Posted August 31, 2013

Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr calls out Bryce Harper for lack of hustle

MLB
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Bryce Harper failed to run out a groundout in the eighth inning of the Nationals’ 3-2 loss on Friday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Bryce Harper’s jog to first base on a crucial play in the eighth inning of the Nationals’ 3-2 loss on Friday did not sit well with bench coach Randy Knorr.

Knorr, who filled in for Davey Johnson after Washington’s manager left with an illness mid-game, told reporters afterward that the team needs to “fix” Harper’s lack of hustle or else “take him out of the game,” according to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman.

With two on and two outs, Harper grounded a ball to second base on a 3-1 pitch and was thrown out by the Mets’ Daniel Murphy, who bobbled the ball after Harper had stopped running.

From CSNWashington.com:

“The thing about Bryce right now that’s tough: He gets frustrated,” said bench coach Randy Knorr, who had to take over for an ill Davey Johnson mid-game. “I don’t think he does it intentionally, but he’s gonna have to start picking it up a little bit, because we’ve got everybody else doing it. He gets frustrated at times and it just comes out of him. It’s something we’ve got to fix.”

Though Harper won over the entire baseball world as a rookie with his nonstop energy and “run-until-they-tag-you” mantra, this wasn’t the first time this season others noted less hustle than they’ve become accustomed to from him. And it may be getting to the point where something has to be done.

“It’s hard for me to say,” Knorr said. “I’m not 20 years old in the big leagues and all this stuff going on around me. Something that we’ve got to get to the bottom of and keep talking to him, because eventually we’re just going to have to take him out of the game.”

Harper downplayed the incident, saying: “I guess I’ll learn from it.”

The Nationals’ loss dropped them to 6.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the NL’s second wild card spot.

KEITH: Werth-led Nationals slowly creeping back into NL playoff picture


27 comments
FifthInTheOrder
FifthInTheOrder

little kid superstar gets frustrated because he couldn't get the hit or the RBIs to win the game or the walk off homer to be the hero and because he's just thinking about his stats and his super star status

keep getting frustrated all you want little kid super star, your team isn't going anywhere

j7apple
j7apple

lol the guy cant win, give a hundred percent (run into walls) dont give it, (not running at  break neck speed to first on an obvious out) geez..He just cant win.

KindaFondaBravos
KindaFondaBravos

He will be one of those "Whatever happened to..." in a few years. Poor baseball instincts, poor attitude (er, nattitude), and will never realize his full potential.

Will be traded at some point to a big market team, who will regret it. LOLgNAT

jason2
jason2

he should run to 1st like there is a wall there

tbennett76
tbennett76

Harper is not going to be all that great.  His swing is way too long and when it his bat slows down he will be a strikeout machine.  It did not take a genius to figure this out.  He is not going to be as good as Mike Trout at the plate, and there is no comparison defensively.  This does not mean that a coach should play games and pick out one player on a team full of disappointments.  Full.  Going to reporters is the expressway to losing your clubhouse.

ineedataxi
ineedataxi

Harper is a spoiled punk much in the same way Sidney Crosby was & still is. Their respective leagues anoint them as Gods to the game & it just bloats their egos even more !

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

"I guess I’ll learn from it.” You "guess"?? You'd better learn from it, young man or you'll find yourself wearing out the seat of your pants on the bench... and it'll be high time, too.!

WilliamDurks
WilliamDurks

I guess Knorr will follow DJ out the door. Cant say anything against that diva punk. DC had their chance last yr., now they will continue to be the Senators

DugoutBoyz
DugoutBoyz

Am very surprised that Knorr...or anybody else would say something publicly about this.   it should have been handled inside the clubhouse.


As it was, Jayson Werth, who was on-deck during Harper's AB, showed frustration and flipped the bat while slamming his helmet to the ground..  HE should have simply beat the crap out of him after the game.  (just kidding).


Harper's pissed that the season is a bust.   it's down to remembering specific games they lost because of errors ...think Zimmerman's play at 3rd base, etc..

thatmanstu
thatmanstu

This is to be excused,dismissed and derided . It goes down as an out,so the really important aspect of the game,which is to create numbers that people can put in a spreadsheet  was basically unaffected. 

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Harper - a lot of talent, but he's a real diva who has not learned to play the game. 

atthebarbershop
atthebarbershop

@j7apple He's stupid. Hustle isn't running into walls, what was it, twice in one week, and hurting yourself! I don't see trout or ellsbury getting hurt doing that and they're good outfielders! And you think his (interim) manager ripped him for not hustling to first base on a routine play? The dude's not even the manager! He would get massive heat from his bosses for doing that to their superstar unless he had good reason. Read between the lines, this isn't the first time they've had this problem with Harper. Superstars don't get ripped for being first time offenders. Plus harper has proven he can't control himself getting booted from games for stupid reasons. 

Sneeral
Sneeral

@j7apple It's never an obvious out. This play was a perfect example of that.

atthebarbershop
atthebarbershop

@tbennett76 Right, but there is no way he would have done this if it were the first time. This was part of a tactic by the coach, probably approved by the management, to light a fire under Harper and embarass him by suggesting he doesn't hustle. no way a guy taking over for the manager does this on a first offense, and/or without management giving permission

DugoutBoyz
DugoutBoyz

@tbennett76 I agree.   It's puzzling to me why this was done publicly.  

It's like they are hellbent on making him a future Yankee.

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

@DugoutBoyz "Harper's pissed that the season is a bust." Yeah - the Braves had a little something to do with that.

j7apple
j7apple

@atthebarbershop @j7apple Some trusim in what you said, but in his defense, he is not a natural outfielder, but a catcher.  Lets not forget he is still 20 years old as well. 

j7apple
j7apple

@Sneeral @j7apple  Obvious? 99 out 100 thats a routine play. Did you see it? Sure, one could say a player should run at 100 percent on every ball hit. Do they all? No. 

Sneeral
Sneeral

@DugoutBoyz @tbennett76 He should have been sat down on the bench like Mattingly did with Puig the other day when he didn't have his head in the game. Robinson Cano is another one who would benefit from some tough love.

j7apple
j7apple

@Sneeral @j7apple  He would have been out if he ran full speed, and made what should have been an easy out, close.

Do you also ride all the players that don't sprint around the bases on a fly out?

Good grief, its a long season, and some common sense has to prevail with logic.  So the one time out of a hundred the fielder bobbles it Harper should be shot for not running full speed?

Whatever...I have watched Harper play, and for all intents and purposes, he hustles more than most,  getting the extra bases when others would have pulled up.

Wrong person to define a slacker.

Sneeral
Sneeral

@j7apple @Sneeral Did you think the play was an obvious out? Because the only obvious thing is that you were wrong. I mean, that's your defense? "I didn't hustle because if the guy fields the ball cleanly It wouldn't have been close." That's really what you want to go with?