There’s no question that hometown star Bryce Harper won the 2018 Home Run Derby in epic fashion Monday night – he capped off his run with an electric nine home runs in 47 seconds.
What is in question, however, is if he did so legally.
Official Home Run Derby rules state that the at-bat player’s previous hit must land before his pitcher can throw the next ball. But if you’re Bryce Harper and hitting 450-foot bombs with serious hang time, you don’t have the seconds to spare. So in the final round versus the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber Monday, Harper’s pitcher (his dad), picked up his rate and started throwing pitches before the previous homer hit the ground.
This, of course, is polarizing the Twitterverse between people who don’t care about the rules and just appreciated the performance, and other rule-sticklers who want justice for Schwarber.
Some derby “truthers” even suggest the show was rigged for the hometown hero.
— Adam Weis (@WeisCold25) July 17, 2018
My absolute favorite thing in the world right now is Cubs fan home run derby truthers who believe the Harpers were cheating pic.twitter.com/F7QEvPt5pj
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 17, 2018
wow harper admitting he cheated. https://t.co/TRa7rIX1E2
— cool baseball man (@bleacherbum099) July 17, 2018
— Jared Anderson (@AndersonJared15) July 17, 2018
One fan even created a Change.org petition called “Kyle Schwarber is the real HR Derby Champ.”
On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got fans who are just here for the excitement, rules be damned.
Are people actually complaining about home run derby rules maybe being broken? Just be glad its fun to watch again
— Danny Spears (@dansprs16) July 17, 2018
People on Facebook are really torn up about Harper maybe breaking the rules of the home run derby pic.twitter.com/dSj9KAwLPC
— Kevin (@Kevin_Agee) July 17, 2018
There really shouldn’t be rules in the Derby anyway. Just let the pitchers keep hurling balls in there as fast as they want/can
— Zachary Chakan (@baseballzchak42) July 17, 2018
So, what do you think? Should MLB be exposed for potentially rigging the Derby, or should we all just sit back and bask in the glory that was this year’s ending?
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