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Harper: "I’m just glad we got the W"

May 5, 2013, 10:00 PM EST

USA Today Sports Images
Bryce Harper was ejected after arguing a check-swing call.

Updated at 6:00 p.m.

PITTSBURGH — Bryce Harper may or may not have done anything out of line to warrant an ejection in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon, and umpire John Hirschbeck may or may not have overreacted to the 20-year-old’s complaint about a check-swing call.

Whatever the case, Harper knew it would do him no good to get into a war of words with the veteran umpire after the fact, so the young Nationals star was careful not to say anything that might cause a stir following his team’s 6-2 victory over the Pirates.

“I’m just glad we got the W, and I wasn’t the reason we didn’t,” Harper said.

The game had only just begun when Hirschbeck rung up Harper on a borderline check-swing call, ending the top of the first. As the Pirates trotted off the field, Harper remained at the plate, throwing his arms out in disbelief. Hirschbeck, standing 90 feet away, immediately mimicked the motion and started jawing at Harper, taking a few steps his way before ejecting the 20-year-old after he slammed his bat and helmet to the ground.

“I was actually just being nice,” Hirschbeck told a pool reporter. “Even the hands up in the air is showing me up, to me. I could have ejected him right then. I was nice enough to leave him in the game. And then he slammed his bat down. And then on top of that, he slammed his helmet. I had no other recourse, really.”
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  1. Brian Holcomb - May 5, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Love the kid, but man, 90 feet away and saying "stuff"…might as well let it roll at that point.

  2. phil dunton - May 5, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Many years ago, Roberto Alomar spit in Hirshbeck's face after he made a racial slur at Alomar.

  3. phil dunton - May 5, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Tyler Moor looks pathetic at the plate this year.

  4. JaneB - May 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    FP was dead on. People came to see Harper, not Hirshbeck.

  5. btharner - May 5, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    A bit of childish petulence by Bryce, just standing there was like daring the umpire to toss him. They do not like to be shown up.

  6. peric - May 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Not happy with his recent slump …

  7. Rabbit34 - May 5, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    I agree with a poster of another article….that Harper really wanted the day off!

  8. Adamnational - May 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Yeah Phil. T-Mo looks terrible…

  9. JaneB - May 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Wow. Makes me dislike this guy even more To put it mildly.

  10. MicheleS - May 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    JaneB.. Alomar wasn't innocent in that one, he made some bad comments about one of Hirshbecks kids who had some illness. They made up after that and Alomar apologized to Hirshbeck.The only thing on this.. Byrce has to realize that he is under a microscope and HAS to be the model citzen out there. IT's going to kill the kid, but until he gets to the Votto/Fielder level (for several years) he won't be able to argue callse like that

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 5, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Only thing I hate anout baseball is the umpires.fanscame to see harper.The NBA understands that Mlb does.t. San Antonio fines for not playing stars. said fans want to see stars. Baseball lets umps toss stars at the beginning of the game.Hershbexk could have walked but choised to engage. Was no reason to not turn his back. he wanted to toss him.

  12. Secret wasian man - May 5, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Agree. Hershbeck is a bum

  13. Secret wasian man - May 5, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Hershbeck a bum. But Alomar is a big dirty punk. He made a comment about hershbecks son who had died. That's gutless

  14. Harpo - May 5, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… I would like to know exactly how many people on this site think Adam LaRoche is washed up?"Are you doing a straw poll for Rizzo.

  15. Secret wasian man - May 5, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Still say Tim Timmons is bad and Angel Hernandez the worst.

  16. mick - May 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. MicheleS - May 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    SWM.. let's not forget Country Joe West and Balkin Bob Davidson behind the plate today.

  18. mick - May 5, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Hirschbeck, you are bum with a capital B, you are full of your self and nobody comes to a major league game to watch you make an ass your yourself. what are the odds that 2 of the biggest asshole umps could in the same ball park?

  19. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    I was going to add Joe West to the list but for the past 2 seasons he's been pretty standard and maintained a lower (and slimmer) profile.

  20. Eric - May 5, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    To call what Harper did "slamming" his helmet is absurd, IMO. But, whatever, curly dub in the books…

  21. Laddie Blah Blah - May 5, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Harper is still a kid, as well as an intense competitor. The umpire over-reactred even though Harper was wrong. The plate ump should have called him out – the pitch was clearly a strike – and saved everyone all the trouble.Bernie came in and had 2 hits, and Harper got to rest that body bruise until Tuesday. I'll take that. Davey probably should have sat him down, anyway.I've said it before, and, after watching today's game, I'll say it, again. Espinoza should just forget his LH ABs and hit RH'ed every time up. Just try it for a couple of weeks. He cannot possibly be any worse doing that than he is going to do against RH pitchers from the left side of the plate, anyway.He would have had 2 HRs today from the right side, if the wind had not held up that sac fly in the 2nd inning. In his only LH AB, he hit a weak roller to the right side, as he so often does. He looked helpless, pathetic. He sees the ball better, has better plate discipline, and drives the ball much more frequently as a rightie than as a leftie. I would wager he would add 25 – 30 points to his BA, cut down on the Ks, and be a better situational hitter as a full time righty.It will never happen. Makes too much sense. They converted Billy Burns from a rightie into a switch hitter – successfully, so far. No good reason they could not go in the other direction for Espinoza.

  22. Joe Seamhead - May 5, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Rich Feel Harpo, would you please stop? We're all celebrating a series win, reading this great, mature blog and well…..

  23. peric - May 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Yeah Phil. T-Mo looks terrible…Yeah huh? Everyone likes to talk about LaRoche but statistically Moore was right there lockstep and beyond him. AND Moore had to play the much more challenging pinch hitter role last season! Moore had the same ISO as LaRoche and more of his fly balls and line drives ended up as home runs than anyone else on the roster Phil the fool.Yeah, he's really terrible … its why they felt comfortable trading Morse in a season in which they had world series aspirations.

  24. paul brandt - May 5, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    new to the site and enjoy the banter less harpo, feel wood, whoever he is…dude, you are a child.go nats! good for tymo & espi and gio for escaping the 1st. thought storen looked good too. lets hope we can keep this going vs. a good detroit team.

  25. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Welcome to the nuthouse, Paul!.

  26. paul brandt - May 6, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Joe, thanks. now he thinks i am someone i am not and ridicules me for not using a capital letter to start my sentence. man!!! back to being an admirer…you guys have thicker skin than me…have always enjoyed the insight but the personal attacks are mind-boggling to me…just a nats, caps, redskins, dc untied fan like many here…have lived here all my life and love everything dc sports but honestly, am sorry i decided to post here…sad.

  27. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - May 6, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Is the Yankee reject russell martin going to always play both catcher and third like did today?

  28. BigCat - May 6, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Its the old saying…."a good ump is never heard from." Hershbeck could of just made the call and turned his back, but he went looking for trouble.

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 6, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Exactly big cat. Call it and go. every other half he walked out to second. that one he walked toward home.Harper didnt walk toward home.

  30. Rabbit34 - May 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    A slam is in the eye of the beholder. A slam to one umpire is not a slam to another. Had Harper not raised his bat and arms to mimic the umpire prior to the slam, he would not have been ejected. You have to live with it. The game was won. Even if it wasn't won,….move on.

  31. Sam - May 6, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    I think it's kind of absurd that professional athletes are not allowed to shore any semblance of frustration about anything in the game for fear of being thrown out. Raising your arms is showing up Hirschbeck? Jeez; I'd hate to be a friend or family member of his. I can imagine a family barbecue… "Hey, John, this burger is a little burnt. Mind if I get another one?""That's it! You're outta here! And don't you ever come B back to my house!"

  32. JSLSais - May 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Listen folks, Harper was wrong. He has to learn that he isn't the smartest most gifted athlete that has ever walked planet earth. He is young and a bit brash. Showing up an ump like that will get you thrown 9 out of 10 times. He needs to take the high road, go sit his butt down, and come back and show the ump up with his bat not his "mouth". I think if Harper had been hitting better, he would not have done what he did, so throwing a tantrum wasn't really about that one particular play, it is about all of the other At Bats where he has not been able to make contact. He needed to do what he did with Philly and Hamels-remember? Did that not shut them up?

  33. JSLSais - May 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I am glad that professional athletes are not allowed to throw tantrums; otherwise, they are not really professionals, are they? It isn't just about how well you hit, run, or catch; it is also about character. But this is what is wrong with the world–as long as you are the best at whatever you do, you can be a complete jerk. Wall Street is full of these type of guys. You know, guys who would still you blind yet have no conscientious. I am not saying that BH fits this mold; I am just saying that BH has a ways to go about learning how to play all aspects of the game. Can you imagine Roberto Clemente displaying that type of behavior? I can't.

  34. Sam - May 6, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Athletes aren't allowed to show emotion? They can't be frustrated that they don't succeed? Man, if everyone was as laid back as athletes are supposedly supposed to be, no one would get anywhere in the world. We'd all be robots.He struck out. He was upset. He got thrown out for being unhappy. I hope the security guard at my company doesn't throw me out if I screw something up and show my displeasure. That wouldn't be fun.

  35. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    May 28, 1963Called out at 1B on a close play for the 2nd time‚ Roberto Clemente inadvertently strikes umpire Bill Jackowski. Clemente is ejected‚ fined $250‚ and suspended for 5 days. The Pirates lose 5-1 to the Phils.Sure, it's a one-off. So was Bryce's.





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