Over the years, the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have found themselves near or at the top of the NL East division standings.
In fact, the Nationals have the lead in the division by just a handful of games over the Braves this season. As a result, it’s only natural for the two teams to develop a rivalry.
Bryce Harper might have escalated the new rivalry to another level this weekend.
After being booed in his plate appearances in Atlanta, Harper on Saturday kicked some dirt on the Braves’ “A” logo behind home plate on his walk to the batter’s box.
None of the kicks were obvious, but after he did it repeatedly, the Braves’ TV announcers caught on and mentioned it on-air, causing a firestorm on social media.
Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 10, 2014
After the game, Harper denied intentionally walking across the logo..
“That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m walking up to the plate. I really had no idea. When (a Nationals spokesperson) came up to me, I had no clue that I did anything,” Harper said, according to MLB.com. “Seriously, that’s the last thing on my mind going to face (Aaron) Harang or (Craig) Kimbrel or somebody like that. I had no idea why that was such a big deal. Of course, that’s the last thing on my mind.”
Whatever, Bryce. It looked intentional to the rest of us. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if things get heated when these teams play again.