Washington Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper, currently playing single-A baseball for the Hagerstown Suns, hit his 14 home run of the season last night against Zachary Neal of the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Upon hitting the shot over the right-center wall, Harper took his time leaving home plate so that he could admire his shot. He then slowly jogged around the bases staring at Neal. Then, when jogging from third base to home, the 18-year old baseball phenom blew a kiss to Neal.
Click here to see a video of the incident.
That’s not good. Though there may be situations where it’s perfectly acceptable for one man to blow a kiss to another man, running the bases after a home run is not one of them. It’s not only extremely childish, it demonstrates extremely poor sportsmanship. Just because he’s growing a Jeff Kent mustache doesn’t mean he needs to start acting like Kent.
Bryce Harper needs to grow up. Then again, what 18-year old kid doesn’t? He’s just a kid with a mustache.
UPDATE: Today’s local paper has more about the innocent and it appears now that Harper’s kiss was in response to something similar in the first inning. From the Herald-Mail:
Monday’s drama started in the first inning when Neal struck out Harper on a borderline call Harper didn’t care for to end the first inning.
Some observers said Tuesday that the groundwork for the incident started there, with Neal sending a kiss in Harper’s direction after the whiff.
So there you have it. Harper wasn’t the first to blow a kiss, he was just the last.