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A 19-year-old stays above the fray

May 7, 2012, 4:47 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper has handled all the attention on him so far with aplomb.

So, Cole Hamels happily acknowledges he plunked Bryce Harper on purpose, saying "I'm not going to deny it" and "I'm just trying to continue the old baseball."

Then Mike Rizzo lambastes the Phillies left-hander, telling the Washington Post "I've never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball" and saying Hamels is "fake tough."

And where is Harper during all this chaos? What does the Nationals rookie have to say about the maelstrom that has developed all around him, and about the pitcher who publicly admitted throwing at him in the eighth game of his career?

"He's a great guy, great pitcher and knows how to pitch," Harper said. "He's an All-Star. It's all good."

What does it say that between a 28-year-old former World Series MVP, a 51-year-old general manager of a major-league club and a 19-year-oldRead more »

105 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. terpman33 - May 7, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    What more can you say about "The Bryce is Right" (as a fan's sign at the game said yesterday) Dude is just awesome. Rizzo is absolutely right. That was a chicken —- move by Hamels. It's one thing to hit him in the leg, but the back? Come on! I can't wait till they play the orioles. Both teams are good, as this will be (possibly) the first time these two teams will play with both (maybe) in first place. Maybe now, Chad Dukes of 106.7 the fan is impressed with Harper, as he said (a week ago)he was unimpressed by Harper. I swear, I can't stand that show! GYFNG, baby!!!!

  2. jcj5y - May 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I was very impressed with the above-the-fray quality of Harper's reaction. This whole incident is proving that those people who want to be anti-Harper (including Cole Hamels) are doing so for reasons that have nothing to do with Harper himself.

  3. JamesFan - May 7, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    This is perfect. The kid is class. Let the organization and real tough guys like Rizzo take on the Phillie rabble. Give 'em hell, Mike.

  4. Exposremains - May 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Finally someone calls out the media. They are the ones that created this hype(next lebron, chosen one, phenom) and then saying he's full of himself. talking about him 24/7. Well, eventually it starts to annoy other players. It still doesn't justified what Hamels did and admitting it should not make it better.

  5. Tom in AR - May 7, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Would have been a much better story if we had won the game 1-0. Oh well. Harper is so fun to watch, glad I actually got to see the Nats on ESPN last night.

  6. Jeff - May 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I don't condone what Hamels did either. However, if he's going to hit someone, in the back/butt is the place to do it. So, I disagree w/ Terpman on that one.

  7. NatsLady - May 7, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Tom in AR– I had EXACTLY the same thought during the game, and JZ is entirely capable of that result. Too bad he lost his fastball, and I don't mean on Hamels' leg. The outside world can focus on Harper/Hamels but I'm worried about Werth. One tough dude–a big loss for us.

  8. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Thanks, Mark (and Mike ;-)).

  9. Steady Eddie - May 7, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    It was Rizzo's message to the Commissioner's office that "You will NOT let other teams put the Lerners' once-in-a-generation marketing bonanza on the DL". I'd be surprised if the $ didn't speak loudest, regardless of these arguments about who's more old school than your mom.

  10. Doc - May 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Bryce never was 'immature'–that was a figment of the sports' community. He's been on top of his career all along. He's merely adapting to the circumstances of the situation, and he's doing a great job.If the plunking continues by other teams, we should expect similar game responses by Harper. Maybe once in a while he'll blow the the offending pitcher a kiss. If ball comes close to his head, I'll bet he has a more demonstrative response. The Babe did it and so can he.Rizzo rightly takes on the responsibility of standing up for his players. So too, will the Nats' pitching staff.Goooooooooo Mike!!!! Gooooooooooooo Harps!!!

  11. Dave - May 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Doc just beat me to the punch. This whole "Harper's a punk" and "Harper's too cocky" garbage is a complete invention of a national media who find it easier to parrot superficial bromides than to actually do research. I'll bet he really was never like that, and that we're only now seeing the true Bryce. Good for Bryce. And good for Rizzo, for that matter, for expressing the outrage.

  12. Kirbs - May 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Harp said exactly what he should have. Very impressed with Rizzo, letting the players play and he is picking the battles. Will 5 games for Hamels come out of this? Now on to important things, like was there lig damage in that arm?

  13. Theophilus T. S. - May 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Getting rid of the haircut would help. Hard to treat a guy who wears roadkill seriously.

  14. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    However, if he's going to hit someone, in the back/butt is the place to do it. So, I disagree w/ Terpman on that one.He hit him near the kidney, and that's very dangerous.

  15. Theophilus T. S. - May 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    The dynamics of this are interesting. Hamels plunks Harper. Harper ignores him on the way to first. Steals third, in effect, on a single to LF in front of him. Goes on the second pickoff move. Do you not believe — I do — that as he stood on 1B Harper said to himself, "I'm going to steal home on this guy." And he does. De-pantsed Hamels in front of 30,000 people. Does Hamels want to talk about how he was so disdainful of the rookie that he didn't pay any attention to what was going on behind his back while he was concentrating on Werth? No, so he comes up w/ this garbage about "old school." (I don't believe Gibson or Drysdale or Carlton or Jenkins thought they were being paid to plunk rookies.) If Harper hadn't embarrassed him on national TV, Hamel probably would have said, "Well, the scouting report said, 'pitch him inside,' and it just got away from me a little."I think Hamel's post hoc rationalization was the product of a bruised ego. Hope he gets 10 games for it.

  16. peric - May 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Theres's still a lot of games left and with the injuries a larger burden is going to be placed on his shoulders. Of course Rizzo is going to defend him tooth-and-nail … trying to ward off any future bean ball thoughts that might go through the minds of pitchers. Its going to be tough for both Rizzo and Johnson to both manage Harper's development to ensure he does become the ballplayer he has the potential to be while leveraging his talents to help the team win. They've got to find a way to get Moore and Morse in the line up together to protect him … they've got to get some guys in the lineup whose bats will say, "Ignore the kid you had better start thinking about ME! And that ISN'T Denard Span yet another Nyjer Morgan table setter clone. NOT.

  17. Candide - May 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Problem here in that when Zimmermann hit Hamels, the umpire went out and warned both benches. Okay, that's his job. But what it means, if i understand correctly, is that another hit batter will automatically get the pitcher ejected.Zimmermann had been pitching just fine up to then – had retired seven of eight batters up to that point. His game started going to hell after that. Might be instructive to see what percentage of his pitches were on the inside corner before he hit Hamels vs. the percentage afterwards. Take away the inside corner from a pitcher and he's not going to be as effective.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 7, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I don't care about his hair style, I care about how he plays the game and how he is a teammate and represents his team. So far, he's exceeding my expectations.My only comment is that Harp has to play a controlled game as he is making himself a target (in a good way) and outfielders will be charging balls and pitchers will keep a closer eye on him next time which means he may not be able to stretch that single or steal home and that's OK as he will cause the opposing players some anxiety and guess what, they will make mistakes when Bryce is at-bat and on base. Its one reason I think he would be effective batting 2nd to cause some "havoc" in front of the #3 hitter.Bryce couldn't have picked a better time to showcase much of his talent using ESPN to wow the millions who watched his hustle, guts, speed and arm and a couple of base knocks. All he needs now is a few HRs and he will have the full 5 tool package +1 for "Heart".I love how he stayed away from the Hamels garbage. He stepped above the crowd there. It was brilliant. Don't let 'em know they bothered you as they helped your OBP.By the way, Hamels is a punk and so is Papelbon. Just more reason to hate the Philthies.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - May 7, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Allen Iverson — How did they all gravitate to the same place?

  20. oldguyjim - May 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    All of the critics of Harp are jealous or looking to make trouble for him. I am not surprised by him. Any objective person that followed him would quickly understand that he is a fine young man. He is the result of a caring and strong family. He has been raised with faith and taught to be respectful. He is a truly gifted athlete and just may be an even better person.

  21. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Anyone that thinks Bryce's hair is bad, go back and look at your high school and early college pictures. Any one have a mullett? Or the punk band look of the 80's? Or a bad haircut from the 60s/70s? or a really bad perm (she raises her hand sheepishly)? I thought so..

  22. billyhacker - May 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    As much as it blew my mind that Harper stole home, it warmed my heart that Zim paid Hamel back even with someone on first. Hamel just gave the Nats the opportunity to stand together around Harper, which is great. It'll cost Zim real money for taking retribution, and protecting Harper – we should be grateful for it. Watch the Yankees for the opposite dynamic. Rarely any retribution and Arod, Tex, and Jeter are perennial top 5 hit by pitch in the AL.

  23. peric - May 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Anyone that thinks Bryce's hair is bad, go back and look at your high school and early college pictures. Mine looks pretty bad … albeit when I used to get it styled in Italy it looked better … now it mostly looks like straw … I wish I could get it styled as well … keep putting off the flat-top … crew / shaved look … ;)

  24. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    This whole "Harper's a punk" and "Harper's too cocky" garbage is a complete invention of a national media who find it easier to parrot superficial bromides than to actually do research.This is just false..someone wrote on here how after a minor league game harper came out to the parking lot and verbally abused them for standing close to his truck…there are plenty of stories about what harper has done…i'll give him the fact he was so young and blessed, but don't excuse it by saying reported behavior never happened…

  25. lls45 - May 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Got a lot of respect for Bryce right now, bringing class to the "classless chicken —-" situation

  26. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I like the guy, and he's clearly cleaned up his act, which is great, but don't start with the reviosionist historyLike, “one scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. He’s just a bad, bad guy,” one front-office official told Baseball Prospectus. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer” kind of a douche bag.

  27. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Candide: The pitcher and manager get ejected..it's automatic

  28. bowdenball - May 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Scott from Burke-The article with the quotes you used is two years old, and comes from two anonymous sources, nothing more. It's obviously no longer a valid criticism, as anyone who has watched his play this season or read comments from his teammates in the minors or the Nats can attest. NOBODY sees him this way any more … except you, apparently.Kids tend to do a lot of growing up between the ages of 17 and 19, between the first time they leave home and a few years down the road. Harper is no different. Judge him based on what you see or hear from first-hand accounts, not two-year old anonymous quotes about the kid he used to be.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - May 7, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Scott from Burke is bordering on becoming Mr. Evil after reading most of his posts today.

  30. Candide - May 7, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Kilgore reporting that Werth will have surgery, out 10-12 weeks.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 7, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Candide said… Kilgore reporting that Werth will have surgery, out 10-12 weeks. May 07, 2012 2:23 PM ________________________If that's all it is, that is very good news. Get well soon BULL MOOSE!

  32. Steady Eddie - May 7, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Bowdenball — thanks for noting the time of that quote, two years ago. What was about to happen two years ago around now? We were a month away from the 2010 draft.Scott — I believe fully now and strongly suspected at the time that that quote was almost certainly from a scout for a team that would have picked second or third in the 2010 draft, and were trying to scare the Nats away from Harper so they could pick him up themselves. That was pure planned BS.

  33. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    i don't feel like googling the kid for hours…he hit a home run last year and blew the opposing pitcher a kiss..i don't like people saying "he's a good guy now so he never did anything wrong"..he's grown up? that's fine…everything written about him is lies? ignorance and delusion…i like him a lot..he's an exciting player…but don't be a child who thinks they're favorite player can't do wrong..he's a flawed person, just like all of us…don't make him into jesus

  34. LoveDaNats - May 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    @MicheleSFarrah Fawcett wings

  35. #4 - May 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    "Like, “one scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. He’s just a bad, bad guy,” one front-office official told Baseball Prospectus. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer” kind of a douche bag."Scott, this scout was probably from whoever had the second pick that year. It reminds me of the (false) rumor that was being spread about Danny Hultzen last year that he'd inherit $20 million if he went to med school. Teams will do anything to get a player, including making stuff up about an amateur.

  36. #4 - May 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Looks like steady eddie beat me to it. Sorry

  37. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    the first video shows a young, cocky player disrespecting the opposing pitcher and the entire opposing team…it doesn't make him the devil..just shows him as an immature player http://eutawstreethooligans.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/bryce-harper-phenom-enal-douchebag/

  38. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    No comment on my own hairdo history but I humbly submit this in re. ballplayers;

  39. David - May 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Looks like it will finally be time for Corey Brown to get called up. Maybe he can channel some of that Harper energy and make an impact.

  40. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    heres an interesting video..not a hater of bryce just people who whitewash the pasthttp://thegoldensombrero.com/wordpress/archives/4565

  41. joemktg - May 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Hoping that the way he plays the game is studied and emulated by HS and MS players in NOVA, SOVA, MD and DC…especially his baserunning. Harper is using his speed as a weapon, and would love to see more of that at the pre-college level.One other thing: last night's split screen comparing Harper's pre-swing (lack of) movement to Robinson Cano was tremendous. The kid is still and balanced, even though his swing is violent.

  42. bowdenball - May 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Scott from Burke-Of course he's a flawed person just like every other baseball player and the rest of us. But you went beyond that in the last thread and suggested that he somehow deserved to be beaned. That's where you're so very wrong, and why so many of us are attacking you.You're also posting over and over about how much you don't care for a Nationals player, and you're doing on on a Nationals blog at the end of an article about how classy that Nationals player has been. You're obviously asking for it, and I think you know that.

  43. Wendell - May 7, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    As Mark suggests, it seems like either the organization or Boras or both have been giving Harper some advice about what to say and how to comport himself. Whatever happened in the past, the fact that he is taking the advice says good things about him. The fact that the advice was given says good things about the organization and Boras.

  44. #4 - May 7, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    The episode of him blowing a kiss is the type of thing that happens in the low minors frequently because the players are 18 years old. Whatever. He is the only guy who gets it posted on YouTube.As for the other video, he clearly lost track of how many outs there were. He ran hard until it was clear there was a force a second. He probably thought there were two outs rater then one. He's not the first guy to do that.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - May 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    bowdenball…..and Burkes classless punk like comments to NatsLady on the previous thread added to my assessment.

  46. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Scott, just a comment on the blowing kiss story. From every account from his teammates, coaches, and yes even people in the park. The Opposing pitcher was talking trash the entire game to the entire Suns team and Bryce blew the kiss. Was it good, no, but there is more to the story than was initially reported by the press (see no one in the press dug into what actually went on, and just assumed it was Bryce being a punk)And for every story that you come up with about him being a jerk, someone will come up with one were he does something right or good. No person is perfect. Hopefully he learned from it and keeps taking the high road

  47. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I know this…he didn't 'deserve' to be beaned, but he's not immune from it either..and someone who says "The media made it all up..the stories aren't true' sounds like a moron..thats what some people say about the holocaust.

  48. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    MichelleS: i hear you, but sentences like "no one in the press dug into what actually went on" make me uncomfortable..how could you possibly know that? The press is such a convenient punching bag and most of em are just doing a job of reporting the truth…

  49. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Umm.. I don't think anyone is sayin that the press made it up. I think everyone is saying that anything to do with Bryce is getting blown out of proportion (whether good or bad). We just live in a 24/7 media hype cycle.

  50. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Just last week on MLB Network, they talked about the entire blowing kiss incident. I think it was Matty V/Ripken/Leiter that said there was a whole lot more going on during the game than we were initially led to believe. And I actually went to a Hagerstown game and asked several of the season ticket holders about it (and those people DID NOT like Harper) and confirmed the reports that the opposing pitcher was the issue and not Harper.

  51. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Michelle S said: Umm.. I don't think anyone is sayin that the press made it upBut Dave said: This whole "Harper's a punk" and "Harper's too cocky" garbage is a complete invention of a national media who find it easier to parrot superficial bromides than to actually do research. I'll bet he really was never like that, and that we're only now seeing the true Bryce.

  52. NatsLady - May 7, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Ghost, good point on the warning/fastball. JZ did not have his best stuff yesterday, and I say that with all respect to a pitcher who had a "quality start." He got rescued by Stammen.I understand Rizzo standing up for Harper, but MLB will do what MLB will do without prodding, so maybe he should cool it. IMO JZ should get 5 days on principle and Hamels should get 10-15 days so he misses at least one and maybe two starts.Harper lost track of how many outs there were at least once and maybe twice when he was in the outfield (started running in when there were only two outs).Why is Harper's 'do any worse than Jonny Gomes'? Or Werth's for that matter?

  53. NatsLady - May 7, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Oh, sorry, I think it was Candide made the point about the ump's warning. Might have affected JZ more than Hamels because Hamels' money pitch is the changeup.

  54. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    See also this list.natsfan1a said… No comment on my own hairdo history but I humbly submit this in re. ballplayers; May 07, 2012 2:34 PM

  55. lefty1950 - May 7, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Best quote from a coach this year.."Is it 'wow' because he's playing the game unlike other people, or because he's playing the game the way it's supposed to be played? If you ask me, he plays the game the way it's supposed to be played."

  56. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    1A.. that 93 phillies team had the best mulletts. Now look at them. Mitch and Kruk could "almost" pass for a banker with those haircuts.

  57. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Scott. I think it's the overblown factor. I mean look at this every network is covering the HBP with Hammels, and since he landed in LA he has had a gaggle of reporters (not local ones) following his every move.

  58. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Michelle: I stopped giving a damn about the Harper thing when i read Dave the German teacher's "Harper's too cocky" garbage is a complete invention of a national media who find it easier to parrot superficial bromides than to actually do research. I'll bet he really was never like that, and that we're only now seeing the true Bryce."This attitude is terrifying…imagine what people could get away with if everyone felt like Dave…the freedom of the press is a wonderful thing

  59. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Scott from Burke said… i don't feel like googling the kid for hours…How much you want to bet the producers of some of the hightlight shows said the same thing when the Kiss incident happened.Again, the kid is not perfect. He has got a LOT of growing up to do. Hopefully, he does it quickly and doesn't make too many mistakes along the way.

  60. NatsJack in Florida - May 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    And the slanderous blogger-twitter world is too…..it's just not news

  61. Section 222 - May 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I haven't read all the comments today, so apologies if this article has already been linked to. I would praise him for making the point that Harper is handling the incident better than anyone else, but this quote quickly changed my mind: "Hamels was justified in making the old-school baseball play. But he was unwise to publicly draw attention to his old-school baseball bona fides." Justified? Really? Why? Because he decided that Harper needed to be sent a message? Who made him king? And what exactly was that message? What he said last night was incomprehensible. Is he still upset that the umps called a tight strike zone on him during his rookie year? Why does Harper become a target because Hamels doesn't like how the umps are calling pitches to him? Chicken refuse is right. I think they should tear up with Unwritten Rulebook. It leads people to think, among other things, that it's ok to intentionally throw a baseball at 94 mpg another person. What a crock.

  62. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Michelle wrote: How much you want to bet the producers of some of the hightlight shows said the same thing when the Kiss incident happenedHow much you got?I had a story burned by a lazy editor but you shouldn't generalize…reporters are there to cover harper..i would assume someone mentioned whatever else was happening atthe game..send me an email (youll find it on my profile) and i'll dig around, find one, and email it to you

  63. Candide - May 7, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Scott from Burke said…the freedom of the press is a wonderful thingThat's the first part of one of my favorite quotes. The whole thing goes, "Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing; it makes it easier to spot the idiots."

  64. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I think they should tear up with Unwritten Rulebookoh no…another one

  65. Section 222 - May 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Best quote from a coach this year.."Is it 'wow' because he's playing the game unlike other people, or because he's playing the game the way it's supposed to be played? If you ask me, he plays the game the way it's supposed to be played." Tied with when Charlie Manuel said that the way Harper plays hard "makes other players look bad." Let's hope that the rest of the Nats team takes notice. They all talk about and like to think they are "playing the game the right way." But none of them play it quite like Harper.

  66. Section 222 - May 7, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Another what, Scott?

  67. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    I like this one: religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel

  68. jeffwx - May 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    From another blog: With Werth’s injury, the Nats are looking at a Xavier Nady/Roger Bernadina platoon in left, while still trotting out Rick Ankiel’s .311 OBP in center every night. Nady has two extra-base hits in 62 plate appearances, Bernadina a .308 OBP. That’s just not going to cut it. Tyler Moore could help with the bat, but it’s apparent the Nats don’t think he’s capable of playing Major League defense.Moore was not even mentioned as a possibility by Davey Johnson following Sunday’s game,

  69. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    another &^$# who doesn't respect the traditions of america's pastime..what a shame

  70. Ann Ominous - May 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer” kind of a douche bag.In that case, what else can be said but "Well played, anti-Mauer."

  71. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    NatsJack, have you gotten over to see any of the guys at extended spring training? Wondering if you saw Purke? Really curious to see what he is like. Chase has a post at the top on the 2011 draft class. Sounds like some of the Baby Nats are doing progressing well.

  72. jeffwx - May 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Point is I recommend getting someone from outside the organization…if you get a class B free agent, you get a first round pick when he leaves.Denard Span works but I'm open to anyone who can get on base and play a good defensive outfield. How many infielders do we have to try and put in the outfield before the season with one of the greatest pitching staff's ever assembled ends.Look for a trade as at least 12 weeks for Werth puts you into September with a lot of uncertainty. Another outfield bat can't hurt right now when you look at the alternatives (Nady/Bernadina/Ankiel/Moore).

  73. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    heal up morse…you are neede in left field

  74. Ann Ominous - May 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    "Candide said… Kilgore reporting that Werth will have surgery, out 10-12 weeks."Which would put him back just in time for the next Natitude Park series that starts July 31st.

  75. susanlavonne - May 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Here! Here! To a brilliantly written observation of this "incident".

  76. jeffwx - May 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    And I'm not at all certain that Morse will be ready….still a possibility for delay.Can't go with Berny/Nady/Ankiel in your OF or lineup for too long.

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I'm avoiding reading any non-Nats comments on Harp. Most will be tainted with jealous laced venom.I know what he was last year as an 18 year old learning how to be a pro and why rehash it. We all know others who did worse at that age. He has been a good 19 year old so far.

  78. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Hear, hear is an expression used as a short, repeated form of hear him, hear him. It represents a listener's agreement with the point being made by a speaker. It is often incorrectly spelled "here here

  79. UnkyD - May 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Well…. I'm just hoping that, every night, we have 9 guys take the field who wanna make other players look bad" by Charlie's definition… We'll be hard to beat!

  80. Ann Ominous - May 7, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    "@MicheleSFarrah Fawcett wings"A lot gets forgiven if you can fill out a red swimsuit like she did.

  81. jeffwx - May 7, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Wishful thinking, I'm afraid…SFB already mentioned he hurt the same wrist that put him out for more than a year in 2006. Yes, no damage reported in muscle tears but I can attest that wrists are tricky…Tough to heal esp. after you've damaged it before.

  82. jeffwx - May 7, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Actually Ladson reports on twitter:"He will be out for more than six weeks. I was told At Least 12 weeks."

  83. A DC Wonk - May 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Harper, punk. When the Nats first signed him, he sometimes acted like . . . like . . . um, like a 17 year old for crying out loud!(Oh, wait, he was 17? Oh, never mind).

  84. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Sparky Anderson was watching game 1 of the 88 world series with kirk gibson…while the announcers were commenting how gibson was a physical disaster because of his kneews Anderson was thinking "you don't hit wityour knees it's all in the wrists..and Gibby has some quick wrists." The point isnt that gibson hit a home run, it's that its an injury that can be hard to come back from…tiger woods won the us open on one leg (torrey pines)..but his wrists were fine

  85. DaveB - May 7, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    These 2-3 month player outages are really tough. Too long to feel OK about filling in with your bench players, but not long enough that you feel Rizzo should try to go out and trade away good prospects / players to get a replacement. Hope Werth isn't the straw that pushes the team over the edge into total offense meltdown.

  86. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Farrah Fawcett showed up the other Angelsgod i love(d) her so

  87. Candide - May 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…We all know others who did worse at that age. He has been a good 19 year old so far.Hell, we all know others who did worse at twice Harper's age.

  88. NCNatsie - May 7, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Another misquote from Scott. It's "patriotism" that was called the last refuge of a scoundrel, not religion.Many things are wrongly blamed on the media, but anyone who has worked with it extensively over the years knows it has a general tendency to be lazy in doing research, is quick to join the herd and responsible for ruining the reputation of many a decent person. On balance, I would have to say that the media have erred in their assessment of Harper's character — I base this on the gap between that which I observe directly, without media commentary, and that which I learn only through its filter. Whitewashing media excesses is no more justified than damning its every report.

  89. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I know its patriotism, NC whatever…i put a new twist on it…actually, i prefer mine

  90. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    you've seen him for about 42 hours on tv and in person..he's 19 years old…maybe you missed something?

  91. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Plus, the dude totally stole Mark's idea. ;-)"Instead, the incident has mushroomed in a manner that reflects poorly on Hamels and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo — while Harper looks like the adult in the room."Section 222 said… I haven't read all the comments today, so apologies if this article has already been linked to. I would praise him for making the point that Harper is handling the incident better than anyone else, but this quote quickly changed my mind: "Hamels was justified in making the old-school baseball play. But he was unwise to publicly draw attention to his old-school baseball bona fides." Justified? Really? Why? Because he decided that Harper needed to be sent a message? Who made him king? And what exactly was that message? What he said last night was incomprehensible. Is he still upset that the umps called a tight strike zone on him during his rookie year? Why does Harper become a target because Hamels doesn't like how the umps are calling pitches to him? Chicken refuse is right. I think they should tear up with Unwritten Rulebook. It leads people to think, among other things, that it's ok to intentionally throw a baseball at 94 mpg another person. What a crock. May 07, 2012 3:16 PM

  92. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    One of the amazing thing about hitting is these are hitting a baseball traveling in excess of 90 mph from 60 feet away (gulp) knowing theres a chance the ball might be headed right towards them..take awa that last variable and hitting gets a lot easier..want them to stand behind a screen? do slow pitch softball?

  93. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Barry Bonds used to wear an unbelivable amount of body armoy..andwhere on his right arm it would just bounce off hard plastic..wouldnt even flinch..think that might have helped him all those hr's? i mean, besides the roids

  94. Mr. Doggett - May 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Absolutely no disrespect intended to Scott from Burke. I've been enjoying the conversation immensely. I just had to share what this all made me think of. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1xedaZRoh8

  95. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    doggett..typical dc baseball fan…everything he knows started the day Livan hernandez threw the first pitch at rfk

  96. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Many Nationals fans are neophytes..lots to learn..they had a hard lesson when Harper got hit..they were hurt…they'll get there

  97. Mr. Doggett - May 7, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I'm not sure how you knew that based on my insistence to connect everything to South Park, but nice one! This is very true. I didn't have a team here as a kid so I never rooted for one, but I have been a die hard since 05. Is that ok?

  98. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    No worries, Mr. D, I don't believe that Mark Z, who hosts this site, has any particular policy regarding the baseball experience of his readership. imho, you're a-okay and don't owe anyone here an explanation of your baseball bona fides, but that's just me. :-)

  99. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    No worries, Mr. D, I don't believe that Mark Z, who hosts this site, has any particular policy regarding the baseball experience of his readership. imho, you're a-okay and don't owe anyone here an explanation of your baseball bona fides, but that's just me. :-)

  100. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    No worries, Mr. D, I don't believe that Mark Z, who hosts this site, has any particular policy regarding the baseball experience of his readership. imho, you're a-okay and don't owe anyone here an explanation of your baseball bona fides, but that's just me. :-)

  101. natsfan1a - May 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Awesome, a triple. Sorry about that.

  102. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    it's fine doggett but a guy named bob gibson hit a lot of hitters and i don't recall opposing gms calling him chicken #$%^..maybe they did but that would have been unwise…the first modern world series was played in 1903..there are a lot of traditions and, yes, unwritten rules on how the game is played…ignoring all of that and saying cole hamels is chicken %^&& is absurd…nothing happens in a vacuum

  103. Mr. Doggett - May 7, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    From what I understand, old school guys like Gibson didn't have a habit of plunking rookies for no apparent reason. I think Rizzo's comment about Hamels being "fake tough" is right on. I mean, look at this picture! http://t.co/XW9qlsi9

  104. Scott from Burke - May 7, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    but hamels had a reason..whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant..it is, after all, his reason, and hes the guy holding the ball

  105. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    We had a brief exchange with Bryce Harper at Natsfest last year. I said , "Good luck,Kid" and he said back to me, "Thank you very much, sir." No arrogance, just a very polite young man.

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