Despite Ozzie Guillen's best attempts to ensnare him in a controversy over the amount of pine tar on his bat, Bryce Harper was careful not to give the Miami Marlins manager any of the attention he was looking for this past weekend.
But while Harper stayed above the fray — refusing to issue anything but the most mundane of quotes about the issue — some of his Washington Nationals teammates couldn't help themselves. And so when the two teams left each other's company on Monday, they made sure to leave Guillen a souvenir to remember Harper by.
The item in question? A bat that the Adam LaRoche-led mischief makers covered with gobs of pine tar after they had an unsuspecting Harper sign it.
Adam LaRoche had Harper sign a bat for him. Harper didn't know the purpose, but it's common for players to get autographs from each other.
From there, LaRoche added next to the signature, "To my hero, Ozzie, love you."
The Nationals players had the bat smeared with pine tar and sent it to Guillen.
"It was funny," Guillen said. "I've got a few friends on their side. All those guys were making fun of me. I found out later they made the kid sign the bat. They put the rest. 'To my hero, Ozzie, love you.'"
Guillen told reporters in Chicago that he got a kick out of the gift and that he's still impressed by Harper's performance this season. But given the contrasting ways that both men behaved during the entire saga, it's Guillen who should have been doing the gifting.
Might we suggest a custom pair of ear plugs for Harper when Guillen and the Marlins roll into D.C. next month?