Truth & Rumors > MLB

Most polarizing player in baseball

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08:16 AM ET 05.09 | Bryce Harper, all of 19, sets all kinds of standards for precociousness -- including the quickest to get on the nerves of so many critics. It also explains why, just eight games into his major league career, he's quickly becoming the most polarizing player in baseball. Harper's biggest problem is that his reputation preceded him, his tantrums and taunts RSVP-ing to the majors before he made his April 28 debut. He was the guy who smudged his eyeblack down onto his cheekbones, the guy who cost his team a National Junior College World Series after an ejection and suspension, the one who blew a kiss to an opposing Single-A pitcher as he jogged around the bases.

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Bryce Harper, Getty Images Bryce Harper, Getty Images
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May 9, 2012  08:37 AM ET

You don't have to love the kid's antics, but you've got to love the way he plays the game.

May 9, 2012  08:37 AM ET

ye shall reap what ye sow

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May 9, 2012  09:01 AM ET

That target's already been nailed, too.

May 9, 2012  09:14 AM ET

"Most polarizing player in baseball"

Does that haircut also work as a lightning rod????

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May 9, 2012  09:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

My respect for him went up with the way he handled the Hamels deal..

+1

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May 9, 2012  09:50 AM ET

If he keeps his nose clean and to the grindstone as he has in his breif time in the majors, he's going to garner a lot of baseball fans across the country -- with the noted exceptions being fans of teams he'll regularly punish.

I loved how he dealt with Hamels' little sissy fit and I'm pulling for this kid.

May 9, 2012  10:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

If he keeps his nose clean and to the grindstone as he has in his breif time in the majors, he's going to garner a lot of baseball fans across the country -- with the noted exceptions being fans of teams he'll regularly punish.I loved how he dealt with Hamels' little sissy fit and I'm pulling for this kid.

I'm more than a little alarmed to know that you're "pulling for this kid". Lucky for you he's not a minor anymore.

May 9, 2012  10:02 AM ET

He's still a kid for Pete's sake let the kid grow up already. He's showing signs of maturing in how he handled the intentional plunking. He'll earn people's respect over time I'm sure.

May 9, 2012  10:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

If he keeps his nose clean and to the grindstone as he has in his breif time in the majors, he's going to garner a lot of baseball fans across the country -- with the noted exceptions being fans of teams he'll regularly punish.I loved how he dealt with Hamels' little sissy fit and I'm pulling for this kid.

But even Hamels said it best after admitting to plunking him.

Something along the line of Harper getting even by stealing home.


As long as he keeps his mouth shut and lets his talent do the talking, even opposing players will respect him.

Personally, I think Hamels showed him a level of respect by plunking him.

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May 9, 2012  10:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

I'm more than a little alarmed to know that you're "pulling for this kid". Lucky for you he's not a minor anymore.

Thanks for your input, white stain.

Now, where's my lotion...

May 9, 2012  10:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Personally, I think Hamels showed him a level of respect by plunking him.

I see it as jealousy.

 
May 9, 2012  10:13 AM ET

This kid likely will be a Manny-being-Manny phenom. You'll love him 19 days out of every 20. And then one day you'll remember what it was people disliked about him.

There's always hope that a boy grows up to be a man. Not in the case of Manny, but maybe for Bryce. I agree with the sentiment that he handled the Hamels situation exactly as you'd want it to be handled - shut up and speak with your performance on the field.

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