Big League Stew

Bryce Harper hits his own face with a bat, gets 10 stitches in return

The most recent Washington Nationals box score shows that teen sensation Bryce Harper went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. But that's misleading because his bat actually had a hit in it after all.

Yes, Harper's adjusted line should be 1-for-6 with three strikeouts and 10 stitches — the "1" being his own bloodied face, just above his left eye, after Harper hit it with a bat in frustration. Nats TV analyst F.P. Santangelo, in the "Give 'Em The Bird" video of the weekend below, says he saw Harper go into the dugout tunnel and come out looking like he had been in a minor one-car accident:

After making an out in the seventh inning of the Nats' 7-3 victory at Cincinnati, Harper said he slammed a bat on a wall and it bounced off his face. Just a rookie mistake, the 19-year-old says in the Washington Post. Won't happen again:

"I guess I won't do it anymore, but I don't know," Harper said. "I've done it a million times. It's just a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. It came back and got me."

If he's done it a "million times," you'd think he be better at it. Really, Anakin Skywalker, you need to channel these emotions. Frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to ... suffering a bloody face. Also, it's funny how Harper sometimes uses eye black to paint himself to look like the Ultimate Warrior from professional wrestling, and now has added the bloody face, as if Mr. Fuji hit him in the head with a folding chair. The Nationals marketing department really should run — err, fly off the top rope — with this.

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Harper says he feels OK and doesn't expect to miss any time, but he might anyway. Yoda Nats manager Davey Johnson said he'll have word with the young man about the whole episode.

It's an easy way to get rid of your frustration," Johnson said. "I'll speak to him about it, because evidently he went a little overboard. That's not what you want to do. The equipment is supposed to take the brunt of it. We'll address that."

" Of course, self-inflicted wounds aren't new to sports. Washington fans remember Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte head-butting himself into oblivion. In 2008, Carlos Quentin of the White Sox knocked himself out of the playoffs by slamming his hand and breaking his wrist on his bat after fouling off a pitch at Cleveland.

We can find a happy medium here.

Perhaps it's by simply letting Harper injure his veteran teammates instead?

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