All it took was a bad call to get Bryce Harper kicked out of the ballgame. During the tenth inning of the Washington Nationals 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies, a (questionable) call by umpire, Mike Winters, sent the baseball player into a fury, throwing his helmet and bat.
The strike-three call, which was on a 2-2, 95 mph fastball by the Rockies’ Jake McGee, was actually a borderline pitch-a hair off the outside corner based on MLB.com’s tracking system. A computer analysis of the pitch can be seen in the Tweet below.
Bryce Harper immediately reacted to Winters’ call, turning at the umpire and yelling what most probably was a collection of all the most colorful words in the English language. The clip of the pitch, strike (?) and call were shared via Vine.
“I was reading it all the way in,” Harper said after the loss. “If you look at the tape, I was looking down at the ball the whole way into the glove and it was just, you know, it was off the plate. I could possibly see one more pitch and maybe hit a homer or a double or walk — I could even strike out. But I just wanted to see that last pitch and I never got there. It just shouldn’t happen. Just bad behind there. It’s not a strike.”
Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker, took the incident with a bit of consideration, saying that it was just part of the game.
“Everybody blows up from time to time,” said Baker in an interview with press. “These things happen. Especially it happens this time of year tempers are short. It’s hot, played a lot of games, been around the same people for a long period of time. This is the time of year when tempers do flare up.”
But Harper does seem to have a tendency to “flare up,” having been suspended earlier this year, after returning to the field despite having been ejected during their win against the Detroit Tigers in May. He made sure to let the umpire know what he felt.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/ Flickr