Skip to content

No fine or suspension for Harper

May 7, 2013, 10:53 PM EDT

Bryce Harper won't face any additional punishment for his actions Sunday that resulted in his ejection from the Nationals' series finale in Pittsburgh.

Major League Baseball informed Harper he won't be fined or suspended after a review of the incident, a relief to the 20-year-old slugger.

"It's great," he said. "I'm glad I don't have to pay the $1,000. That's another $1,000 in my pocket, so that's good. That's Major League Baseball's decision, and I respect that, definitely. And if I was to get fined, I would have respected that, too."

Harper's actions — he raised his arms and bat out after third base umpire John Hirschbeck called him for a check swing to end the top of the first inning, then tossed his bat and helmet aside, prompting Hirschbeck to eject him — weren't particularly out of the ordinary and wouldn't normally be subject to additional punishment fromRead more »

  1. UnkyD - May 7, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Bryce is a good man. I'm surprised, though by how many out-of-towners think he spends his days sticking his tongue out, and throwing tantrums.

  2. Candide - May 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    What UnkyD said. I read comments in several places, and a lot of people think he's an arrogant jerk. SMH.

  3. Positively Half St. - May 7, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    If Harper gets to have the 20 to 22-year career he should, he will hopefully win over all who are paying attention. I fervently wish that all of those years are with the Nationals.

  4. SonnyG10 - May 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Seconded, UnkyD.

  5. SonnyG10 - May 7, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Bet Hirschbeck gets a talking to if not fined.

  6. bell jr - May 7, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Fine. How about a day of unpaid leave! Ridiculous call not professional at all!

  7. JayB - May 7, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Harper is awesome. He is cool calm and collected at all times. He was raised well and he is special. Hirshchbeck on the other hand is petty and small minded. He is not the show. Nobody paid to see him and it eats him alive….sad.

  8. Teddy Rochlis - May 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Im actually surprised people didnt' go ham on Bryce for getting tossed. Guess it goes to show you who was really the blame.

  9. Candide - May 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    JayB, not to defend Hirschbeck, but I think you are saying more than you can possibly know when you try to psychoanalyze him. I don't know – and I don't think anyone except him knows – what prompted him to pick a fight with Harper. Maybe he had a fight with his wife that morning, or maybe Harper sent him a nasty email. Or maybe he's just a jerk. No way for any of us to really know at this point – maybe never.

  10. UnkyD - May 7, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    "go ham"?!

  11. SCNatsFan - May 8, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    It will happen to Harper again; his approach rubs some the wrong way. Prototypical guy who you love if he is on your team, think he's a hot dog if on another. Glad he's here.

  12. UnkyD - May 8, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Disagree, SC. If his "approach" rubs anyone the wrong way, it's because they're not paying attention. Those paying attention see a young kid playing hard, keeping his mouth shut (for the most part) and respecting the game. Sorry…not giving ignorant haters a break, here…

  13. UnkyD - May 8, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    ….and, not calling anyone here a hater…. :)

  14. Candide - May 8, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    SCNatsFan said… It will happen to Harper again; his approach rubs some the wrong way. Prototypical guy who you love if he is on your team, think he's a hot dog if on another.But the umpire isn't supposed to be on anyone's team. So why should it happen again?

  15. Ratiocinational - May 8, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Matt Harvey's perfect through 6.

  16. SCNatsFan - May 8, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Candide, unkyd I'm not saying I agree with it but some people don't like that style of play and they will be haters, just like some didn't like Rosé. And for other teams fans he's an easy target. As for umps, well, as has been discussed some think they are part of the show and should be noticed. Again I don't agree. I guarantee if Harper leaves (gads!) some on this board will say they never liked him or his rah rah style. I won't be one of them.

  17. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    "Those paying attention see a young kid playing hard, keeping his mouth shut (for the most part) and respecting the game. Sorry…not giving ignorant haters a break, here…"I agree. Case in point is how he handled the Hamels beaning. Did he complain about it? No, he stole home behind Hamels' back while he tried to pick someone off at first. Made him look like a fool where it counts: in the game.

  18. Dominats Vobiscum - May 8, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    "Dave said… True enough, Dominats. But SPH who miss it get RCR points, which are worth nowhere near as much as tickets."Unless I'm reading it wrong, the RCR points you get for unused games are pretty much equivalent to the number of points you need to buy another game in the same general seating area. At least where I sit anyway, which is the upper deck. Other sections, YMMV. And prime games do cost more points also.

  19. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Matt Harvey just finished the top the 9th, gave up one hit, no BB's, 12 K's. Wow!

  20. UnkyD - May 8, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Eric, don't forget that, before Harp could steal home, he went 1st to 3rd, on a single to LF…. (Freaking beautiful…. I'll never forget it…). Took the whole of Major League Baseball to SCHOOL…. At age 19. I don't care who you root for. If you don't like that, you don't like baseball! 'Sall I'm sayin'

  21. Alphabet Soup Erik - May 8, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Matt Harvey is a beast!!! 9 innings in 105 pitches…and an infield single away from a perfecto. I have to say that this guy should be starting the all- star game in a couple of months.

  22. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Argh! I need an edit button.Agreed, UnkyD and Alpha Soup!Nice article about Soriano. I feel like the Nats ooze cohesion, even if it has been somewhat lacking on the field so far. These guys want to have a team that gets along and has fun. Nice to read that Soriano appreciates it.

  25. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    PS – just pulled this from the MLB site:"Toronto starter J.A. Happ was hit in the side of his head by a line drive and was removed on a stretcher."Yikes…hope he's OK :(

  26. Theophilus T. S. - May 8, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Harper did not get a fine. According to rule/precedent, throwing equipment gets a fine. Because he didn't get a fine, we should understand that Hirshbeck was wrong. But apparently they felt they couldn't fine Hirshbeck (the way they fined Hallion) if they didn't fine Harper, because doing so would make the ump look like the bad guy (as if he wasn't). SO . . . by being in the right Harper got Hirschbeck off the hook. What a way to run a railroad

  27. baseballswami - May 8, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Eric- I saw the video. Pretty bad. Hope the guy is all right.

  28. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Doc - May 8, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Somebody up there figured out that it was all b.s.—except for Hirschbeck's behavior, which was totally out of line.Players like Harps come along a few times in a century. Umps like Hirschbeck are a dime a dozen!

  30. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Me too, swami. Fortunately we know a lot more about treating brain injury now than we did in Ray Chapman's time.

  31. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 8, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    we know Hershbeck was the aggressor. MLB didnt fine Harper because they knew he was baited. The MLB's will bail their umps almost 100% of the time. not sure why. the players are the stars. The umps are just their.we know it will happen again. .C.B. Buclner tossed Harper last year for tossing his helmet after he hit into adouble play. Buckner was totally clueless ad egocentric thinking Harper was angry at Buckner, when it actuality he was mad at himself. Just like Votto a few weeks bad when Gio struck him out. Slammed his helmet, but home plate ump Paul Nauert. Was much more aware than Buckner who Votto was mad at.BTW I thought of the three games I went to in Pittsburgh that Hirshbeck was easily the best behind the plate.

  32. NatsLady - May 8, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    WOW, Kimbrel blew another save, just gave up a wall-scraper.

  33. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 8, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    devin masaraco 2 out homer in 9,th against Kimbrall. 4-4

  34. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 8, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Ch9oooooooooooo

  35. NatsLady - May 8, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    And another one to Choo. Reds win.

  36. Steady Eddie - May 8, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Yeah, NL, the Cincy bandbox comes back to bite. The Barves. Now Choo winsit! Nats are 2 back!

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 8, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    reds win

  38. NatsLady - May 8, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Barves bullpen is NOT invincible. Gooooooooooood to know. Good to remember!

  39. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Dominats, where on the site did you find how many RCR points you get for a missed game? I looked on the RCR chart, in the FAQ, all over the Ultimate Ballpark Access site, can't find it anywhere.

  40. Faraz Shaikh - May 8, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    OMG just saw Happ news. Hope he recovers soon.they need to stop playing baseball the instance something like this happens. play should be called at that instance.

  41. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Never mind, Dominats, I found it.Nope, the RCR points I would get for a missed game in my seats in 220 (First Base Club) would not get me a midweek ticket in the First Base Club. That ticket would cost 500 points; for a missed game I get 300 point.So, no, the RCR points are not equivalent to a missed game, at least not for me where I sit for many of my games.

  42. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Man, Kimbrel. Is that twice in a week? I literally cannot fathom humans getting hits off that guy.Great news!

  43. Eric - May 8, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    NatsLady, my original theory is officially bunk. nationals.com has a new listing in the blogroll before you do.

  44. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 8, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    I was watching when Happ got hit. ricochet so hard Jennings got a triple.

  45. Section 222 - May 8, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Dave, not to mention the weekend (750 points) or "prime" (1,000 points) games. The two games against the Tigers are prime games. And if you can't go to the rescheduled game, you don't even get enough points to get a ticket for the midweek games. That's just wrong.

  46. SonnyG10 - May 8, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    OMG, I hope Happ comes through this ok. I'll say a little prayer for him.

  47. Section 222 - May 8, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    And in other news, for some weekday games, the Marlins are going to close the upper bowl of their not even two year old stadium because attendance is so bad. According to this article, they have sold only 500 season tix in the upper bowl. Wow.

  48. Section 222 - May 8, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Amanda's Comack's story quotes a team spokesman on the new no-exchange for rainchecks policy: "UPDATED: A number of fans asked for further details on the Nationals’ change in policy regarding a postponement. In the past, the team had exchanged tickets for a future date.A Nationals spokesman said “due to higher demand and less capacity, we’ve had to modify our ticket policy.”It appears this will likely be the team’s standard policy going forward after a spike in attendance due to the team’s success in 2012."A smart retort by @Nationals101 on Twitter:"@Nationals @NationalsPR does this mean there will be no more $1/$2 ticket nights since demand is thru the roof & there is no capacity?"And then there are the Living Social coupons, Goldstar specials and other promotions designed to fill the park on weeknights. Assuming 10,000 people can make it on Thursday, we're talking here about at most 20,000 tickets spread over the next 60 home games. That's an average of 333 tickets per game! Come on Nats.

  49. Doc - May 8, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    I knew that Kimbrel was going to take it on the chin at some point—I just didn't think that it was going to be in this century!!!

  50. Dominats Vobiscum - May 8, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    I bet the Phillies, Red Sox and other teams that sell out a lot of their games don't allow exchanges for rained out games. According to Kilgore, the Nats average attendance of 31,813 per game for April made it their best month ever. And April is traditionally one of the months when attendance is low! So who knows what's in store for the months to come, when attendance typically peaks? The front office probably has an idea, since they know how many season tickets and single game tickets they've sold so far. Maybe they really don't have enough available space to handle exchanges for rain checks. We'll just have to wait and see.

  51. Section 222 - May 8, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Feel/Harpo/Dominats — Maybe. Yes, I guess we'll see. That 31,813 average includes Opening Day, and weekend series against the Braves and Reds. During the week (M-Th), the highest attendance was 33,694 for the Wednesday day game on 4/24. All of the other weekday games were under 30,000, most were at about 25,000. So there were at least 7,000, and usually 11,000- 15,000 unsold tickets. Who's kidding whom that they can't find one or two thousand seats to give to the folks who planned to go tonight, and can't go at 4 pm on Thursday? Do you really think the Nats are going to start selling out their mid-week series? Seriously? Yeah, right. Just like they were going to sell 20,000 season tickets.When they offer $1 Monday or $2 Tuesday tickets again, will you concede that this new policy is not capacity based? I'll be sure to ask you then.

  52. Harpo - May 8, 2013 at 4:39 AM

    Section 222, I'm Harpo 1. There is also Harpo 2. There is also Rich P. Do you think Dominats is me too? You seem to think anyone who disagrees with you is Feelwood. People can disagree with you and be unrelated.

  53. baseballswami - May 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    It would be nice if they went to an intermediate policy. Like exchange for non- premium games, or weekday games, or you have only 2 weeks to use it . Not just one extreme to the other.

  54. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    et cum spiritu tuoI fell asleep thinking that the Braves had their game won and was resigned to the Nats being 3 back.Woke up and saw Kimbrel blew another one, which is very inspiring.I hadn't heard about Happ. Scary stuff. Prayers for the young man.

  55. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Actually, it just would've been bloody nice to have some idea that this new ticket policy was coming, instead of learning about it after they called the very first rained out game.As somebody posted, the Yankees manage to do free exchanges. The Nats, not so much.Truly, I would've been more okay with their scaling back the Red Carpet points (which they obviously are doing, slowly) than suddenly changing the rain check policy. Just tell us what's going on in advance, rather than making it up as you go along.

  56. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    As to Happ, I haven't brought myself to watch the video yet. Too scary. I do hope he's okay.

  57. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    I read that Happ is in stable condition. I really hope that he'll be okay. Our relief pitcher with Syracuse, Eric Davis was hit by a come backer a couple of years ago that required several surgeries to repair the damage. Amazing that Eric ever got back on a mound again.

  58. baseballswami - May 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Good to hear, Dave., I was concerned because I had not seen any news.

  59. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    I thought the previous policy of the Nats on rainouts was very liberal.It's been a long time ago, but I seem to remember that the old Senators' policy was if a game was rained out on say May 7th, they would announce a make up game on say June 28th and that was the day you got to use your rainout ticket period. This new policy seems the same, except STH's have the RCR's if they can't go on the make up date. In this case, the 4:05 start probably makes it really hard for many working folks.

  60. baseballswami - May 8, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I see on twitter that Buster Olney on ESPN is taking up this cause. I appreciate Andy Pfeffer for last season's Take Back the Park and Natitude campaigns, but we might not be ready for this. Also I think the fact that no one knew ahead of time. If the forecast looks bad on a given day, people might really stay away because they don't want to eat that money. If I have cleared one evening a week, and they usually don't rainout until you are already there, there is not much chance I could do it again the very next day, or go to a day game of a double header.

  61. Gonat - May 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    The Braves problems continue. That 2010 formula of O'Flaherty to Venters to Kimbrel that was like automatic shutdown in 2011 and much of 2012 already ruined Venters and it's no surprise of Kimbrel's inconsistencies.Consider Venters as a Rookie in 2010 threw 83 innings in 79 games and then threw the MLB high 85 games in 2011 and developed arm problems in 2012 and hasn't pitched in 2013. You have to also wonder if the early work in the WBC for Kimbrel has already been a factor.

  62. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    According to Kilgore, as tweeted out by Buster Olney, most teams in MLB have the policy we're used to, of ticket exchanges. Of the 19 teams playing in non-domed stadiums, 13 of those have the liberal exchange policy.Kilgore in Nationals JournalSo the national media are paying attention. Buster O. says this is a disservice to the fans.

  63. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Swami, I owe you a coke.For me the big problem is the surprise. Nobody told us in advance. They just removed a few words from a line buried deep in the ballpark and Red Carpet FAQ lists.

  64. Gonat - May 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I think the comparison to what the Orioles did last night was a good comparison. The weather in Baltimore was almost identical and they didn't have a postponement rather they were able to start the game and the rains came on and off the whole game then they had a rain delay and was able to finish the game.Two weeks ago the Orioles had a similar situation and the game never started and fans waited 2 hours before it was called so what did they do yesterday, only a few 1,000 fans showed up. The ones that didn't show up burned their tickets and they don't get to reuse those tickets since the game was played.Seriously, how many people were there:https://twitter.com/AOTGOriolePark/status/331912111687090176/photo/1

  65. Gonat - May 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Orioles announced attendance was 12,921 and they also had the Wei-Yin Chen effect as his peeps were there in the rain and only show up when he pitches.Had to be close to 10,000 no shows.Maybe the Nats should make a 1 time exception for those who weren't aware of the policy change as that is smart public relations but I think the fact they called the game so early in the day was good public relations. Bad weather happens.

  66. Dave - May 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Gonat, the problem isn't the Nats calling the game. The problem is sneaking a new, restrictive and–as we now know–atypical rain check policy in without warning. It makes the Nats look greedy and cheap.

  67. Harpo - May 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Dave, the problem isn't the Nats calling the game. The problem is all the whining going on here from people that just want to complain. Your tickets are good for Thursday. If you can't use them, sell them. If you can't sell them, donate them. If you don't want to do either, then don't complain. ENOUGH ALREADY!

  68. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Funny, in this mornings Wash Post on page A-8 there is about a 1/3 page ad saying to come meet Gio Gonzalez at Pentagon Center from 4 to 5 p.m. On Thursday. Domino effect in the works here.

  69. Dominats Vobiscum - May 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    The Orioles didn't have the advantage of having an off day on Thursday for both teams. They have to get these three games with the Royals in now because they don't come back again this year. So it made sense for them to start the game last night and try to get it in. There was really no reason for the Nats and Tigers to play last night when a rain interruption during the game was virtually guaranteed.

  70. Section 222 - May 8, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Feel/Harpo/Dominats — Fortunately you are not the arbiter of what is an appropriate topic to discuss or an appropriate reaction to a shortsighted and unfair new policy that is contrary to the curent policy of at least over half of the teams playing in non-domed stadiums and contrary to the standard practice for decades of most MLB teams. Shouting doesn't make your directive any more effective. STHs have already paid for their tickets, and let's be real, very very few people are going to not renew because of the new policy. But single game purchasers could easily be discouraged from advance sales now that they know that they have to assume the risk of bad weather. Penny wise and pound foolish Mr. Feffer.If the local and national media are already interested in this issue, I have a feeling the Nats will back down or make some accommodation (limiting exchanges to non-prime Mon-Thurs games is an obvious compromise). As your friend Dominats said last night, we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, rock on Dave.

  71. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 8, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Can we please retire the Guess the Secret Identity meme? It got tiresome a long time ago.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 48 --
ATLANTA 58 51 1.5
MIAMI 53 55 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 48 61 11.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

Follow us on Twitter