Tuesday night we saw the game that has been on everyone’s radar since Bryce Harper decided to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on February 28th. The Phillies traveled to Harper’s old stomping grounds to take on his former team, the Washington Nationals. Harper spent the first 7 years of his career in Washington before opting for a change of scenery this offseason.
As expected, the Washington crowd did not take kindly to Harper’s “betrayal”, and booed him relentlessly for much of the game. Though he did extend the metaphorical “olive branch” with a heartfelt thank you note to the fanbase of Washington D.C., the fans didn’t care, and the word “traitor” echoed around the stadium more than a few times.
Regardless of the hostile environment, he put on a show for fans both new and old. After striking out in his first career at-bat against longtime teammate Max Scherzer, Harper went on to finish 3/5 including a double, 3 RBI’s and a long HR blast. With a projected distance of 458 feet, even the Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo gave credit. When asked about Harper’s monstrous bat flip, Rizzo responded ““You hit the ball that far, you do whatever the hell you want. The best way to stop those kind of bat flips is get ’em out.”.
I will include the video at the bottom of this article, but this is already a candidate for bat flip of the year in my book. Not only the flip, but the context of the booing, and how many fans were shut up as a result makes this absolutely demoralizing to the players and fans of the other team.
via Faxx Masheen, Youtube