PHILADELPHIA – Bryce Harper, the undisputed face of the Philadelphia Phillies, is one player who will make his thoughts known when arguing a questionable decision. It just so happens that this time, he argued with an umpire whose career’s mostly been highlighted by strange and polemical calls.
Angel Hernandez Is Already In Postseason Form
MLB umpire Angel Hernandez did not hesitate to eject Harper when he blasted him over a checked swing call that resulted in a strikeout rather than a walk during a 3-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. Did Harper go away quietly after the dismissal? Not exactly. Instead, he decided to march back to the dugout and toss his helmet into the stands where a 10-year-old fan retreived and later had it signed by the slugger himself.
The ironic part here is that Harper was in the right for arguing with such a horrendous call and Hernandez was having none of it. Philly fans aided in the first basemen’s defense by raining down boos to let the officiating crew know that they had a bad apple in their ranks. Harper also made his feelings known postgame when reporters fired off questions regarding the encounter.
“It’s just bad all around”, Harper stated, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Grinding in an at-bat against a guy I’ve never faced before. I get to a 3-2 count and take a slider down and in. I obviously didn’t go and wasn’t even thinking about it in that situation. I was taking my stuff off and heard the crowd’s reaction and was like there’s no way”.
“Angel in the middle of something again. It’s every year, it’s the same story, same thing. I’m probably going to get a letter from (MLB executive) Michael Hill. And I’m going to get fined for being right, again. It’s the same thing over and over again. It’s just not right”. At this point, you could basically label Hernandez’s calls as Groundhog Day because it may be a different game but it’s always the same outcome.
Not the first time for Phillies’ Bryce Harper
The ejection on Thursday night was Harper’s fourth of the season but fortunately, it was the Phillies’ last regular-season home game at Citizens Bank Ballpark. Not to mention, the Phillies are all set for the 2023 postseason so the toss means nothing.
Harper’s absence during the first stretch of this campaign wasn’t enough to stop him from carving out a .296 batting average and a .905 OPS while smashing 21 round-trippers.
The Phils have secured the top Wild Card spot heading into the playoffs and at a current record of 89-69, they could very well go the distance and bring home a World Series title which would be their first since 2009.
AP Photo/Sue OgrockI