The seemingly unstoppable exuberance of Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper has claimed its first major-league victim. Behold, says manager Davey Johnson via the Washington Post, the power of a 19-year-old:
Mark DeRosa's progress returning from a strained left oblique muscle was stunted in an odd way, Johnson said. As Bryce Harper came into the dugout Sunday night after he stole home against the Phillies, DeRosa aggravated his oblique when Harper gave him a forceful high-five.
What are the Nationals going to do to tame Harper's unbridled enthusiasm? Is it because Harper has become so defensive of his beard? Are we sure he didn't also injure Jayson Werth's dangling wrist because he imagined that Werth's formidable facial hair "made a move"? If he didn't break Werth's wrist, Harper certainly must have "loosened the cap on the ketchup bottle" with his maniacal high-fiving of anyone with a Nats cap and five digits to spare. (OK, that's absurd.)
There is no denying, however, that Mark DeRosa is the unluckiest man on the face of the Earth. And he is made of the finest ceramics. Johnson did not confirm nor disconfirm this:
"I don't know if that set back the rehab or not," Johnson said. "But I said, 'Why didn't use your [right] hand?' He said it was spur of the moment."
Maybe they should just try a head nod from now on.