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Language! Bryce Harper's rocky road as a role model

Watching Bryce Harper dropping an F-bomb on national TV is sure to have made a few parents cringe. Is Bryce doing enough to be a good role model for his legions of young baseball fans?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper has spirit. When he gets upset, the world knows about it. Sometimes it earns him fans. Other times it gets him in trouble.

Being a role model for thousands upon thousands of kids is not an easy task.

In the ninth inning of last night's game against the Tigers, Bryce was ejected from the game after yelling at the home plate umpire for calling out Danny Espinosa on a borderline pitch.

Moments later, as Clint Robinson hit a walk-off home run and the team came out to celebrate, Harper was far from cooled off and tossed a few more choice words in the direction of the umpire.

It's pretty clear what Bryce said there, and fans are sure to be divided, with some celebrating the high spirited response to the perceived tyranny of an umpire and others focusing on what they see as a negative and petulant response that is expected to hurt his image as a mature role model.

Is Bryce Harper a good role model?  Is he even a guy trying to be a good role model, or is he just a guy playing baseball who's been stuck on a pedestal that he isn't really trying to stay on?

Here's another glimpse at Bryce Harper's character that happened just after the Nationals finished being swept by the Cubs in Chicago:

That's prime role model behavior, more so because it wasn't done when the cameras were trained on him.

This is positive behavior that is rarely witnessed and it is worthy of emulation.

So Bryce Harper is not perfect, but he's a solid guy. Why aren't we seeing more of this when the cameras are running?

Does Bryce just give up trying to be good when he's on the field competing?

We've heard about Bryce paying Drake LaRoche to catch him swearing, so it should be no surprise that he's still taking steps to combat what he perceives as immature and negative behavior in himself.

He clearly does not want to be known for this kind of behavior, but he shares the same challenge the rest of us also face: Being perfect is straight up impossible, and building character takes a lifetime of hard work.

Bryce Harper looks to have a solid future as a role model.