"Bryce Harper Calls Out Nationals Fans"! Can you believe it?
You shouldn't because he didn't. A journalist asked him a question about the ambiance at Nationals Park. He responded honestly, and that gave all the writers an opportunity to shriek and jump and down and get lots of clicks because of all the delicious outrage. So congratulations to everyone involved - you're all credits to your profession.
“I mean, they left in the seventh, so that’s pretty brutal. I don’t know. Whatever.”
Sounds pretty reasonable to me, and keep in mind that this was in response to a question. It's not like he called Mean Gene Okerlund over and started bellowing into his mic about fair-weather fans.
I particularly agree with the part where Harper said, "I don't know. Whatever." That's exactly right, because this whole thing is dumb. Are Nats fans not good at being fans? It's possible. But it doesn't matter.
Being a good fan has no moral dimension to it. "Good fan" and "good person" are not the same thing. They don't even overlap. If you want to leave the game in the seventh, go right ahead. Maybe you have something better to do. Maybe you're in right field melting into a sunburned puddle. The risk is that you will be looked down upon by people who think spending two hundred bucks on a jersey and being willing to overturn a car should the Nats win a World Series are indications of good character.
I can understand that Harper would prefer to play in front of an enthusiastic crowd. It's just that it doesn't matter. It's like Drew Storen's desire to close - we can't all get everything we want, and we can't concern ourselves with everything everyone else wants.
At the same time, it's silly to condemn Harper for stating a reasonable desire in such a mild, unassuming way. "What a punk!" cry the comments. And, yeah, Harper is a punk. It's just that this in no way a demonstration of that.
But all this is fiddling while Rome burns. The Nats blew it yesterday, as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you. Scherzer has been exhausted, and the bullpen's bad enough that, when combined with the acumen of Manager of the Year Matt Williams, there's no lead it can't blow.
Nero didn't really fiddle while Rome burned, they tell us. He performed a poem about the sack of Troy. I don't understand the objections to this. It was thematically appropriate, and what was he supposed to do? Run out there with a bucket?