Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper was ejected from Wednesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers after an emotional outburst, and it could lead to a change in his pregame routine.
Harper came to bat in the eighth inning with the score tied 2-2 and runners on first and third. The five-time All-Star was set on knocking in the go-ahead run, but instead, he took an unfavorable called strike from home plate umpire Chris Segal on the second pitch of the at bat. Harper struck out soon after and was tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
That’s when Harper exploded. The slugger threw his bat on the ground and got in Segal’s face to argue some more, ultimately needing to be held back by teammate Daniel Murphy.
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Harper seemed to realize that he went too far. Speaking to reporters after the game, he blamed his anger on his pregame music.
“I think I need to change my playlist, because I get a little fired up,” said Harper. “‘5AM’ really got me fired up, by Logic. I called my brother and was like, ‘Man, I’m so fired up to play today.’ I guess it got me a little too fired up. I guess I need to mix in some Temptations and some of those jazz bands to calm me down a little bit.”
Harper has demonstrated an eclectic taste in music over the years – he’s used walk-up songs by Kendrick Lamar, Sam Hunt, Moby and others. Maybe he’ll add some John Coltrane or Kenny G to the mix in time for the Nationals’ likely playoff run.
But while Harper did recognize that he let his emotions get the best of him, he didn’t feel too bad for the outburst.
“I don’t know why he tossed me,” he said. “I don’t know if he tossed me because I kicked the dirt or he thought I was yelling at him, but at that point, I was not trying to yell at him. I was just pretty fired up about striking out in a big situation like that.”