Nationals send Ozzie Guillen autographed Bryce Harper bat as a joke
Ozzie Guillen‘s epic and pedantic fuss over the amount of pine tar on Bryce Harper‘s bat on Sunday was perhaps the highlight of the weekend. The Nationals accused Ozzie of trying to intimidate the 19-year-old Harper. Ozzie said Harper was being “unprofessional,” while seemingly becoming the first person to make a big stink over pine tar since Billy Martin. But, come Tuesday, everything was all forgiven, thanks in part to a prank that helped bring levity to the conflict.
Not too long after Ozzie made his fuss, the Nationals felt like getting under the Marlins’ skipper’s skin even more. Nats first baseman Adam LaRoche had Harper, without knowing LaRoche’s intentions, sign a bat for him, after which LaRoche inscribed, “To my hero, Ozzie, love you,” next to the autograph. The Nats then smeared pine tar all over the bat and had it delivered to Guillen.
If you thought Guillen flipped his lid in another one of his patented hissy fits, you’d be mistaken. He actually loved it.
“It was funny,” Guillen said, according to MLB.com. “I’ve got a few friends on their side. All those guys were making fun of me. I found out later they made the kid sign the bat. They put the rest.”
Guillen went on to clarify that, despite what happened on Sunday, he’s got nothing but love for Harper.
“To make this thing clear, I don’t have anything against the kid,” Guillen said. “I don’t. Whatever happened, happened. Whatever I say, I say. Whatever my reaction was, it was. But I think this kid is going to be good for the game. No doubt. This kid is very good. We need players like that to come out and play the game right. That’s good. I think what he did, maybe he did because he’s a kid. I hope he learned from that.”
Somebody got mad at somebody else. The problem got resolved. Now everybody loves each other again. It’s like an episode of “Full House.”