Harper vs. Strickland

By now I am sure everyone has watched what unfolded on Monday night during the Nationals vs. the Giants game. If you are living under a rock, here it is.

 

Okay, so there are quite a few things I want to go over regarding this video.

First, lets take you back to 2014. Game 1 of the NLDS. Hunter Strickland on the mound for the Giants and Bryce Harper at the plate for the Nationals. Take a guess what happens. Buh bye ball. Harper crushes a shot to right field and is amped. Now jump ahead just 3 games later. Strickland is on the mound again and facing Harper in the bottom of the 7th inning. Nationals down a few runs and their season on the line. Harper hits an absolute moon shot! He stands at the plate for a second, which a lot of people think he was being arrogant and you know the whole staring it down thing. In actuality, the ball was hit a long way and it was close to being a foul ball. In my opinion he was waiting to see if it would be fair or foul. After seeing the ball land in the ocean, Harper takes off around the bases. Hunter Strickland staring him down like he just hit on his sister. If you have played baseball before and you hit a home run in a moment like that you’re going to be pumped up. Harper was almost skipping around the bases with joy.

965 days later…..

Hunter Strickland on the mound facing his friend Bryce Harper. 2 outs. Up 2-0 in the 8th inning. A terrible spot to hit any batter. Here comes a 98 mph fastball to Bryce Harpers hip. Lets get one thing straight here. Getting hit by anything traveling 98 mph is going to hurt. Strickland obviously did not forget about Harper launching two baseballs into space on him 3 years ago. Harper’s immediate reaction was pissed. Who wouldn’t be. He pointed his bat toward Strickland waiting to see his response. Of course he just stared at him so the switch flipped and Bryce went hauling ass after him. What transpired next, was pretty embarrassing. The throw away of the helmet was just as bad as 50 cent throwing out the first pitch. I give credit to Harper for going after him. Strickland is no small dude. 6’3 230 pounds is no lightweight. You cant even call it a brawl.  A few jabs were thrown and then a bunch of men grabbing each other and pulling people away. What I thought was the funniest of it all was, it took 3 guys to pull Strickland away and poor Hunter Pence gets his face mushed. It was little much though. Hunter Strickland was all the way to the dugout with 3 people on him and 65 other players between him and Harper and he was still acting like tough man trying to get free.

The next thing I want to talk about is Buster Posey. If you look up any batter charging the mound or an altercation between a batter and pitcher, you immediately see the catcher try to intervene. To at least try and get in between the batter so he doesn’t rip the pitchers head off. A great example of that is when A-rod caught a fat lip from Jason Varitek’s catchers mitt. After watching the fight several times, I couldn’t help but to notice Buster Posey sitting behind home plate not moving a muscle. Posey didn’t move from his spot until the benches were already over the foul lines. Who are you stopping at that point? The only person you’re getting to is the bench coach who is just strolling on the field to stretch his legs. Now here is the real question. Did Buster Posey know that Strickland was going to plunk him? Even if he didn’t, Buster has to at least attempt to look like he is sticking up for his teammate. I don’t care if you don’t like the guy, you try and step in between them. Have a conversation in the clubhouse and smack the shit out of him behind closed doors for not getting over home runs hit 3 years ago. If Strickland were to hit every batter that’s hit a home run off him, he would reach his pitch count. Five times. Where I come from, your teammates are your brothers. Even if you don’t like them. When you are on the field and wearing the same jersey, that’s your boy. He said in his post game comments “those are some big boys out there.” Come onnn man.

How can you be upset with Harper for charging the mound? What a lot of people don’t get is, a baseball is a weapon. Any way you look at it, its a weapon. To throw it at someone as fast as you can is not right. Bryce Harper should have taken that helmet and squared it up right between the eyes of Strickland. Even then, it wouldn’t have been equal. I applaud him for just wanting to use his fist to even the score. I wish he would have straight up tomb stoned his ass right there on the mound. Then on the way back to the dug out, signal for a beer and crush it on the way down the tunnel. That would have made that weak ass fight so much better.

 

To suspend Harper 4 games and Strickland 6 games is a joke. If you break it down that’s a total of 3 innings missed for Strickland (which the Giants are probably better off) and that would be 32 innings and approximately 16-20 at bats for Harper. That’s HUGE! A guy of that caliber missing that amount of time because of someone hurling a fastball at him is wrong. The MLB needs to be way more strict with these types of things. Its not right or fair for a pitcher to deliberately chuck a baseball at someone that could potentially cause damage (see Giancarlo Stanton), and only have to miss 3 lousy innings. This was clearly intentional and the league needs to really crack down on this. All of these other sports are so concerned for player safety. The MLB took away the collisions at the plate, the slide rule at second base, but yet you can fire baseballs at someone as fast as you can. Don’t get me wrong, batters are hit all the time, but not intentionally! There is a difference. For Strickland to sit there and say the ball got away from him is a joke. Let him stand up there with a bat in his hand and take a 98 mph fast ball to the hip. Wouldn’t striking the guy out just feel so much better than making yourself look like a jackass? Hunter Strickland gets the ass hat of the day.

 

Lets take a look back at the “best” brawls of baseball. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The greatest 4 words in all of sports… Pitchers and Catchers report!

Its that time of the year again! February 12th through the 15th all pitchers and catchers report to duty with their respective teams. Position players to report February 17th through the 20th. Just under 2 weeks before we get to pound beers and roast in the heat of the sun. Whether you are in Arizona or Florida, there is no better time of the year. Except for opening day.  Time to put down the cheeseburgers and get your asses in shape boys. While all you Northerns are buried up to your belly buttons in snow, folks down here in the south will soak up all the Vitamin D for you. Whether you’re getting drunk and stealing foul balls from the kid 2 seats over, or laying out on the berm and heckling the guys that you know won’t make the opening day roster, spring training baseball is a beautiful thing. I will be breaking down each division through out the spring to give my opinion on what will happen this 2017 season. I get excited for opening day and the baseball season every year just to be let down by the time August comes. Thank you Tampa Bay Rays. We can only hope that this year is as exciting as 2016 was! Cheers to cheap tickets, cold beers, no name autographs, and most importantly baseball being back!!

 

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