Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Word

Having Alonzo Mourning as the best player on your team was less than ideal for a couple of reasons. The obvious one is that while Mourning was very good, he wasn't that good. He wasn't Hakeem Olajuwon.

The other problem is that Mourning allowed himself mentally to be taken out of games. All Dennis Rodman had to do was some light needling followed by a discreet elbow, and Mourning would go off like Krakatoa (too soon?) and have to go sit down for a while.
I guess a 6'8" dude with parti-colored hair and a lip ring doesn't qualify as a secret weapon, but Rodman brought more than rebounds to the table. He had less tangible skills.

I thought Bryce Harper was past the Alonzo Mourning phase of his career, but these umpires keep getting under his skin.

On Monday, Harper was pretty upset about the strike zone, and he antagonized the umpire to the point that he got ejected while in the dugout with his back turned.

It turned out to be a very brief 86, as moments later Clint Robinson hit a walk-off home run. Harper took time out from celebrating Robinson's triumph to look at the umpire and yell something at him. That something, I regret to inform you, included what is euphemistically referred to as "the Fuck Word." Followed by "you."

It was pretty churlish, and now he's facing a mild suspension. That is not, in my opinion, OK.

Harper is our best player. He is THE best player, and he needs to keep himself on the field. There are two major threats to his participation:
  1. Running into walls like a dumbass
  2. Getting himself thrown out like a dumbass
He managed to tame the first one - he hasn't injured himself through excessive effort in ages. I figured he was beyond the other one as well. Remember last May? He flipped the hell out, got tossed, and let Michael A. Taylor hit the Professor Bacon Bacon Blast of the Week. Shortly afterwards, he got ejected for basically nothing, which should have taught him that picking fights with umpires is no way to win anything.

Look, we all want to yell at umpires. They have undeserved power over things we care about, and they seldom seem worthy of it. But you won't win. I mean, Major League Baseball can win against umpires, but Bryce Harper won't. Soothing your own savage breast by yelling at them is short-sighted and ill-advised. Harper just failed the marshmallow test.

It's best to treat the officials like any other part of the game that's beyond anyone's control, like the weather. You can yell the Fuck Word at the weather, but that's not going to get the wind behind your fly balls.

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