if someone has time to look it up I'd like to see the exact wording.

  6. hiramhover - May 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Meh to Montero.I watched the replay a couple of times. Yes, Harper made contact with his mitt but he didn't appear to be swiping at it. Plus, Montero was applying a high tag, and if Harper didn't put his arms up, he'd have taken the tag in his face.

  7. Theophilus T. S. - May 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I always thought there was a distinction between swatting the mitt and swatting at the ball in the bare hand. My recollection of the Ramos play was he was attempting to make the tag w/ his bare hand. Am I wrong? If the catcher makes the tag while in control of the ball with his bare hand, tag=out. If he makes the tag w/ his mitt, he has to maintain control of the ball. If someone has chapter and verse on the rule, I'd be interested in hearing it.

  8. The Great Unwashed - May 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I'm not sure what the controversy is. If you lower your shoulder and go barreling into the catcher with the intent to dislodge the ball and potentially hurt the catcher, it's a clean play. If you slide by the catcher and make minimal contact but attempt to dislodge the ball by swatting at his glove, it's not a clean play, plus you've spared the catcher potential injury. Really?!!! I know there are unwritten codes and all in baseball, but that's just silly. It sounds as if Montero is trying to make an excuse for why he didn't hold on to the ball.

  9. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Just listened to Charlie's call of Ian's walkoff (look left for the link). He got a little excited there, yes, just a wee bit excited. Fun times.

  10. Destination....K Street - May 3, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    TcostantAgree 100%

  11. Section 222 - May 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    It's very hard to understand how you could see Harper's slide as legal and complain about Hairston's. Both were tough plays at the plate with the runner coming in at a high rate of speed leading to a violent collision. Much as I would have loved to see Harper's phenomenal throw result in an out, I'm glad the umpires called both plays simply based on whether the runner touched the plate before he was tagged out. I'd be interested to hear from the umpire experts (and will ask my friend who is one and report back) about what the actual rule is. It's hard to believe that the outcome depends on the intent of the runner. How is the umpire supposed to make that kind of judgment call in the heat of battle?Last advertisement for these tix I promise: Saturday's tickets are sold, I still have 3 for Friday in section 314 ($22 each). Email address is "Section314not222" at gmail.

  12. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Well, the official scorer can't make an out into a run. But he can review the play, and he ruled that Montero made an error and took an RBI away from Ramos. You have to feel that if he thought Harper "unfairly" knocked the ball out, Montero would have skated. From the box score:FIELDINGE: Montero (3, missed catch), Upton, J (2, fielding).RBI: Lombardozzi (4), Harper (2), Desmond 2 (10).

  13. Kevin Rusch - May 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Cecil Fielder? That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.

  14. Ann Ominous - May 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    "It instantly brought to mind the controversial play from Harper's debut Saturday night in Los Angeles, when he appeared to throw out Jerry Hairston from left field, only to watch as Hairston dislodged the ball from Ramos' mitt."Take another look at the replays of that Hairston play, from all angles. (Caveat: These were shown on MASN, but may not now be available online.) You will see that (a) Hairston didn't swat until the ball was already out of Ramos's glove, and (b)he swatted in the general direction of the ball, but never actually touched the ball. So the worst you can say about Hairston is he tried to mess up the play at the plate, but failed. And there's nothing illegal about that. If he had hit the ball with his swat, then perhaps he could have been called out for interfering with a ball in play before he touched the plate. But since he didn't touch the ball, we'll never know.

  15. Section 222 - May 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    It sounds as if Montero is trying to make an excuse for why he didn't hold on to the ball. I agree. Just like Ramos and Davey were doing on Saturday night. [Now preparing self for inevitable outraged calls for my head on a stick.]

  16. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

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  17. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Maybe this "family matter" had something to do with giving up eight runs? According to the note below, Halladay asked for time off on Tuesday. From MLB.com:ATLANTA — Roy Halladay left the Phillies following Wednesday's 15-13 loss against the Braves to attend to a family matter.The right-hander is expected to rejoin the team for Friday's game against the Nationals in Washington.Halladay told manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee on Tuesday that he needed to leave. Halladay blew a six-run lead on Wednesday, allowing 12 hits and eight earned runs in six innings. It was just the second time in his career that Halladay allowed 12 or more hits and eight or more earned runs in a game.

  18. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    The runner (in MLB, other levels differ) is allowed a wide berth on "incidental" contact with the fielder in an effort to get to the base; he cannot go out of the baseline to initiate contact, e.g., in trying to break up a double play, or a play at the plate. He is NOT allowed to interfere with the ball itself. So the runner can knock the middle infielder or catcher into the middle of next week IF they are both in the baseline (as opposed to, say, Nyjer going after the guy up the first base line, away from the plate), but he cannot swipe at the ball, in the mitt or in the hand. The relevant rule would be 7.09(i).

  19. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    FWIW, personally, I thought both Hairston and Harper had credible deniability on interference there, which will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks along with $5, if the ump calls them out.

  20. Doc - May 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    …..

  21. UnkyD - May 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Cornrows. At 12:01….You funny guy….

  22. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Thanks, Sofa. Interesting, might explain the difference in the two plays. On Harper's bang-bang play, he might not have known whether the ball was in the mitt or not (in fact, he probably didn't know, since he didn't know he'd been called safe and went back to tag home plate). Hairston's play was more "after the fact." He probably did know where the ball was. IMO.Nevertheless, Ramos should have held onto the ball, this is not his first drop.

  23. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Laynce Nix just homered for the Phils, who lead 2-0 in the 7th (for those of you following along.)

  24. JamesFan - May 3, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Stop the stupid whining, nitpicking and second guessing. Any professional catcher has got to make that play, just as Ramos should have last week. Is spike up slide at second to disrupt a throw ok, but putting your hands up in a slide at home not? This a macho game and it is played hard. Get off the kid's back.

  25. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Harper has been playing baseball, and catching no less, basically his entire life. He knew exactly where the ball was. The kid's a baseball genius.

  26. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    JamesFan, agreed, but who here is whining about Harper? Except for the General (probably failed snark, at that, tho I could be wrong).

  28. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Wonk, I think it's just a Phillies fan, getting warmed up.

  29. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Sofa, good point about Harper being a catcher. Wonder if Flores will get used more as a PH now?

  30. Candide - May 3, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Soul Posession, 709(i) says it's offensive (runner) interference if, "…He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball…"When the catcher has the ball in his glove and is trying to make a tag, is the ball still considered a "thrown ball?"I went through the rules, and couldn't find anything that clearly addresses Hairston's and Harper's slides. As someone else pointed out, why is it legal to crash into the catcher, possibly injuring him, in an attempt to dislodge the ball, but not legal to swipe at his mitt?In the absence of anything explicitly saying the runner's swipe is interference, I would have to conclude that the runner may do almost anything short of clubbing the catcher over the head with a spare bat without being called out for interference.I, too, would love some clarification of this rule.[minor derail] I remember a few seasons ago when a catcher attempted to stand his ground in the baseline with Adam Dunn bearing down on him. I don't think I'd ever seen Dunn slide, and this time was no different; Dunn put a shoulder into the catcher and knocked him flat on his butt, while he (Dunn), just kinda stood there for a moment at the plate, looking down at him, apparently thinking, "You dumbass, are you okay?"

  31. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I always thought there was a distinction between swatting the mitt and swatting at the ball in the bare hand. My recollection of the Ramos play was he was attempting to make the tag w/ his bare hand. Am I wrong?Theo, for the record, yes, wrong on both counts. Ramos lost the ball from his mitt, on the tag. I'm too lazy to look it up, as usual, but maybe someone else can recall: ARod swiping at the first baseman's mitt, clumsily, a few years back, I think it was in the playoffs?

  32. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I know we shouldn't feed the trolls, but, sometimes shooting at fish in a barrel can be fun:money we SHOUlD have used to sign Cecil Fielder to play first base!Brilliant! Nobody's thought of that. And, hey Cecil wouldn't be the oldest guy (he's a bit younger than Jamie Moyer). And he should be well rested (retired for 12 years)(Yeah, yeah, I know . . . )all he can seem to do is hit doublesI know. Big Bummer. Why would a weak hitting team want a guy who hits 3 doubles in four games? Much rather have Cecil — after all, Cecil Fielder hit _4_ doubles his rookie year!, same number as his son, btw.(Is it worth pointing out that LaRoche has a better slash line than Prince? Prince is: .281/.363/.404; ALR is .311/.392/.511)I continue to say Rizzo is in over his head and should be a scout, not a GM.And the proof? That after three straight years of last place, just 18 months later we're strong enough to take the hits of Storen, Morse, Zim, et al, and still be in first place, every day since the Nats' first game.Why couldn't Rizzo do it sooner?!

  33. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Candide, you might try some umpire sites for further clarification, but yes, the distinction is between a batted ball, where different rules apply, and a thrown ball, which is still a thrown ball after it's been caught.

  34. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Wonk, I think it's just a Phillies fan, getting warmed up. I'm just getting warmed up, getting back in practice, too! ;-)

  35. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    OK, let's not forget to teach NL pitchers how to count. Blanton got some little dribbler and then forgot how many outs there were and got doubled off first base… Still, he's pitching a great game–so far. This is a strange world where I am rooting for the Phillies.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Tcostant said… Section 222. I don't think Stammen is going anywhere. He is arguable the Nationals best RP. May 03, 2012 12:08 PM Yes, right now I would agree. Really happy for him. He went from a AAAA starting pitcher to part of something special.I still believe TClip will be back to dominate. Needs to develop back a good breaking pitch as his 2 pitches (fastball/Changeup) don't have the usual great movement.

  37. whatsanattau - May 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    new postedI have a different perception of EJax than the majority of the expressed oppinions here. I think he is performing as a middle of the rotation guy (3-4). We have a strong rotation and he is our fifth best, but he would be a number 2 in some Major league rotations. Remember, Lannan was our number 1 and now he's our number 6. EJax has endeared himself in a number of ways – including a workman like start last night. And btw did anyone notice that after Harper got picked off EJax nailed the very next Dback runner. I do not think that was coincidence. That was an 'I got your back' move by EJax.

  38. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    As someone else pointed out, why is it legal to crash into the catcher, possibly injuring him, in an attempt to dislodge the ball, but not legal to swipe at his mitt?Like I said, the ball itself is off limits, even in the mitt. A runner can't grab the mitt and pull it off the fielder's hand, and he can't smack the mitt in an attempt to dislodge it, but you can make contact with a fielder in an attempt to reach the base. If the ump decided Harper was in fact just trying to knock the ball loose, he should have called him out, but it has to be egregious–any benefit of the doubt goes to incidental contact.

  39. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Sofa, good point about Harper being a catcher. Wonder if Flores will get used more as a PH now? I'm thinking that putting Harper behind the plate might be a firing offense! ;-) He already plays hard, we don't want him to end up where RZim is now!OTOH, I did approve of using Flores as a PH last night.And I _do_ wish Flores could get a bit more play. (Although Ramos, is hitting better than everyone except ALR & Werth, among the regulars)

  40. sm13 - May 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    If Bryce had lowered his shoulder and barreled into Montero he would be getting skewered in the press as a "dirty" player and we'd be seeing replays of him blowing a kiss. Instead he made a strong slide, knocked the ball out of the catcher's mitt, and avoided injury to both himself and the catcher. That's a smart move for a brash 19 year old.What Bryce has brought to this team in 3 days is boundless energy and tons of effort. Everything he's done, including that play at the plate, has enhanced his reputation greatly.

  41. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    whatsanattau: EJax fan here. I think we will be glad to have him in the heat of summer… He's not an Ace, but he's a pro.

  42. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I was sort of kidding about Harper being used as a catcher, though that thought crossed my mind last night. I think Davey would use Werth and about 10 other guys before he would use Harper.

  43. sm13 - May 3, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Sec 222 – How could Craig Stammen make your list? He is pitching better and more consistently than any member of the bullpen. Gorzo is the one who should be gone. He's not adding value to the bullpen and, as we saw in L.A., he still gives up too many long balls — that's how he pitched himself out of the rotation last year and the pattern is repeating.

  44. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Livo's in and just gave up a 2-run dinger to Victorino in the 9th. And a double to Pence. And Joe Blanton, of all people, has pitched 8 innings to save the Phillies bullpen and it looks like he could go the complete game. 4-0 Phils.

  45. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM

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  46. lls45 - May 3, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    sm13 is correct. Gorzo has turned into the left-handed version of Yunesky Maya.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Just hetting ready to post that it looks like the guy the Nats are lucky to missing is Joe (I'm 3 hittin' the Braves) Blanton.

  48. Section 222 - May 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    DC Wonk, well said. But I'm pretty sure that the comment you eviscerated was tongue in cheek.

  49. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Not particularly a Gorzelanny fan, but feel obliged to point out he's give up one homerun this season, and that was to Matt Kemp.And the Washington Nationals will be in first place in the NL East when the sun rises on May 4, 2012.Guaranteed.

  50. Candide - May 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa (may I call you SP?), thanks for that – makes sense. Though it is kinda disconcerting that you can go Pete-Rose-on-Ray-Fosse on a catcher and it's good clean hard baseball, but deliberately swiping the ball out of the the catcher's mitt is cheating and bad.

  51. sm13 - May 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Natslady — Just the tip of the Gorzo iceberg, I fear. More innings = more gopher balls.

  52. Section 222 - May 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    sj- Stammen's on my list because he has options, but he's behind Mattheus (and Perry of course). I don't think Gorzo is as bad as you do. He isn't as lights out as Stammen, but he serves in the same role from the left side. Maybe Det steps into that role once Wang returns, but I just don't see the Nats parting company with Gorzo quite yet.I was wondering who the emergency catcher is last night as well. Very glad to see Flores used as a PH late in the game — he was the sole remaining RH guy on the bench. But I presume there was a plan if Ramos got knocked out. Carroll is no longer on the team. Harper may be the guy who has most recently put the pads on in a game, but I agree that it might be a good idea to have someone else prepared for that spot.

  53. baseballswami - May 3, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    I think this plate-ball-catcher thing is a non-issue. I also think we are in for tons of Harper- harping this season. He got booed in his debut for goodness sake. A player like that,who is young and charismatic is going to attract some ( jealous) negative attention. At least maybe Jayson Werth will get a break from it! It will be interesting to see if Bryce is the new villain now. Or will the Philthy phans in the stands, ( and you know there will be a lot of them no matter what the organization does) just boo them both because that's how they roll? NL East looks to be a slugfest this season for sure.

  54. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Though it is kinda disconcerting that you can go Pete-Rose-on-Ray-Fosse on a catcher and it's good clean hard baseball, but deliberately swiping the ball out of the the catcher's mitt is cheating and bad. The "ending someone's career in an exhibition game" part sorta pisses me off, too, to be honest, but as a practical matter, there's not much alternative, unless you go the way of some more protective leagues, and disallow contact. Works for kids and rec ball, but I don't see it working at the top level.

  55. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    And Bryce will be getting heartily booed for the next 20 years, I hope, everywhere but here. It's a badge of honor that Phillies and Dodger fans boo him.

  56. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Injury to Kung Fu Panda, a player I always liked (strange symmetry):Sandoval has broken hamate bone in left handThird baseman missed 41 games last year with broken right hand

  57. Candide - May 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said…And Bryce will be getting heartily booed for the next 20 years, I hope, everywhere but here. It's a badge of honor that Phillies and Dodger fans boo him.It might be nice if he ended up being universally respected, like, say, Cal. But if they're still booing him when he visits Philadelphia 20 years from now, that would mean he's been making them miserable there, and who could be unhappy about that?

  58. baseballswami - May 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    In his fourth game, the runner on third thought the better of running for home because of Bryce's arm. How long do you think it will before he is intentionally walked? It might be a badge of honor to be booed , but being intentionally walked is real respect. I am thinking that teams won't do it because they will think he is too young and green to show him that much respect. Perhaps that should be taken advantage of? I can't wait to see him hitting in a line up with Zim and Morse and LaRoche! I also can't say enough about Lombardozzi looking like Zim's mini-me.

  59. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    But if they're still booing him when he visits Philadelphia 20 years from now, that would mean he's been making them miserable thereOr it means he plays for the Phils.

  60. natsfan1a - May 3, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Sofa, it was the 2004 ALCS, and it was Bronson Arroyo covering at first.

  61. sm13 - May 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    But if they're still booing him when he visits Philadelphia 20 years from now, that would mean he's been making them miserable thereor, he's dressed as Santa Clause…

  62. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Wonder if they are done booing Werth yet.

  63. natsfan1a - May 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    NatsLady, I'm with you and whatsa on EJ.

  64. natsfan1a - May 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I don't think so re. Werth, NatsLady. See the WSJ article referenced in an earlier thread.

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Outside of Washington, Hairston's hand gesture got no press. Harper's hand block is getting press because its Bryce Harper.By the way, how is that an error on the catcher?Also, controversy on whether Bryce was sent or went thru a stop sign as people call him reckless.

  66. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Bryce didn't go through a stop sign. I watched the game this morning and Bo Porter was windmilling his arms. They were on exactly the same wavelength.

  67. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    For all you that get nervous when Henry closes, you should be watching Marmol now.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    NatsJack, great point. Marmol is a nightmare

  69. baseballswami - May 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    NatsJack — agreed. I sincerely hope we get to face him again :) And if you think being a nats fan can be stressful, I wonder what it's like to have been a cubs fan for a 100 years.

  70. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Given a 3-0 lead to close the 9th, Marmol comes in, walks 3, gives up a hit, then leaves up 3-2 with bases loaded and no outs.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    NatsLady, that's how I saw it. So much hatred on Bryce. I saw some comments left on some Harper YouTube videos and some are downright mean spirited hatred.Love his spirit, hustle, enthusiasm and blown away by his at-bat on his first double. Love Desi's leadership with the young guys. On Espi, if he can't turn it around by Tuesday he needs a few weeks in Syracuse. Nady can be DFA'd now for Corey Brown.

  72. Candide - May 3, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said…Candide said…But if they're still booing him when he visits Philadelphia 20 years from now, that would mean he's been making them miserable there…Or it means he plays for the Phils.…which is why I stipulated, "when he visits Philadelphia…"

  73. Tom in AR - May 3, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    They might boo him as a member of the Yankees too. Have to say. Harper has immediately become the guy I want to watch when he does anything in the game. Guy is electric and I am loving it.

  74. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Bryce may be "brash" and young, but I haven't seen any sign of disrespect for his elders, be they manager, coach, agent, veteran, or GM. And, other than the blown kiss–which was provoked–haven't seen him disrespect the game or other players. He's a hard-driving, hard-working prodigy. You see those in music. They generate a lot of envy.

  75. MicheleS - May 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Mark tweeted that Bryce is batting 3rd tonight! Holy Moly this is going to be fun to watch! Glad I will be there in person!

  76. NatsLady - May 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    At a concert, someone went up to a famous violinist and said, "I would give anything if I could play the way you do." Famous violinist: "Oh, yeah. Eight hours a day?"

  77. natsfan1a - May 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    It's the interwebz, I tell ya. People spew stuff via their keyboards that they might never say face-to-face. The venom for the phenom is touched on in a Verducci piece (hat tip to Tcostant in an earlier thread). So much hatred on Bryce. I saw some comments left on some Harper YouTube videos and some are downright mean spirited hatred.

  78. Candide - May 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    NatsLady said…At a concert, someone went up to a famous violinist and said, "I would give anything if I could play the way you do." Famous violinist: "Oh, yeah. Eight hours a day?"Yeah, that drives me crazy, too, when someone says something like that. "I'd do anything…" when you probably can't be persuaded to get off your butt to take out the trash, let alone give over all your waking hours to becoming the best there is at what you do.

  79. SonnyG10 - May 3, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    baseballswami said… I also can't say enough about Lombardozzi looking like Zim's mini-me. May 03, 2012 2:47 PM I love the Zim's mini-me comment. That was great!

  80. Ann Ominous - May 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    "Also, controversy on whether Bryce was sent or went thru a stop sign as people call him reckless."Replays on the broadcast showed Bo Porter doing the windmill as Harper rounded second and came barrelling toward third. No doubt that he was sent.

  81. Scott from Burke - May 3, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    the only way haper's or hairston's slied are controversial are if theyre called out…anyone recall a similar situation at home when the runner was called out? neither do i..at the bases yeah..but at home? never

  82. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    …which is why I stipulated, "when he visits Philadelphia…" Yes, I know, but … even if they're paying him, it's just a visit.

  83. Snivius - May 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Bo Porter is probably more willing to roll the dice and wave people home on borderline situations considering how awful the Nats are at getting runners home from 3rd with 0 or 1 outs… much less a base hit by the next batter.I have to think that team batting skill (especially the next batter) would play into the decisions of any good third base coach.

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ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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