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Bryce Harper Has Had It With The Entire Concept Of The Colorado Rockies

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs on the field as the benches clear in the seventh inning of a game at Coors Field on May 14, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Phillies were all pissed off as the Colorado Rockies ended their five-game winning streak on Sunday. The trouble peaked in the seventh inning, though under the baleful gaze of the bottomless Dinger, frustrations had been burbling from the jump.

In the bottom of the first, Trea Turner corralled a ground ball for what should have been a double play and instead bungled his throw to first so bad that it turned into a pair of runs for the Rockies. Phillies manager Rob Thomson was ejected in the sixth for yelling about a called third strike, then one inning later, umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that Phillies bench coach Mike Calitri couldn't challenge a clearly incorrect call that resulted in a Rockies double play. That missed call helped Rockies reliever Jake Bird escape the half-inning despite walking the first two batters, and he squawked in loud celebration at the Phillies dugout.

Bryce Harper wasn't having it, and he stormed onto the field. Everyone else joined him and the two teams jostled around each other and yelled for a while. Harper and Bird were both ejected, and the 4-0 score would hold for two more innings.

Harper returned from Tommy John surgery less than two weeks ago, so to risk the structural stability of his elbow over such a small slight in a game in May against a bad team is perhaps both pretty dumb and pretty brave. "It’s a little bit unsettling, understanding Harper’s elbow," Thomson said. "But he’s protecting his teammates, and that’s what this group does. They protect each other. They fight for each other. And I’m proud of him for it."

For his part, Harper said he didn't know who Bird was, and that while he's cool with displays of emotion, he thought Bird crossed a line when he started pointing at the Phillies dugout. "I understand getting fired up," Harper said. "But once you make it about a team or you make it about yourself and the other team, that’s when I have a problem with it."

Fine, whatever, the Phillies can now band together over the healing power of puffing their chests out and almost but not quite fighting, building valuable chemistry as the long summer looms over the season. That's all well and good, but what I am most excited about is Harper's (perhaps unintentional) riff on Bird's name, when he said, "Once we got out there, he kind of flew into the dugout." Strong.

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