Bryce Harper might have gone a little too far in his description of the Nationals’ current lineup, and now the team isn’t going to let him forget it.
The Nats’ star outfielder raised some eyebrows Tuesday when he compared the team to the Syracuse Chiefs, their current Triple-A equivalent, due to the injury-related absences of players like Anthony Rendon, Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy. Many of Harper’s teammates, apparently led by closer Sean Doolittle, are taking the comparison in good humor.
First came the heckling from the Nationals’ bullpen.
Doolittle said the relievers have been heckling Harper with some “Sky Chiefs” chants from the bullpen.
“It’s one of those things we’ve been having fun with over the last few days. It’s all good.”
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) May 3, 2018
Then, the humor got a lot more tangible with some interesting wardrobe choices on Friday.
It’s probably fortunate for Harper that his teammates aren’t taking personally what many saw as a slight, as clubhouse tensions can help derail a team struggling like the 13-16 Nationals were at the time. Not helping things was Stephen Strasburg appearing to question some players’ efforts only a few days earlier.
And yet, the Nationals aren’t currently playing like a Triple-A team, even with Rendon, Murphy and Eaton still out. In fact, the team hasn’t lost since Harper made his comment and is on a five-game win streak overall, sitting at .500 and four games back from the division-leading Braves.
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