The chance to see Marvin Hudson eject Harper in the third inning: Absolutely ridiculous.
Harper joined Yordano Ventura as the only players to get ejected from a game twice this season after Hudson tossed the scorching-hot slugger in Wednesday's game after Hudson decided to put on what Twitter refers to as an #umpshow.
Here's the video. Harper took the 0-0 breaking ball below the knees, but Hudson missed the pitch and called it a strike. Harper chirped a little but was back in the batter's box when Hudson suddenly turned to the Nationals bench. Harper stepped out and the situation escalated until Harper pointed to the box and put his foot on the edge of the box.
Goodbye, Bryce. Go grab dinner.
There are two ways to look at this. Harper does have to tone down the whining. But he didn't much initially and was back, ready to hit. On the other hand, Hudson has a responsibility to keep his cool, and once Matt Williams started arguing from the bench -- he also got ejected -- that also led to more words from Harper. But did Harper say the magic words you can't say? Or did Hudson bait Harper at that point? That we don't know.
Obviously, there's not a love for Harper across the Twittersphere (for reasons I think are unfair, but that's another piece):
My take is that Harper didn't warrant an ejection. To make matters worse, Hudson looks bad because he apparently has a history with Harper. Hudson called Harper out on check swing to end a game in 2013. From the Washington Post story by James Wagner on that game:
Harper fouled off three pitches, but couldn’t completely hold back on a low slider. He didn’t appear to swing all the way, but third base umpire Marvin Hudson rung him up. Harper was in disbelief but mostly kept his cool. As he walked toward the dugout, he said something toward Hudson.
"In that situation you can’t really call that, especially when the home plate umpire says no [swing] about three times and doesn’t want to check" with the third-base umpire, Harper said. "And they obviously check, and they bang me."
Was that incident in Hudson's mind when he rung up Harper?
With two ejections, I'm guessing Harper will tone down some of the glances and griping. Of course, he's not the only player who does so on a regular basis. But if he's developing a reputation among umpires, it's still better to keep quiet, even if he is turning into a superstar.
But on this night, I'm not blaming him. Marvin Hudson gave us an #umpshow, and nobody goes to a baseball game to see the umpires.
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