Monday, June 17, 2024
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Bryce Harper gets ejected in the middle of first inning, insinuates umpire Brian Walsh isn’t a ‘professional’

The Philadelphia Phillies lost, 3-2, in 11 innings in Coors Field on Friday night. They still have the best record in baseball at 37-15, but this one stings since they had a 2-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Also, they went to extras without one of their best players. 

In fact, they played nearly the entire game without Bryce Harper, as he was ejected in the middle of the first inning. He struck out swinging to conclude the top of the first. During his at-bat, strike two was a called strike in the low-and-inside portion of the zone. It appears that Harper potentially had an issue with the call and let home plate umpire Brian Walsh know. 

And Walsh ended up tossing him. Check it out:

As always, we have to keep in mind that we can’t hear exactly what was being said back and forth, but it sure seems like a tame exchange before Harper is given the heave ho. He seemed pretty emphatic with his reaction that he didn’t think he deserved to be gone. What was done was done, though, and Harper got an early trip to the showers. 

After the game, Harper said the following (via Amy Fadool Kane on NBC Sports Philadelphia): 

“Bummed. I wasn’t trying to get thrown out. Was just having a conversation. There are guys who are professionals in this league. They understand it. I guess 120 didn’t understand it.”  

The “120” that Harper is referencing is Walsh’s umpire jersey number. He’s not a long-time umpire, hence the high number. Friday’s game in Coors Field is Walsh’s 109th career MLB game and 23rd behind the plate. Perhaps there was a disconnect in the conversation due to the unfamiliarity between Harper and Walsh. 

Crew chief Vic Carapazza provided a pool report after the game (via Alex Coffey) about Walsh, Harper and the ejection. 

“What led to the ejection was that Bryce Harper was clearly upset about the pitches and Brian gave him a long leash,” Carapazza said. “He kept him in the game, and Bryce just kept arguing about balls and strikes and, at the end of the day, equipment violation is basically a big warning and, if you continue to talk about pitches, then Brian had to handle it. So that’s it, really.” 

The equipment violation would be Harper slamming down his helmet in frustration after the strikeout. Carapazza added the following:

“We keep it really simple. It’s just arguing pitches and we will send a detailed report in tomorrow, send it to the league and then we go from there, but, for us, it’s a general balls-and-strikes and that’s it.” 

Regardless, Harper got ejected in the first inning and the Phillies lost in 11. The Rockies host the Phillies again on Saturday.

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