Those who were expecting Bryce Harper to produce nonstop quotes mixed in with a solid amount of controversy once he got called up to the big leagues have been extremely disappointed. Harper has said and done all the right things since joining the Nationals. That is, if you ask anyone besides Ozzie Guillen. The Marlins manager was furious with Harper on Sunday but would not say what had him so fired up after the game.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Ozzie “spewed a torrent of profanity” toward Harper in the fourth inning and complained to umpires that the rookie was applying pine tar above the label of his bat, which would be illegal.
“First time, it’s going to stay between us,” Guillen said after the game. “I could have said a lot of (stuff) about this kid. I’ve been praising this kid like everyday. The last three times they asked me about him, the only thing I said was he’s a great player. What he did (today) was unprofessional. I’m not going to tell you guys what he did because I’m not going to be talking about it on ESPN, Baseball Tonight, what happened again. I’ll just leave it like that. I’ll talk to his manager in a little while.”
Before Harper lined out to third in his first at-bat, Guillen was complaining to the umpiring crew about the pine tar. As he strolled to the plate for his next at-bat, Ozzie began screaming at Harper and motioning toward him with a bat.
“I was just telling (Harper) how cute he was,” Guillen said. “Something happened there the inning before and I didn’t like it and I was talking to the umpire about it.”
Naturally, Bryce had nothing but good things to say about the opposing manager.
“He battles for his team, and that’s the type of manager Ozzie is,” Harper said. “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Harper changed his bat after Ozzie complained, but that he doesn’t think putting pine tar a half an inch above the label is a big deal even if that is what happened. He chalked it up to Guillen “trying to intimidate my player.” Sounds like another case of Ozzie being Ozzie, which we have seen plenty of over the years.
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