EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - If you are a sports fan, and even if you are not, you saw the fight in the dugout between two baseball players – Bryce Harper and Jonathon Papelbon who both play for the Washington Nationals.
Papelbon, and Harper exchanged words after Harper, the team's best player, failed to run to first base after hitting a ball to the outfield. It was definitely a lazy moment for Harper. Add to that, the fact that the Nationals are not going to make the playoffs, so their season is over. Add to that Harper and Papelbon were also arguing about Papelbon's hitting another player on another team with a pitch. Harper was assuming retaliation on him from the other team.
Sounds like a soap opera right? And it is a bit of one but several people bear responsibility.
First the manager of the Nationals, Matt Williams, for letting this exchange even happen and for not instilling respect in the players for each other. It was also Papelbon's fault for mouthing off in the dugout instead of taking this inside the team's clubhouse where it may have been handled differently. But finally, Harper. He is responsible most of all for not hustling.
Harper is one of the faces of baseball – yes baseball – the former pastime of America that has been in slow bleed in popularity for nearly 20 years. Harper owes it to his team, the game, and especially his fans and running out a fly ball is a basic instruction all baseball players learn at an early age.
Baseball deserves a little hustle from Harper and others or there will be no game in the future.