Many wondered if Bryce Harper’s raise to the majors was too soon. If being elevated so quickly would be bad for his development and for his reportedly large ego. They wondered if he was mature enough to handle the pressure that comes with being a professional athlete. Everyone wondered if this teenager would behave like . . . well . . . a teenager.
Surprisingly, not only has Bryce been every bit the adult he’s needed to be, seemingly everyone else around him has behaved childishly. Starting with Cole Hamels shortly after Harper was called up to the Nationals. Hamels hit Harper with a pitch and then would later admit that it was on purpose. Which is unprofessional on multiple levels. The first of which is that Harper had done nothing to Hamels at all. He didn’t talk smack or walk across the pitchers mound Alex Rodriguez style. The second level is that he admitted that he hit a guy that had done nothing to him but be a rookie. Harper handled the situation with class and the best way anybody could. He stole home.
Recently Ozzie Guillen took offense to the amount pine tar on Bryce Harpers bat. At Harper’s next at bat he showed Guillen the improved bat, with less pine tar, the notoriously hot-headed Guillen flew off the handle. He would later say that Bryce was “unprofessional.” Bryce said nothing. His teammates would later send a bat signed by Harper to Guillen as a prank but, when Harper signed the bat he didn’t know who the intended target would be.
I suppose what I’m getting at is that out of all the people in either of these situations, the person I expected to act like a 19 year old turned out to be the only adult in the room.