Bryce Harper is having a breakout season and is an early candidate for National League MVP, but he wasn’t around for the end of the Nationals’ big series against the Yankees after getting ejected in controversial fashion.
An official reason for the ejection has not been given yet, but Harper explained after the game that he was ejected for not getting back into the batter’s box, even though he was already in the batter’s box.
The incident came in the third inning with the Nationals trailing 2-1. The first pitch to Harper appeared to be a little low but was called a strike. Harper disagreed with the call, but did so without leaving the batter’s box, simply stepping back with one foot. After the game, Harper claims he simply asked umpire Marvin Hudson, “Don’t you think that was a little low?”
At this point, according to Harper, Hudson told Harper to “get in the box” even though Harper never left the box. This led to some yelling back and forth between the Nationals’ dugout and the umpire.
Harper the stepped out of the box during this back and forth, saying after the game, “I don’t need to be in the box when [Hudson] is chirping at [Nationals manager Matt Williams].”
Harper admits he was taking his time getting in the box after the exchange. He did eventually go back to the box but the argument between Hudson and Williams escalated with Hudson removing his mask and walking towards the dugout. Harper left the box a second time.
During the argument between Hudson and Williams, Harper tried to show the umpire where he was when he first disagreed with the call, showing that he was in the box.
At this point, Harper was ejected.
It is unclear if Harper was ejected for being out of the box or for arguing. However, according to the new pace-of-play rules, being out of the box when a batter is supposed to stay in the box is not supposed to be penalised during the game. Rather, players are subjected to warnings and fines after the game.
Hudson told the media after the game, “he didn’t like the pitch, and I let him have his say going and coming. The dugout didn’t like it, and one thing led to another and I had to run him. I had to eject him.”
Harper expressed his frustration after the game, saying “I don’t think 40,000 people came to see [Hudson] ump tonight,” and “maybe he just had a bad morning, maybe he didn’t get his coffee.”
When asked after the game if he could explain the ejection, Williams responded, “I can’t explain, I don’t think there is anything there that warrants getting thrown out of the game right there.”
After the game, Nationals’ officials were described as “steamed” about the ejection, saying Hudson “baits players,” according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
We have reached out to Major League Baseball for comment and will update when we hear back.
Here is the full video.
NOW WATCH: Why Floyd Mayweather is impossible to beat
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.