Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams benched outfielder Bryce Harper for not hustling on this groundout back to the mound during the sixth inning of this afternoon’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Harper, who has been battling a tight quad recently, is known for playing the game as if his pants were on fire. His over-the-top hustle led to a painful encounter with the outfield wall at Dodgers Stadium last season, igniting chatter that he played too hard.
While no one could argue Harper was busting it down the first-base line, more egregious examples of loafing happen every night around Major League Baseball.
First-year manager Williams could be trying to prove everyone on his team will be held to the same standard. If so, he succeeded in proving that point, as well as raising a few eyebrows.