Bryce Harper hasn’t been the same on the baseball field since coming back from thumb surgery on June 30th. He’s hitting a meager .218 and has an abysmal 5 extra base hits and 5 RBIs. Of course, questions have been swirling about what Nationals manager, Matt Williams, intends to do to help out the young star, and it came full circle after an interview Williams did on Wednesday with The Sports Junkies 106.7 The FAN in DC. Williams was asked if he had considered sending Harper to the minors, and his response raised some eyebrows.
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea at this point to do that because it’s different pitching,” Williams said. “We all know there’s a big difference between Triple-A pitching and big league pitching. So it’s probably more of an option to have him feel good here and get it back.”
Here’s the thing. Williams didn’t come right out and say that he would never consider such a preposterous idea, so it’s fair for the media to think maybe it was something under consideration. Wednesday afternoon a reporter decided to re-address the question and Williams’ response was definitely more than what the reporter bargained for.
“I will caution everybody in this room — the minute you think you can read my freakin’ mind, you are sorely mistaken,” Williams said. “It pisses me off to even think about the fact that somebody would take a comment that I make on the radio and infer that I am thinking one way or the other. I’ve had it. Don’t do it anymore.
“Bryce Harper is one of the guys on our team. He’s a very important part of our team, just like everybody else is. Do we understand each other? It’s not fair to the kid, it’s not fair to the rest of the guys in that clubhouse. To even think about sending Bryce Harper to the minor leagues or to cause a stir. It’s unacceptable. It won’t happen.”
This isn’t the reporter’s fault in my opinion. He asked the valid question because Williams hadn’t completely shot down the idea initially.
[h/t Larry Brown Sports]