Bryce Harper returned to Nationals Park Tuesday night, making his first appearance in Washington since he signed his mega-deal with the Phillies back in February. Fans who’d been waiting to unleash their burns on Bryce were forced to wait through a 45-minute rain delay, but that’s a small price to pay for the chance to own a man by changing the letters of his last name to spell “Farter.”
Here are some Nationals fans who took the extremely original and not at all exhausting approach of mocking a sentence Harper uttered to a reporter way back in 2012, when he was 19 years old. That’s a lot of work for a variation of a joke that’s only been made a million billion times before:
This is maybe a strange take: I think Nationals fans who boo Harper for leaving town via free agency are lame, but I also think booing Bryce Harper because he plays for the division rival Phillies is just fine. Boo all Phillies! Boo all visiting players. I’m not sure how you can communicate any level of nuance while booing, but the folks doing the booing know what’s in their dark hearts. Anyway, here are some people who used their t-shirts to spell out “traitor” in the right field stands:
The Nationals made the questionable decision to play a Bryce Harper tribute video during pregame player introductions. This is questionable less because it apparently failed to anticipate the sentiments of the majority of fans in attendance, and more because Harper is a very good player who only played the first, what, third or so of his career in Washington. He won an MVP and a Home Run Derby, but the Nationals never won a playoff series, and he left town the first time he experienced free agency. Thanks, yes, but also, let’s not make too big a deal out of it. At any rate, fans booed right the hell through the video:
Bryce’s reception ahead of his first plate appearance was more of the same, only louder. Like good sports fans, the crowd booed every Philadelphia player that came to the plate in the first inning. Like jilted sports fans, they booed Harper the longest and loudest. There were two men on and no outs when he stepped to the plate to face former teammate Max Scherzer; Scherzer needed six pitches to ring him up. The crowd erupted like they’d seen a walk-off dinger:
Ahead of the game, Harper said he expected to hear some boos and some cheers. I’m sure there were fans who were cheering, but there is absolutely no way Harper heard any of them, except when the opposing pitcher was throwing the ball past him. He’s had the chance to hear it twice tonight—Scherzer has K’d him up in each of his first two at-bats.