Major League Baseball announced the duration of Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland’s suspensions (respectively) on Tuesday evening.
Per Major League Baseball, Harper received a 4-game suspension, and Strickland received a 6-game suspension.
Both players appealed their suspensions and will not serve their suspensions until their cases are re-reviewed, or will not serve them at all if they’re dropped.
Around the league, fans, agents, writers, and players all reacted. Scott Boras spoke with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports before the suspensions were issued, explaining why Harper (his client) should receive a suspension of fewer games than players typically receive when they charge the mound:
“In this situation, there is nothing prior between the clubs, no notice to the player, just a paroxysm of rage, self-centered behavior that was out of bounds... (Harper’s ) response was an act of fear ... It’s very different from a player who is aware of a situation where immediate and or current previous acts of provocation have occurred.”
Boras also added that Harper would have had no way of expecting that the HBP was coming considering how late in the game it was and the score (2-0, at the time).
Said Dusty Baker: “Only Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi” would have chosen not to retaliate in that situation, per Dan Kolko of MASN.
According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Harper didn’t have much of an opinion on his or Strickland’s suspension.
Here are more reactions from around the league, including Harper’s:
...@Bharper3407, if you end up suspended, come on down to Palo Alto and hang out at the pool for a day!— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) May 30, 2017
4 innings < 36 innings.— Bryan Harper (@BryanHarper45) May 30, 2017
As we kicked around earlier, Bryce Harper's 4-game suspension (instead of 8) is MLB's way of saying Hunter Strickland is the culprit here— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 30, 2017
I like to think of Hunter Strickland's suspension more like he got two games for every year he waited to hit Bryce Harper with 98-mph heat.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 30, 2017
Bryce said if Strickland had a problem with the way things went down in '14, he could've talked to him during BP. Handled it differently.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 30, 2017
Bryce didn't have much reaction to the length of suspensions. Said he is still just kinda shocked that it all happened in the first place.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 30, 2017