Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, the kid who passed up his last two years of high school to play ball at junior college on the way to being last year's No. 1 draft pick, has gotten into his first news-event spat - and made a hero out of Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick of this week's draft who was taken by the Baltimore Orioles.
And it all started with a blown kiss. Specifically, it started after Harper, who has been feasting on single-A pitching while playing for Hagerstown, hit a monster home run (his 14th) off Greensboro pitcher Zachary Neal. Harper then flipped the bat, went slowly around the bases, and blew Neal a kiss before reaching home plate.
Talking heads in our business went on and on about lack of maturity and such, but it was up to Bundy, a righthander out of Owasso High in Oklahoma, to cut to the chase.
"If I was pitching the next game," Bundy told radio host Steve Davis of Baltimore's 105.7, the Fan, "I would hit him all four at-bats."
Bundy's older brother, Bobby Bundy, was more diplomatic: "The kid can't do that," he said.
Then came the spat by proxy, via social media.
Brian Harper, Bryce's older brother (who was drafted in the 30th round by Washington), responded with this tweet: "I'm pretty sure the Bundys don't want any part of the Harpers & they need the full story before they start callin people out!"
In his major-league debut Thursday night against the Nationals, Padres phenom Anthony Rizzo was 1 for 2 with a triple, a run, and two walks. Rizzo, who in 52 games this season with triple-A Tucson has a gaudy .365 average with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs, was picked up in the deal that sent former San Diego slugger Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox. Adrian who?