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June 7, 2011

Tater Trot Tracker

Bryce Harper Blows Kisses During His Tater Trot

by Larry Granillo

Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals uber-prospect, hit his 14th home run of the season last night for the Hagerstown Suns. Apparently he appreciated the opposing pitcher's role in the home run so much that he blew him kisses as he approached home plate. That's all that was, right? Appreciation?

Sadly, the video is edited in such a way that I can't get a tater trot time for Mr. Harper and his mustache. I can say that it took Harper over four seconds before he stopped watching the home run and began jogging. Even the worst offenders in the big leagues rarely stare a ball down that long. My guess is that this trot ended up in the 24- to 25-second range (he moved pretty fast once he started moving).

The real question is this: which is the bigger star of this video, Harper's blown kisses or that mustache? It's closer than you think.

39 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Dan

That was painful to watch

Jun 07, 2011 05:18 AM
rating: 0
 
tomterp

He's got a thin skin, and he's being baited by opposing teams relentlessly. Still, a reminder that it's more than his offensive prowess that will dictate when he progresses to the next level. His defense, and his maturity, also need further development.

Jun 07, 2011 06:25 AM
rating: 1
 
dwinning

Wow, hope he's ready to get plunked.

Jun 07, 2011 06:29 AM
rating: 0
 
gilgamesh

Oh, look: Jeff Kent's moustache AND personality!

Jun 07, 2011 06:52 AM
rating: 15
 
slackerjake

I can't stop thinking of Schneider..one day at a time, one day at a time...

Jun 08, 2011 08:34 AM
rating: 0
 
Nealcp
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

simply...what a dickhead...I'd never, as a rule, wish ill of any player but...some sort of season ending (or career threatening?!) injury would sure be a "shame" wouldn't it?...Love, Crash Davis

Jun 07, 2011 07:08 AM
rating: -11
 
mrdannyg

It is pretty painful watching this guy, and his mustache. I'm really amazed that someone who people are talking about in the context of being potentially the best player in the game for many years would be acting so hypercompetitively against Low-A competition. It is a big plus to his makeup that he isn't taking the competition lightly, but has to be a big minus if he is using any brainpower towards humiliating Low-A pitchers or sparking brawls.

I don't know why I wrote all that, it isn't news to anyone.

For a disgusting mustache, he is doing a pretty good job with it.

Jun 07, 2011 07:12 AM
rating: 0
 
tonyfranco

Don't we really know the context of the match-up. Was he thrown at earlier, did the pitcher do something to prompt the response, etc...

I agree that Harper needs to be humbled some, something that is bound to happen. But people need to cut him some slack.

Jun 07, 2011 07:32 AM
rating: 0
 
antonsirius

It looked like the pitcher might have said something to him as he rounded third... of course, the pitcher's probably jawing because of how long Harper admired his shot before he started trotting.

I'd certainly rather see him blowing kisses than flipping the bird though.

Jun 07, 2011 08:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BrewersTT

He got knocked out of the previous game by an HBP, but I don't know whether anything happened in this game beyond jawing. My guess is he will temper this kind of stuff, whether he gets plunked or not. He's a cocky teenager. That will probably mature soon into confident young adult.

Jun 07, 2011 07:43 AM
rating: 1
 
Luke

There seems to be significant double standard with regards to "professional conduct" for baseball and all other professional sports. If this was done in a football or basketball game it would be applauded and celebrated, not met with offense and derision. He's a professional entertainer. He's creating a spectacle. He's creating a show. It may not be opera, but it's entertainment.

To get this out there, I'm a baseball fan. It's my sport. I like the no-nonsense staid professionalism of a guy like Jim Thome. I'm just saying that I don't like people treating baseball like it's the only civilized game while all other sports get free passes.

Jun 07, 2011 07:48 AM
rating: 5
 
dianagram

But Harper, unlike Bonds, Sosa, Reggie and other baseball "entertainers" hasn't EARNED THE RIGHT to watch his homers and blow kisses. Harper hasn't done ANYTHING yet, comparatively.

Jun 07, 2011 07:59 AM
rating: 0
 
krusch

Just curious - any chance that ball was right down the line? If it was certainly fair and he stood there admiring it, then that's bad. But if it was a question of fair-or-foul, lots of guys stand there and see if they need to jog or get ready for the next pitch.

Jun 07, 2011 07:58 AM
rating: 0
 
antonsirius

To me it looks like he's staring out to right-center, not down the line.

Jun 07, 2011 08:53 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie

+1 for Luke, -1 for Diana (my browser won't let me actually do it).

Either there's nothing really wrong with it, and so Harper also gets to do it. Or it is wrong, and you don't 'earn' the right to be an A-hole by being better at something than other people. No more than you earn the right to not run out groundballs or take your turn with the press.

Probably more important team-wise that a star sticks to the rules. Earl Weaver thought so. As Bill James has pointed out, when the guy making the most money starts cutting corners, pretty soon everyone starts cutting those same corners.

Jun 07, 2011 08:09 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Richie .... you are right.

I'm not saying I LIKE when guys admire their homers or show up pitchers, but its worse when someone with no track record does it.

Jun 07, 2011 08:12 AM
rating: 0
 
teeceli

Can't see the video anymore

Jun 07, 2011 08:39 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

I keep thinking of Walter Payton: Act like you've been there before.

Jun 07, 2011 08:55 AM
rating: 0
 
mymrbig

I imagine he won't be doing that once he reaches the majors. Can you imagine the reaction of a Pedro (in his prime) or Clemens or Randy Johnson to something like that? Pedro would have tackled him or thrown a fastball at his head, Clemens would have thrown 4 straight under his chin, and RJ would have thrown a slider at his head that ended up being a called strike.

Jun 07, 2011 08:55 AM
rating: 1
 
dwinning

More importantly, when he gets to the bigs, his own teammates won't tolerate that kind of thing.

Jun 07, 2011 09:07 AM
rating: 2
 
ttt

What if the pitcher was talking to him during the at bat and telling him how terrible he was and how he would never hit him? Harper may be a jerk (and probably is), but he just did the equivalent of putting one in the pitcher's ear hole - a massive bomb.

Jun 07, 2011 09:00 AM
rating: 0
 
gjhardy

Wonder if his teammates enjoy getting plunked? That would be the way I would send the message. Then the Suns could take care of business in-house.

Jun 07, 2011 09:15 AM
rating: -1
 
hyprvypr

This is great! Life would be boring without a-holes with horrific mustaches blowing kisses after they homered in some low-A ball game and taking thirty seconds to run it out. He's committed about five US sins in this one video:

1. Lack of style(mustaches are finished!)
2. Lack of hustle
3. Lack of humility
4. Lack of sportsmanship
5. Lack of an accompanying beard. In fourteen states in the US it's a felony crime to have a bad mustache and no beard.

Jun 07, 2011 09:44 AM
rating: 4
 
Peter7899

That mustache says one thing. "Yeah this looks horrendous, but I'm still awesome enough to rock it."

Jun 07, 2011 10:01 AM
rating: 1
 
Peter7899

Wasn't Ryan Zimmerman playing in this game?

Jun 07, 2011 09:55 AM
rating: 0
 
Karl T

At this point, Harper does not belong in Low-A ball. Does nothing for his growth, it is bad for both teams, there is no one there to demonstrate some leadership over him. Let him face some tougher pitching in AA and work through an extended slump or two.
He says the right things in interviews but clearly demonstrates some immaturity on the diamond (whether the other team is goading him into it or not). He will learn. Hell, in this league you can drive around drunk all day, talk back to cops, and beat your significant other as long as you have a 1.000 OPS.

Jun 07, 2011 10:27 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt

I'm sorry, but the truly offensive thing here is the mustache. I hope he matures enough to shave it.

Jun 07, 2011 11:31 AM
rating: 1
 
Ian Miller

I'm already tired of the shows of righteous indignance from the entire blogospehere that greet Bryce Harper's every perceived misstep. He seems like a cocky prick, but the armchair enforcers who want to "teach him a lesson" offend me far more.

Don't make me defend Bryce Harper. Please.

Jun 07, 2011 11:50 AM
rating: 4
 
ostrowj1

Yes. I will start caring when (if) he chucks a bat at an umpire.

Jun 07, 2011 12:24 PM
rating: 4
 
jj0501

You know at this point he's acting like the obnoxious beer
league slow pitch softball slugger who laughs in your face
when he hits it out and slams the bat against the water
cooler when makes an out. His physical abilities are just ahead of his emotional growth. MLB needs his talent, let's
hope he gets things under control.

Jun 07, 2011 11:57 AM
rating: 0
 
Dan W.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that Harper isn't the only young adult/teenager involved. It's not like the pitcher is 35 years old and coming at it from the same perspective as some of the commenters here. It's also not like Harper put his hand to his mouth and blew a kiss at the guy; that puckering gesture is a pretty common one on basketball courts, soccer fields, etc. these days -- which isn't to say it isn't rude, just not atypical, and probably not as offensive to the pitcher as one might be imagining.

Jun 07, 2011 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
Mike V.
(596)

Is it okay to pose and admire a walkoff homer? I really don't know the rules.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15594767&topic_id=9674738&c_id=mlb

I think Pujols is being even more inappropriate since the Cubs' bullpen is actually worse than what Harper has to face in Low-A.

Jun 07, 2011 13:03 PM
rating: 5
 
Mike V.
(596)

If a hitter watches his home run for a few seconds, the logical thing to do is retaliate? Retaliate for what? A pitcher gets paid money to throw baseballs, he does it poorly, and then his feelings get sooo hurt that he needs to retaliate physically? How mature is the pitcher's response?

In other sports, smack-talking and showboating is bad because it unnecessarily motivates the other team. It doesn't justify cheap-shotting or trying to hurt the culprits.

It's weird that baseball's unwritten rules seemingly demand such courteous conduct yet at the same time accept the immediate "hurt their players" retaliation as the logical follow up.

Jun 07, 2011 13:51 PM
rating: 3
 
amazin_mess

We have no idea what the pitcher said. Harper was being a douche but I would bet the pitcher was too.

Jun 07, 2011 16:24 PM
rating: 2
 
carlbrownson

Two things:

1) I believe that there was a previous incident between the teams that led to this. Which is to say that I don't think he's just deciding to show up lo-A lifer Biff McGraw for the embarrassment of it: there was bad blood.

2) I actually think that this kind of, well, emotion, bodes well for his career, not badly for it. You cannot say that this kid doesn't care, or that he's not up for a good fight. That is a good quality if you want to end up with an all-time great baseball player. Not all such players are unconditionally "nice" to their opponents.

Jun 07, 2011 20:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Duranimal

Weird, in other sports, I hate show boats, but baseball needs this. The players have become too clubby.

Jun 08, 2011 07:28 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Cartwright

Things we know as facts:
1. The night before, Harper was hit by a pitch on the thigh and left the game
2. Harper hits a home run the next day
3. Harper blows a kiss to the pitcher while rounding the bases

My conjecture as to what might have happened, but we couldn't hear

Harper hits homer, looks at it a bit
Tells pitcher to "Take that!"
Pitcher tells Harper to "Kiss my a**"
Harper blows kiss back at pitcher

Jun 08, 2011 15:57 PM
rating: 2
 
Brian Cartwright

and what's wrong with a mustache? I've had mine since 8th grade.

Jun 08, 2011 15:58 PM
rating: 0
 
TADontAsk

Yes, but you obviously earned yours.

Jun 09, 2011 07:12 AM
rating: 2
 
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<< Previous Article
Future Shock: The 2011... (06/06)
<< Previous Column
Tater Trot Tracker: Tr... (06/07)
Next Column >>
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Premium Article Divide and Conquer, NL... (06/07)

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