Real reason for the Harper-Strickland brawl? Maybe it’s all about the hair – WTOP

WASHINGTON — As you probably know by now, the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants were involved in a benches-clearing brawl Monday afternoon after Giants reliever Hunter Strickland hit Bryce Harper with a 98 mile-per-hour fastball and Harper subsequently charged the mound.

There are those that will have you believe this beef stems back to Harper’s two postseason home runs off Strickland in 2014, both of which NASA scientists have calculated should reenter Earth’s orbit sometime around the year 2031. But I have a better theory. I think it’s all about their hair.

Whatever you think of Bryce Harper, he has undeniably great hair. I mean, just look at it in action, after eight innings under a baseball cap, while he’s throwing a punch.

That’s enviable hair. Hair to be jealous of.

On the traditional 20-80 scouting tool scale, I dare say it’s 80-grade hair. It’s hair that Harper clearly cares about, as well. He highlights it in Instagram shots, he flips it backward before entering the dugout. He, famously, had it cut by his sister over the years. His hair roots run deep.

Strickland does not have 80-grade hair. Even after the game, he’s got it covered up, hiding under his hat. It’s clearly close-cropped, but hard to even say what it looks like. Here’s one of the few images I could find of him without a hat.

That’s 50-grade hair at best. Maybe 45.

But would Strickland really throw at Harper out of hair jealousy? What possible proof could there be? Let’s go to the tape.

There’s a lot to take in here, but much has been made of Harper’s errant helmet throw. Sure, it might have slipped. But that’s also the protector of his hair. Do you really think he wanted it damaged, possibly broken, at the bottom of the pile?


You’ll also notice Buster Posey, himself the owner of very average, not particularly lustrous hair, standing idly by. He knows this is not a battle Strickland should fight, nor is it one he can win, not without several months of intense scalp treatment and hair care therapy.

Who are the first Giants to arrive on scene? Why, Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija, two of the great hair-havers for the San Francisco National League ball club.

Morse, of course, once displayed his locks proudly in D.C. and occupied the home clubhouse the year Harper made his debut, back when his hair was still finding its volume. Morse and Samardzija find themselves converging on the mound at the exact same moment, a collision of passion in defense of their shared love of luminous locks, like a simultaneous Zoolander model walk-off gone wrong.

Who was the first National running to Harper’s defense?

You can be forgiven for thinking it was Ryan Zimmerman, who restrained Harper and guided him to safety.

No, it was Jayson Werth, of course, Harper’s mentor and spiritual older brother, himself both a purveyor and, apparently, defender of glorious mops.

And who drags Strickland, still fuming with jealousy, back to the Giants’ dugout?

None other than Hunter Pence, the standard-bearer of great hair for the city by the bay. But Strickland’s anger knows no bounds as he paws at his own teammate’s immaculate coif the whole way off.

Brandon Crawford — the walking Pert Plus ad the Giants employ at shortstop — is the only ambivalent one, seeming to be torn between supporting his teammate or the larger cause.

You may find this hair theory ridiculous.

But if Strickland really intentionally threw at Harper because of a pair of home runs he hit three years ago, both in games the Giants won, in a series the Giants won, the year they won the World Series?

Well, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

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