Bryce Harper turns 18 in October, so it stands to reason that he'll act with a lack of maturity sometimes.
No amount of talent — or money, once he signs with the Washington Nationals after being drafted No. 1 overall next week as expected — will change that.
Harper, in a moment he should want to take back, non-verbally complained to an umpire about a called third-strike and got himself ejected from a Junior College World Series game on Wednesday night.
After being rung up, Harper drew a line in the batter's box, as if to tell the ump that the pitch was outside.
Well, that kind of passive aggression does not stand. Harper might have been better off yelling his disapproval, because the umpire tossed him from the game immediately.
Because it's his second ejection of the season, Harper will automatically be suspended for two games, as per NJCAA rules.
And unless Southern Nevada goes on an unexpected run without its Babe Ruth in the lineup and he returns later in the tournament, Harper's college career is over.
From Jonathan Mayo's minor league blog:
The immediate reaction, of course, has been to see this as another part in the history of Bryce Harper being a hot-head, or that it points to his bad makeup. I'm not saying he should've done it — arguing balls and strikes is always a risk — but it seems to me that the umpire had a fairly quick trigger, especially in a JUCO World Series game.
Don't believe me? Well, thanks to the beauty of YouTube, you can see for yourself.
Like the man says:
I wish the video was edited better. It's too quick on the fade-ins and outs.
But, there's one detail to notice.
Not only did Harper "draw" a line in the dirt, he seemed to get some dust on the ump via his bat swipe. Was it intentional? No idea. But it's tantamount to kicking dirt on the umpire, so even though the ump might have gone Frank Drebin/Hollywood a little on strike three, I can't blame him for tossing Harper.
Further, it's a reach to say this incident is proof that Harper has a bad attitude. It's not his best moment, of course. Knowing that one more ejection would be so costly to his team, he should have chilled.
But he's 17. Kids do stuff. Cut him a break.
Harper will be a professional soon, though, and this won't be the last confrontation with an umpire. It's not like those umpires will cut him much slack.
In other words, Bryce, hurry up and learn what not to do.