For someone about to get the biggest payday of his entire life, Bryce Harper is sure costing himself a bunch of money with a truly awful season. It appears those frustrations are finally becoming too much for the Nationals star.
Harper was ejected in the 12th inning of Thursday night’s game against the Mets after being called out on strikes on a pitch that was borderline inside. He stood at the plate momentarily, throwing his head back in disbelief, and eventually turned back to the dugout — but not before muttering some choice words to either himself or towards home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn.
Harper is hitting below .250, has gone through prolonged slumps this season, and the Nationals are just 77-76 with no real shot at the postseason. He hasn’t suffered an ejection at all this season, but has been tossed 10 previous times in his career. He has openly told the media that one of his goals was to not be thrown out of games at all this year, with the logic that the Nationals are a better team is Harper is, you know, actually playing.
Manager Dave Martinez, who has sometimes done the arguing (and received the ejections) in Harper’s place this season, was not impressed after the game.
“He was walking away,” Martinez said, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “I asked (Reyburn) why (he ejected Harper) and he said he said some words. … I don’t think he showed him up at all, I really don’t, and D.J. thought he did.”
To rub salt into the wound, the Nationals lost the game 5-4.