WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – If you’ve been living under a rock, the Nats and Braves nearly found themselves in a brawl after Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper on the first pitch of his first at-bat following his 3rd inning home run Tuesday night.
Both benches and both bullpens cleared as Harper tossed his bat and jawed vociferously at Teheran on his way to first base, but ultimately, no punches were thrown, a warning was issued to both sides, and play resumed in the fifth.
Nats’ manager Davey Johnson addressed the brawl with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday morning, and the overwhelming takeaway was: “things will even out.”
Here’s their conversation about the aftermath:
Lurch: Did you think about retaliating after that?
Davey: The way you retaliate is guys get pumped up, and Ryan Zimmerman almost did it. He almost hit one out. That’s the way you fire back. You get up and you get a big hit and you burry ‘em. It’s something important to understand too, nothing you do right then is gonna be any good other than strike back offensively and beat ‘em, beat the heck out of ‘em. But it’s planted in our minds that that was thrown on purpose, and there are consequences.
Lurch: If that wasn’t such a close game at the time, would you have done it?
Davey: It’s not the time. You’re under a warning. Once the warning’s out you’re dead in the water.
EB: Are you going to be warned today before the game you think?
Davey: No, I don’t think so.
EB: So all bets are off. Like what if Zimm just goes up there and knocks down the first guy? Takes it on his own? Like, you’re not going to tell him. You know your guys. They’re competitors. He’s just going to do it himself maybe.
Davey: Well first of all, you don’t talk about this stuff. Don’t you guys get it?
Lurch: I said earlier, if something’s going to happen it’s going to be tonight. It’s the perfect time to do it.
Davey: Well, let’s not talk about that. You know, things will even out. They always do.
Davey went on to confirm his belief that Teheran hit Harper with the pitch intentionally.
“Probably no doubt in my mind,” Johnson said.
But was did he do it because of the way Harper slow-trotted after belting the solo bomb?
“No, I don’t think that was over the top,” Johnson said. “But just, somebody gets hit hard, and that’s probably the way you reacted to it. But like I said, things even out in the course of the season or next season.”
You get the sense that even as the game continues to evolve, technology continues to improve, some things will always remain the same in baseball.
And we’re all thankful for that.