Skip to content

On Harper’s ‘that’s a clown question, bro’

Jun 13, 2012, 11:23 PM EST

In case you missed this earlier, here is Bryce Harper’s now infamous quote from after Tuesday night’s win over the Blue Jays. He may now own the most famous utterance of “bro” since a University of Florida student asked John Kerry about the Skull and Bones.

Do you agree the question was out of line and how surprised have you been by Harper’s maturity overall in interviews?

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Class answer by a Class kid.And let me say, watching Big Papi play first against the Fish sure looks strange.

  2. Brother Juniper - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    So long as the rest of the world understands that only Nats fans are allowed to use that phrase, I'm fine with it.

  3. pRAA - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    The guy clearly didn't know that Harper is a Mormon. He might as well have asked him to compare the Canadian coffee at Tim Horton's Donuts with the American coffee at Dunkin.

  4. Doc - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Don't want to be too self-righteous about it, but the reporter would have done well to appreciate and respect that Bryce is a Morman.Other than that, the reporter was only trying to distinguish between the drinking age in Canada (18 years of age) and that of the USA–an otherwise honest mistake. We start our celebrating a few years before our American cousins.Bryce gave his best and most honest answer, as he always does.

  5. peric - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Uhhh he's a practicing Mormon? So, yes its a clown question Bro.

  6. peric - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Of course Ted Williams would have been a great deal surlier about it … 😉

  7. natscan reduxit - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    … all I can say is I hope it wasn't a Canadian reporter who asked the question. Harper is a Mormon, or so I've read, and drinking alcohol is against those beliefs, or so I'm led to believe. … it sure seemed to me someone was trying to stir the pot. In the end, Bryce showed far more maturity in dealing with the question than the dingbat who asked it.Go Bryce! Go Nats!!

  8. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Class answer by a Class kid.June 13, 2012 7:25 PM _____________________________On Intentional talk, they showed that "Clown Question Bro" its already a T-Shirt and Millar said he would wear it on the air.

  9. Another_Sam - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    BTW, in my wildest fantasy, I'd not dreamed that the 19 year old guy could hit .300 in the big leagues. That's how much I know, bro.

  10. peric - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    On Intentional talk, they showed that "Clown Question Bro" its already a T-Shirt and Millar said he would wear it on the air, Probably Fresh 22.

  11. Another_Sam - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    NatsJack – right on, a class act.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    And now our illustrious self appointed smartest man in the room states that a 19 year old Ted Williams would have reacted surlier. Wow.

  13. peric - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Those Canucks pushing their delicious Bradors. Sell it to Werth he looks more like Big Foot.

  14. JamesFan - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Trivial discussion.

  15. peric - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    And now our illustrious self appointed smartest man in the room states that a 19 year old Ted Williams would have reacted surlier.Yup. His mom was in the Salvation Army and a Quaker, but Ted had an ongoing war with reporters … and then players when he managed the Senators. But that's another story for someone who is a true DC baseball fan not a Johnny come lately like Mr. NatsJack … or Natsjoke.

  16. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Here is the workout regime that Ryan Zimmerman recommended a couple of years ago. Have fun trying it, folks.Celebrity workouts

  17. Another_Sam - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    also BTW, bro's — very hard for me to say this: Go Yankees. Crush the Braves. I'm already watching the scoreboard. I've drunk the kool aid.

  18. peric - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    very hard for me to say this: Go Yankees. Crush the Braves. I'm already watching the scoreboard. I've drunk the kool aid.You're a better man than I am. I absolutely abhor the Yankees or Spankees … speaking of unbridled arrogance … I hate those guys.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    So maybe his undying love for the Nats is tainted. I'd root for peric to beat MicheleS if it meant another half game in the standings for the Nats.

  20. pRAA - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    My only regret with the clown question incident is that it occurred after I had already submitted the STH questionnaire to the Nats that asked what events I would like to suggest for the STH Picnic at the Park. Because a Clown Question session with Bryce would be awesome. Show up in a clown suit, get to ask him a question.

  21. JB - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I'm with Peric here. There's no question about who I want to win the NL East…. by as much as possible. But I like being "the best in the best division", and beating up on out-of-division opponents is the only way to do it.Except the Marlins. 0-162 iwould not be enough.NatinBeantown

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Great idea, pRAA. Can I steal it?

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    JB….that's what the World Series is for.

  24. The Fox - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    I've been very impress by Harper both on and off the field. Almost everything I knew about him was what I read either in Sports Illustrated or GQ or various sports sections of newspapers. In all those articles he came across as a cocky teenager. This did not shock or concern me too much because he was a teenager. However all the times that I've actually seen him interviewed since he came up to the big leagues I've been impressed on how he handles questions and his overall demeanor. So either he has mature very quickly or someone has really sat him down and talked to him or maybe all the articles I've read were unfairly slanted. I guess it could be all 3? Maybe Mark can tell us whether he has changed since spring training or if this young man is not the one portrayed in early articles and stories told about him. When his eyes opened up you could tell he was a little perturbed and I'm sure growing up as an elite athlete other kids who were envious of him teased him so this was nothing new. He could have said hey whats that question abOOT eh? But that would have come across as cocky.

  25. Jimmy - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    At 19, in Canada, I would have been too drunk to answer a question like that. So yeah, he did fine.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    The Red Sox are up 4-1 against the Fish in the 7th and the Fish vetsion of the Human Towel is in, Chad Gaudin.

  27. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    baseballswami said… Moore and Lombo seem pretty tight. 2 things about Zim — once last year he was actually kidding around in the dugout (yea, hard to believe) and he showed his "guns" — quite impressive. June 13, 2012 7:30 PM _______________________________I ran into Lombo with a buddy after one of the games. His friend looked like a young Paul O'Neill. Turned out his friend was a guy named Tyler Moore. Whoops.On Zim and the "guns", Google is a great thing:

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    OK…the next time the Nats face the Mets and R.A. Dickey I say we bring up a minor league starter for a day because you don't want to waste a real starter in a game in which you have no chance.He's killing the Rays and Price.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    7th inning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 k's and no walks. 7-0 Mets.

  30. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    David Price game up 7 Earned over 5 innings to the Mets. Dickey has a 1 hitter in the game.Phillies up 7-1 over the MetsBraves in a 3-2 lead over YankeesBoston looking good over the Fish 7-2

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Gonat…the Phillies are playing the Twins.

  32. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Whoops again. Tampa/MetsPhillies/TwinsBraves/YankeesBoston/Marlins

  33. MicheleS - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    NatsJack.. He probably could beat me.. I am too much of a softy.Can't believe what is going on with RA and the Mets. I have a friend that is at the game and he said the place is mostly Met fans (sad, but not suprising).

  34. MicheleS - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Mark to your original question, Bryce did fine. It was a clown question and he shot the guy down – hopefully this will slow down some of the inane questions he gets for the rest of the season.And Thome just crushed one in Minnie.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Michele…only using you to express my total devotion to the Nats and his "a lttle less" devotion.

  36. rogieshan - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    From what I can gather, the beer question was posed by a reporter from The Score, a second-rate, sports station out of Toronto that targets to a very young demographics and runs an annual popularity contest to hire its on-camera personnel. Therefore, one should not be surprised by the reporter's ignorance. Harper quickly moved on from it, unlike what Rome and Stern did in their interview today.

  37. MicheleS - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Watching the Yanks – Braves game. They just spent a half inning talking Nats. Had a lot if love for Davey and were cracking up about the Clown comment. They even mentioned Tyler's day.

  38. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    What with working three jobs and trying to see a bit of the game, I just now got around to the Baseball Today podcast. EFFUSIVE Nats love–also Harper vs. Trout, All-Star game, etc.At the very end, they mention the Toronto game which had just finished the first inning at the time they were recording. Here is the eerie thing: Keith Law predicted Drabek would get behind, get men on base, react emotionally, overpitch and get injured. I'm listen to this knowing that's EXACTLY what happened. Unreal.

  39. Candide - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    The question was either inexcusably ignorant (if the reporter didn't know that the most exciting player in MLB is a Mormon) or "gotcha" bait.Either way, Harper's answer was appropriate, because the reporter had no business being in a major-league clubhouse asking a question like that.Holding a microphone in your hand doesn't automatically entitle you to respect when you ask a stupid or ignorant question.

  40. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Oh, and on the clown thing==>condemnation of the reporter, including the fact that the Writers' Association negotiates access to the locker room and the players, and this isn't helping!

  41. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    NJ–LOL on R.A. Dickey.

  42. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    It's pouring in Atlanta. Our guy Chad Durbin is in for 2nd inning of relief. Why don't they have a rain delay? I don't understand what is going on in Miami, either. Ozzie brought Heath Bell in trailing 10-2, and took him out after 4 batters (2 singles, 2 out)?

  43. baseballswami - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Agreed with ra dickey. He is terrifying. Bryce was direct but not rude. Reporters don't usually ask athletes if they are going to drink after the game. Totally not an appropriate question for anyone . Bryce is now the most famous Mormon ,ahead of Romney .

  44. whatsanattau - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Mark asked if we agree the question was out of line. My answer, "yes". I cannot think of an innocent reason for the question. It was either an attempt to provoke a controversial response or an endorsement. My question to Mark: Under what circumstances would a a member of the press ask that question?

  45. MurrayTheRed - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:22 AM


  46. MurrayTheRed - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    I'm curious who was the voice in the background that tells the reporter to ask a different question: was that a different Nats reporter or a member of the Nationals staff or a veteran player watching out for the kid.

  47. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    R.A. Dickey was mesmerizing again Wednesday, going the distance against the Rays while allowing one unearned run on just one hit with a career-high 12 strikeouts in the 9-1 win.Simply remarkable. Dickey would have had a fourth straight scoreless outing if not for a David Wright error in the ninth. The knuckleballer is the game's first 10-game winner and now boasts a fantastic 2.20 ERA and 0.94 WHIP on the season. He'll look to keep it rolling next week against the Orioles.

  48. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Don't look now, but staked to a 9 run lead, Colbert gave up 6 (5 earned). It's 9-7 Fils in the bottom of the 7th…

  49. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Correction: 7 runs (6 earned). 9-8 Fils. And, in the ATL, Freddi put Kimbrel in in a non-save situation. What is the world coming to?

  50. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    It *was* a clown question, literally–something the class clown would ask when he couldn't think of anything funny or informed to ask. I want a tee shirt. I want a bumper sticker. I want a cap with that saying and Bozo's face.

  51. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Braves are down 3-2, bottom 9. Twins are coming back on the Phillies, 5 runs in the 6th and 7th–it's 9-8 Phils, top of 8. Marlins lost big, Mets won big.

  52. greg - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    it was a lame question, but i think athletes are used to lame was a great response.i hope the rest of his teammates use it to answer random questions for the rest of the season. not only that, remember the silver wig? i think they should replace that with a rainbow clown wig for the rest of this season. i'm guessing bryce would have to wear it a lot.

  53. baseballswami - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    I would go to sleep now – except that I think I am already asleep and having the most fantastic dream – in my dream the Nats are in first place and they just keep winning…… Don't wake me.

  54. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    in my dream the Nats are in first place and they just keep winning.Are there spiders? That's how I can tell it's a dream–the spiders.

  55. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Darn, Phillies held on. ESPN Sportscenter just did a 3 minute segment on the "Streaking Nats". Yes, ESPN. On the DC radio, I heard on 106.7 they are now doing a daily 11:50AM segment on Bryce Harper. Today was 10 minutes on the "Clown" comment.The bandwagon is on the move.

  56. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    baseballswami said… I would go to sleep now – except that I think I am already asleep and having the most fantastic dream – in my dream the Nats are in first place and they just keep winning…… Don't wake me. June 13, 2012 11:09 PM ______________________________I am having the same dream. I want it to keep going night after night.

  57. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Some stats from the game (h/t is the first pitcher to 100 strikeouts this year. He also leads the majors in K rate, 11.7 SO/9.Tyler Moore rewarded the club’s persistence — they drafted him three times and finally bagged him in 2008 — with a monster game, downing his first 5 big-league rib-eyes in one sitting: 2-run double to start the scoring, 2-run HR to break another tie, and a bonus bomb for 10 total bases, the most by a Nat in since last June 15. Both HRs off the bat of the big 25-year-old RH masher cleared 400 feet. Before his call-up from AAA Syracuse, Moore had a 1.032 OPS and 26 RBI in 28 games, after averaging 74 extra-base hits the past 2 years and leading first the Carolina and then the Eastern League with 31 HRs (at least 6 more than anyone else). A dismal SO/BB ratio kept his BA around .270 then, but he improved that at AAA this year, with a .310 BA and .372 OBP. He has not walked in 31 PAs.In Nats/Expos history, only Danny Espinosa had a 10-TB game quicker than Moore’s 16th career game. But Espo did it in a meaningless September blowout.Tenth relief outing of 2+ IP for Stammen this year, tops in MLB. The former starter has a 1.67 ERA in 32.1 IP, and the Nats are 17-8 in his appearances.

  58. pwilly - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    C'mon Mark, leave this Nat'l Inq stuff to the late comers, like the Junkies or visiting press. The Nats are churning up the almighty AL East and this sound bite is news here?You're better than that.

  59. SonnyG10 - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    pwilly, that's a clown question, bro!

  60. sjm308 - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    pwilly: I realize it's late but Mark didn't post this. Take a look and you will see that Chase posted this article, not Mark.Go Nats!!

  61. Gonat - Jun 14, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    For those of us who stayed up, treated to Matt Cain's perfect game.

  62. Unknown - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    What's interesting is the off-camera voice. Harper is listening to him intently before he answers. Is this Harper's media advisor? If so it was a great move of the Nats/Boras/Harper to get someone to help him phrase his answers.Nattydread

  63. Expos4Ever - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:51 AM

    Sunshine, thanks for posting that Gazette article.I was born in Montreal (I remember going to games at the big O for $1 … Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson)I moved to Toronto (for 20 years), went to the first interleague games at the SkyDome, Canada Day was sold out, it was awesome.Now I live in Philly … on Friday I was wearing my Strasburg shirt and got tons of comments, got "bumped" into, etc … the Philly faithful have taken notice (they never cared until recently)For the first time since Tim Raines, I have a favourite baseball player … Bryce Harper!Just bought tickets and booked a room for my first trip to Baltimore next weekend (Montreal, Torontox2, Philly, Washington … my 6th MLB ballpark)Go Nats!

  64. natscan reduxit - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    … thanx for the memories, Expos4Ever. My first Expos game was at Jarry Park, when Hank Aaron was looking for #715. Jarry was a real gem; the big "O" was a big let-down – IMNSHO…. and thank God for Matt Cain. His perfecto served to take fans' interest away from Clown Questions, and that's a good thing.Go Nats!!

  65. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    we gotta get one of those no-hitters or perfect games in front of our pitchers' name.

  66. The Fox - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    I've always coveted Matt Cain. Every year I've tried to figure out who we would have to give up to get him. There was a rumor once that Rizzo offered Dunn for him since they needed hitting. Of course the Giants never really considered it. Cain is like a rock you can build your whole pitching staff around. He never misses a start over 200 innings every year too,(190 the first year). Timmy gets all the press for the Giants but Cain anchors (SF reference) the team. I've got tickets to one of the Giants games coming up I'd love to see him and Strasburg battle it out. Yes I would be pulling for the Nats. Congratulation Matt Cain for achieving the pinnacle individual pitching performance.

  67. NatsNut - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    The question wasn't that bad. I loved Harper's answer, but I don't understand the indignation over the question itself. He's in a locker room with a bunch of baseball players for goodness sake. The guy was just trying to be funny and it's not like he asked if he was going to do a line of coke or something, Still, that answer was a classic and I'm still cracking up.

  68. MicheleS - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    NatsNut.. I think the indignation comes on two fronts. One it was a trap question about a 19 year old drinking beer. And the other is that Bryce's religious beliefs do not allow drinking. I also saw on a few of the ESPN/MLB shows where the actual journalists were ticked because it lumps them all in with the tabloids/second rate goof that asked that question and the Players all rolling their eyes about the dumb questions they all have been asked. Nomar and Mark Mulder on the ESPN broadcast were cracking up over the Clown comment and thought that Bryce's comments were hilarious.ON the bright side, this is completely being overshadowed by the Cain perfect game and the controversy with RA Dickey.

  69. Section 215 Row A - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I second your minority point NatsNut. The question was no big deal (assuming the interviewer didn't know Bryce was a teetotaler…I didn't)…it could have been handled in a variety of ways, such as, simply "I don't drink." Dissing the question was funny but perhaps a little rude? I'm just saying. I know Bryce is the second coming and all that but he is not exactly well-spoken. Next time you see him interviewed, count his "you know"s. Maybe it's not a maturity question (Riggleman was almost as bad) but he is far from sounding erudite.

  70. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    "Sounding erudite" isn't just moving the goal posts, it's adding a whole new goal line, along the sidelines. Yeah, it would be great if he were exceptionally articulate, on top of everything else, but most ballplayers aren't, and he doesn't need to be. Look at Harper's face when he realizes what the question is–he looks genuinely disgusted, as if the guy asked him if he was going to go smoke crack. He didn't embarrass the guy (I won't say "reporter"), he just didn't cover for a stupid question. Good to nip that in the bud, I think.

  71. Section 215 Row A - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Good point, Soul.

  72. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I do media relations for a living and I while Harper's answer is not exactly what a PR pro would prep him to say, it will play well because:1. It was clearly authentic2. It was not expressed in an intimidating way; if anything, it was a mild rebuke3. The question was clearly intended as a "gotcha" question at least because of his age, and possibly because of his religion (though I think it's unlikely the reporter knew Harper is a Mormon).4. Most members of the public dislike the media to begin with.5. It was funny.

  73. JaneB - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    I think he handled it brilliantly. Bro.

  74. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  75. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Late to the thread and to commenting but imo, Harper's response to the "reporter" (who sounds like rather a doof, but I digress) was fine. And in re. JaneB's comment: Word, bro-ette. :-)





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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 Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter