Bryce Harper got word from the Major League Baseball office that he hasn’t been fined for Sunday’s incident in which he was ejected in the first inning after arguing a call with third base umpire John Hirschbeck.
Hirschbeck ejected Harper after he determined that the Nationals’ outfielder “slammed” his bat and helmet to the ground. You can see one look at the exchange between Harper and Hirschbeck here.
“That’s another thousand dollars in my pocket, so that’s good,” Harper said with a smile, when asked about the lack of a fine. “That’s Major League Baseball’s decision. I respect that, definitely. If I was to get fined, I’d respect that, too.”
Harper said he hasn’t heard anything from Hirschbeck since the incident. At this point, he’s just looking to move on.
“It was something that happened, something that’s in the past,” Harper said. “Just a little step that I’ve got to step over and just start playing ball again.”
If there was a positive to be taken from Harper’s first-inning ejection on Sunday, it’s that he got another day to rest his bruised left side.
Harper injured the side last Tuesday after colliding with the right field wall at Turner Field in Atlanta, and then reaggravated the injury the next day when trying to check his swing. He left that game in the sixth inning, but played a full nine innings in each of the last four games of the Nats’ road trip.
He’ll now go into tomorrow’s game with essentially three full days of rest.
“Yeah, it’s feeling a little better,” Harper said of his side. “Those past four or five days that we were on the road, it didn’t feel very good. But we had a good road series and I think getting back home and playing against Detroit and the Cubs is gonna be good for us. Hopefully, we can get it started tomorrow.
“(The collision with the wall) didn’t feel very good at all. Tried to play through it as best I could, and tried to be in that lineup every day. That’s the goal and even if I’m feeling bad I’m trying to stay in that lineup.”
Dan Haren was scheduled to start for the Nationals tomorrow on an extra day of rest. Now he’s set to pitch Thursday on six days of rest.
“It’s no big deal,” the veteran righty said. “The extra day was gonna come at some point. Just gotta take it in stride. Today was pretty much an off-day anyway. You only get so many off-days in the season so you hope to enjoy them. At least they called it early so people can just relax, because it’s a long season. You only get a few.
“I think it sucks more for Jordan (Zimmermann), because the anxiety of a game day is tough. I’m sure he’s thinking about it all day and now he’s gotta go back tonight and kind of re-do it. For me, I can just go have dinner and a glass of wine and be fine.”
For the record, it’ll be a red wine for Haren tonight, a pinot noir.
Zimmermann, who was set to pitch tonight, actually said he doesn’t mind the change of plans all that much. He’ll come back tomorrow and get ready for a start against the potent Tigers offense.
“No, I got out of my street clothes for 15 minutes and they canceled the game, so it wasn’t like I was in game mode yet,” Zimmermann said. “Come back tomorrow and do it all over.”