Just three days after he was benched for not hustling down the line on a weak ground ball, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper chose to dog it down the line once again on Tuesday night. Unlike the first time, Harper actually proceeded through the first base bag instead of peeling off toward the dugout. He still gave far less than 100% effort.
Harper, who was dropped to sixth in the lineup by Nationals manager Matt Williams, hit a ground ball to second base and nonchalantly made his way to first. The way he ran out the grounder was hardly uncommon, but you would think he’d make it a point to hustle now that he has been so heavily scrutinized.
Suddenly, the 21-year-old Harper has gone from a player who plays so hard in the outfield he is described as reckless to somebody who doesn’t hustle down the line. Is the quad injury he has been nursing still bothering him? If you read the accusations a Washington Post writer threw around earlier this week, it will certainly make you scratch your head.