Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper was ejected from Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Colorado after charging into the Rockies dugout after the last out of the top of the seventh inning, sparking an altercation which cleaned out the benches and bullpens of both teams.
Harper appeared to respond to Colorado reliever Jake Bird, who clapped a hand against his glove and said something toward the Philadelphia dugout.
Bryce Harper, Jake Bird among players involved in bullpen-clearing fight between Phillies and Rockies
Bryce Harper and Jake Bird were among the players involved in a bench-clearing brawl between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies.
“Excitement,” Harper said. “I understand getting fired up about a tackle and things like that, 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.”
Harper was initially restrained by Rockies catcher Elias Diaz, then Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan blocked the two-time NL MVP from entering a group of players and managers gathered near the line. first base
“After that moment, I went out there just to go,” Harper said. “JT (Realmuto) was right behind me. Taijuan (Walker), the same. I thank my teammates for coming out with me and doing it. It was the heat of the moment. Once we got out, (Bird) flew. none in the little house and he was gone. No one really saw him after he did what he did.”
“A guy yelling in your dugout? That shouldn’t happen,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “Absolutely, this shouldn’t happen.”
Harper returned to the NL champion Phillies on May 2 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The bird was also kicked out.
“Sometimes I get a little emotional on the mound,” said Bird, who added that his dugout comments weren’t directed at anyone in particular. “It’s a good team. It was a great moment. I got a little emotional out there. Exceptions have been made.”
“He’s a great player,” Bird said of Harper. “He plays with emotion. I love that he plays with emotion. He’s a player I love.”
Thomson had been ejected the previous inning after arguing with plate umpire Ryan Wills over a third strike call on Kyle Schwarber.
“You never want to see your star players get kicked out of a game, but he’s protecting his teammates,” Thomson said of Harper. “That’s what this group does. They protect each other, they fight each other and I’m proud of them for that. He’s an emotional guy and he stood up for his teammates.”
Report from The Associated Press.
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