Baseball beefs are the best, and the most fun baseball beefs are the ones that revolve around maintaining the “integrity of the game.”
In other words, if you do something that another player feels is an egregious affront to the holiness of the greatest game on Earth, then you, my friend, have become embroiled in a fresh baseball beef.
That’s exactly what happened to Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper on Friday, when Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tony Cingrani drilled him in the back with a pitch. Now, when that happens, the hit batter usually gets the opportunity to slowly walk it off because, you know, he just got drilled in the back with a fastball. And when he feels like it might be a questionable pitch, the batter usually even gets to exchange a quick glare with the pitcher. These are all essential early chapters in the ever-expanding unwritten rules of baseball and Harper followed them on Friday, clearly demonstrating that he remembered everything from his Play Baseball the Right Way or Else orientation class.
Well wait just a minute there Harper, you baseball-defiling monster.
Tony Cingrani was not pleased one bit with Harper’s meandering over to first base and neither was Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who greeted him with what I can only assume are stern lessons about how the game is supposed to be played. You can watch it all unfold below:
“(Harper) should have jogged, but what are you going to do? Be a baseball player. Sorry I hit you, run.”
This is a very high-quality baseball beef.