Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kiss with a fist....

This is the first of what I hope to be three posts today,the others will look at the first two or three picks by the Pirates and Indians in the draft.

However,it is time to weigh in on Mr.Bryce Harper,since it seems the net is booming with opinions on the "kiss" thrown by Hagerstown Suns outfielder Bryce Harper to Greensboro pitcher Zachary Neal on Monday night after crushing a pitch to deep right center off Neal.
I like to think that I have a special perspective on this being that I was one of the couple hundred attendees of what turned out to be a great game.
I saw the first inning strikeout of Harper by Neal on an admittedly borderline pitch and I didn't see Neal do anything and if he did-Harper never saw him because he was grousing to the umpire.

When Harper smashed the ball from the field of play,he cartwheeled his bat,stood in the box watching it fly and then strutted around the bases.
Neal was talking to the umpire about the showboating,I never saw him look at Harper and then the umpire chased Harper around the bases as he either A-Gave him some grief or B wanted to be position to break things up if they got close to physical.
The Herald Mail claims that Neal could have started it with a kiss of his own on the first inning fan,but I saw no such thing.
Of course,the Herald Mail has been kissing Harper's ass for the last two months,why start with any possible issues now?

In my opinion,this hissy fit all goes on Bryce Harper.
However,I am not suggesting any punishment for this incident.
This goes on all the time and only gets attention when a prospect of high notoriety takes part and I think Grant Dayton of Greensboro zipping the first pitch of his next appearance by Harper's ear was more than enough in return.
What I do think that it does is show the immaturity of Harper that has been shown all year at various points and that can only be dealt with by the parent Washington Nationals.
The Hagerstown Suns can do very little about any issue involving players and I have "heard" (Hearsay) that the team has received complaints about his behavior,but I have no direct knowledge or verification of these rumors,although watching him blow off a season ticket holder with one item to sign (Not an autograph regular either) that was standing by herself and refusing to even acknowledge her presence after a game ranks as one of the rudest things I have seen in years here.

Before anyone claims that this is an autograph issue-Full Disclosure.
I have never talked to,approached or asked Bryce Harper for anything ever.
I have never met the young man,but I have observed behavior that crosses the line,especially early in the season on a kids day that set a clearly poor example,especially in a small park like the Muni,where one can hear the players almost like they are next to you.
The Washington Nationals have a choice- they can crack down on this now or they can watch it spiral out of control and no,I don't want to hear about how National big leaguers will take care of this in due time.
They had chances in spring training and apparently did nothing about Harper's arrogance

Talent wise,Bryce Harper is (in my opinion) the most talented hitter in the history of the Hagerstown Suns.
He has star written all over him-talent wise and I admire the way he plays the game.
Hustle is part of his game and he always busts his hump,but the attitude needs some work and the sooner that the Nationals work on this,the more likely any instruction will hit home.

Sometimes,there really is more to learn in the minor leagues than just playing the game.
Here is hoping that maturity is another gift that the minors can give to Bryce Harper....

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