Bryce Harper Sacked by the LBS Nut Bag for Blowing Pitcher Kiss After Home Run

Bryce Harper is a wildly talented ballplayer, someone who’s beautiful swing and natural power rivals that of Josh Hamilton. He has the rare talent to be able to hit four home runs in a single junior college game. When you’re as good as he is, your bat does your talking. Unfortunately the immature and cocky youngster thinks he needs to prove his worth with on-field taunts, which is quite frankly, sad.

Harper bashed his 14th home run of the season for the Hagerstown Suns Monday evening and felt the need to show up the opposing pitcher. Harper admired his home run and then when opposing pitcher Zach Neal said something to him about it, Harper responded with an air kiss. Here’s the video of Bryce Harper pimping his home run then blowing a kiss:

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Bryce Harper’s Kind of a Tool

Bryce Harper’s athletic ability is obviously through the roof.  Anyone who has as much buzz surrounding them as he does at such a young age must have something going for them.  However, if his ejection video and Stephen Strasburg’s comments toward him are any indication, he’s not the most likable prospect in baseball right now.

Now that D.C. Sports Bog has provided us with a couple of Bryce Harper mohawk pictures, I just think he’s a complete tool.  Am I judging him prematurely before knowing much about him at all?  Yeah, probably.  But that’s what most people do.  It’s certainly what I do.  Lose the attitude — definitely lose the fohawk — and I just might reconsider.

Photo Credit: D.C. Sports Bog

Strasburg Throws Heat at Bryce Harper

Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper could easily become the faces of the Washington Nationals for many years to come if they live up to the hype that has surrounded them already.  Despite giving Nationals fans a slight scare with his shoulder problem this season, Strasburg has already exceeded expectations.  The 17-year-old Harper, on the other hand, has yet to sign with Washington while a deadline of midnight on Monday looms.

Considering Scott Boras represents both Strasburg and Harper, we might expect Strasburg to be supportive of Harper’s contract situation.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.  Here are the strong words Strasburg had for Harper when asked if he had any advice for the 17-year-old, courtesy of the Washington Post:

I don’t have any advice for him,” Strasburg said. “It’s his decision. If he wants to play here, he’s going to play here. He doesn’t need advice from anyone to confirm his views. If he doesn’t want to play here, then we don’t want him here. That’s the bottom line.”

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Stephen A. Smith Pulls Race Card When Discussing Bryce Harper

What do the two above athletes have in common?  They both passed up some form of higher-level education to pursue a career as professional athletes.  What does the athlete on the left lack in common with the one on the right?  Race.  According to Stephen A. Smith, that’s a very significant factor in examining the way the public portrays 17-year-old phenom Bryce Harper.

By now we all know what Harper is capable of physically. We also know a bit about the type of person he is — or at least that he has a pretty brutal temper from what we can see.  What some of us may not have thought about yet is any racial implications that go along with the way we look at the future Nationals superstar.  Cue Stephen A. Smith, who isn’t exactly the most respected analyst in the industry and I’m still not sure I can agree with his latest rant.  In his article for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Smith refers to all the buzz and positive coverage surrounding Harper as a “clear case of hypocrisy.”  Like many professional athletes have done in the past, Harper has foregone higher education by dropping out of high school to to get his GED, which has allowed the road to Major League Baseball to shorten.

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Harper, Strasburg Are The New Faces of the Washington Nationals

It’s no surprise that the Washington Nationals chose 17-year-old prodigy Bryce Harper with the first overall draft pick on Tuesday, but it was exciting to finally see it happen. Last year, the Nats chose pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the same pick and he’s already set to make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. If you’re a Nationals fan, you have a couple of legitimate reasons to be excited about the future. Heck, if you’re a Washington sports fan in general we gave you a list of reasons why you should be optimistic just a few weeks ago.

I think it’s awesome how Harper and Strasburg have yet to play a game for the Nats and they’re already becoming the faces of the franchise. The only concern could be that these two kids will have a lot of pressure looming over their heads. I’m personally not concerned because I believe this duo is phenomenal, but making the majors is something that every little league player dreams of. When it finally happens, there’s added pressure to be the best — especially when people are already calling you the best.

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The Bad Side of Bryce Harper

We’ve talked about the good side of MLB prospect Bryce Harper, like when he went 6-for-6 with four home runs in a game. Unfortunately, it’s been well documented that the 17-year-old phenom also has a bad side, that being his cocky attitude. This side was clearly on display Wednesday at the JUCO World Series when Harper got tossed for showing up an umpire. Here’s the Bryce Harper ejection video:

In an April article on Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein had these cautionary words about Harper:

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Bryce Harper Goes 6-for-6 with Four Home Runs and 10 RBIs

Washington D.C. sports fans have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future. The Redskins made strong additions, the Wizards won the lottery, the Caps have Ovechkin, and the Nats may end up with the top pitching and catching prospects in all of baseball. Already with last year’s top pick pitcher Stephen Strasburg dominating in the minors, the Nats will have the top pick in this year’s draft and will likely take 17-year-old catching phenom Bryce Harper who was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. With the kind of gaudy statistics Harper’s been posting at the College of Southern Nevada, it will be hard (not to mention idiotic) to pass him up.

Harper had already hit for the cycle on Friday before busting out again on Saturday. With his team losing earlier in the day on Saturday in the double elimination tournament, they had to beat Central Arizona in order to advance to the Junior College World Series. Bryce used his bat to ensure his team’s season wouldn’t come to an end. Aided by 45mph winds, Bryce Harper went 6-for-6 with four home runs, a triple, a double and 10 RBIs. His team won the game 25-11 as the squads combined for 10 home runs in the second game. Proving how much of an impact the wind had on the scores, Central Arizona won the first game 21-14 and the teams combined to hit 11 home runs.

Even with the winds blowing out and aiding the offenses, you still have to square the ball up well and get some air under it to hit four home runs in a game. Think about it — 6-for-6 with 10 RBIs? That’s the type of stats you only get in video games — if you’re lucky. I know Bryce won’t be seeing 45mph winds blowing out of the stadium at Nationals Park in D.C. but I’m sure his 29 home runs in 62 games will translate well. It’s exciting times in D.C. and I’m looking forward to seeing their future stars play. And once again, the Bryce Harper legend continues to grow.

Harper lifts CSN to Junior College World Series [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
Bryce Harper and Nyjer Morgan Show Promise, Petulance of Nationals [The Sporting Blog]