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What Had Happened Was

What Had Happened Was: 5/31/17

Oh, you didn’t know? We got you


We knew Bryce Harper was about that life since he came up to the plate against the Miami Marlins with J. Cole’s “G.O.M.D.” as his walk-up song … and then proceeded to hit his 99th career home run during the same at-bat. This, of course, was in response to the backlash the Washington Nationals superstar received after the release of his ESPN The Magazine feature Sorry, Not Sorry and wearing a “Make Baseball Fun Again” hat after the Nationals’ season-opening win in 2016.

He does what he wants, ’cause he’s poppin’. And, quite frankly, who’s going to stop him?

Well, on Monday, San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland tried his hand at raining on Harper’s parade by throwing a 98 mph pitch at Harper’s hip — which Harper later said he respected because he didn’t throw it at his face — and he caught hands for it.

It started a brawl, which resulted in some collateral damage the next day, with Harper receiving a four-game suspension and Strickland getting nailed with a six-game timeout.

“As I was going out there, the first initial reaction is you might get blindsided by one of their players coming in,” he said. “I’m kind of thankful that Mikey Mo and Samardzija collided because Samardzija saw blood a little bit, I thought. Very thankful for Mikey Mo.”

If Strickland was attempting to get Harper in line with the how-the-game-should-be-played crowd, or was seeking retribution for Harper taking him deep twice in 2014 — the same year the Giants won the World Series, mind you — well, he failed.

Let’s not forget that Strickland’s own catcher didn’t attempt to nip the situation in the bud when it became apparent that Harper was about to charge the mound. Neither did his coach, and fellow pitcher Jake Arrieta thinks the fight was “awesome.” Which it was.

So if the whole point of this exercise was to try to rope in Harper — congrats, Strickland, you played yourself. And for baseball fans who’ve been on the Team Harper train about making the game more exciting, one question: Are you not entertained?




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2. OH, C’MON, Y’ALL!





Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.