Bryce Harper had some words with home plate umpire Laz Diaz during the series in Atlanta last week, but he avoided getting tossed, even though he was making enough noise out in center last Friday night to get Diaz’s attention, and then argued again after he had a pretty obvious ball called a strike on him by Diaz later in the game.
A conversation with Diaz after that call got heated, but Harper managed to avoid getting tossed and his manager, Davey Martinez, came out to tell Diaz to back off.
Harper was asked after that game if he was surprised he hadn’t been ejected.
“I’m not surprised I didn’t get tossed,” he said. “That’s my biggest thing this year is I don’t want to get tossed, so I think I go to the edge and then kind of quiet up.”
Martinez thought the called strike was so egregious he suggested MLB take a look at the call.
Less than a week later, however Harper once again went to that edge, and in the opinion of home plate ump D.J. Reyburn, went over it, and got tossed for the first time this season in the 12th inning of the Nationals’ 5-4 loss to the New York Mets.
Harper was unhappy with a called third strike, on a pitch that appeared to be out of the zone inside, but was close (No. 5 below)...
Harper expressed his displeasure with the call, and was still talking as he returned to the dugout when Reyburn tossed him.
Harper and Martinez both shared their thoughts directly at that point, with Martinez getting in-between Harper and Reyburn.
Nationals’ third base coach Bobby Henley tried to get Harper back in the dugout as well, with some difficulty.
Though the outfielder left the clubhouse as reporters arrived, the Nationals’ skipper did talk about the ejection in his own post game presser.
“He was walking away,” Martinez said. “I mean, I don’t know what he said, I haven’t talked to him, but he was walking away. It should be done, deal, you know, whatever. And when the umpire threw him out it was like, I was really surprised. And I asked him why, he said, ‘He said some words,’ but it was just weird. What gets me is that sometimes, regardless — I’m not going to argue ball and strikes, like I said, I’m not going to do that, but you’re up there battling, if it’s a ball, and you think it’s a ball and you get rung up, you’re going to get heated up, that’s part of competing, and he walked away. I don’t think he showed him up at all, I really don’t. D.J. thought he did.”