You’d have a tough time saying Bryce Harper has lived up to expectations this season. Missing games for a hand injury that has apparently sapped his power, he is certainly not playing like a superstar, hitting .249/.335/.363 on the season.
Since the All Star break, a respectable line of .256/.363/.359 means he’s producing more than most realize. But the lack of power, playing time, and overall numbers are still a disappointment.
Couple that with a few big controversies and Bryce has really disappointed some fans. Then the other night happened. Bryce dragged his foot across the Atlanta A, and after it was over, you may officially add me to the list of disappointed fans.
Disappointed, of course, because he denied doing it on purpose! This was Bryce’s opportunity. He’s gonna get jeered wherever he goes. Might as well play the heel.
Bryce is going to be a great player, I have no doubt about it. But after his past transgressions – horrible things like wearing eye black and speaking his mind, it doesn’t matter how good he gets, some fans will never like him.
I say embrace it! He’d make the best villain, and even if that means other people would root against the Nats, who cares? It’s something that will generate controversy and most likely fire up the Nationals fanbase.
I’m more of a baseball traditionalist, but this is a chance too juicy to pass up. Besides the overall silliness of this “event” it’s against the Braves! They are the Nats rivals and the self-appointed baseball police, attempting to prevent players from crossing home plate after hitting home runs incorrectly. There is no better team to do this to!
The Braves went so far as to start a twitter hashtag about this:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 10, 2014
If the Braves players did this to the Nats, there would be Nats fans upset. But I’d hope there wouldn’t be some sort of attempt at a social media campaign against it, because it’s not upsetting, it’s silly. The closest thing to a social media blitz I’d want from @nationals is a #whocares campaign. I’d mostly be upset that our player didn’t think of that grade A trolling first, not that someone on the Braves did it.
As all time heel Reggie Jackson once said “Fans don’t boo nobodies.” Bryce is a big deal, and if you hadn’t noticed, he was getting booed before any foot dragging incident. He could very much be a modern day Reggie, who, by the way, has a plaque in the Hall of Fame to go with his 2 MVP trophies and his 4 World Series rings.
And for those who say “Bryce hasn’t earned it yet”, that makes it even better! They’ll be pissed off even more, as they keep imagining that Reggie Jackson was some demure kitten his first couple of seasons.
So add me to the list of those disappointed in Bryce – disappointed he didn’t own up to the act. Whether he tells the media he did it because he hates the Braves, because he thinks the A is lame, because he wants everyone to know who he thinks the best team is – whatever. It’s time for him to totally take on that role of heel, and let the other fans hate him. Because they’re gonna do it anyway, and it will get Nats fans more charged up.