On Tuesday, Hunter Strickland was by his locker when the media arrived in the clubhouse of the San Francisco Giants and he answered questions related to the incident that caused him to be suspended for six games.
Dusty Baker the manager of the Washington Nationals called the drilling by Strickland of star Bryce Harper, in an apparent payback for the animated reaction of Harper to his pair of home runs off the reliever in the playoffs of 2014, a selfish act.
It appears as if officials in the Major League Baseball disciplinary office agree. In handing the Giants’ Strickland a suspension of six games for intentionally hitting Harper, inciting an incident that caused the benches to clear and fighting, MLB set a very clear message that Strickland was more to blame for inciting the brawl that included both he and Harper exchanging punches.
Harper, who by charging the pitcher’s mound escalated the incident, throwing his helmet toward Strickland and by fighting with him, was given a four-game suspension.
The punishment of both was appealed by the players as they both hope to receive a reduced suspension and can play until their cases are each resolved.
Harper remains confused that the Giants reliever would maintain such a long grudge saying he was shocked the incident on Monday ever took place.
After three years have passed and you do that sort of thing, bewildered the Nationals outfielder.
Strickland took responsibility for beaning Harper but did not express any regret for his actions. He said he was not happy with being suspended but will move forward and see what the final decision is on his appeal.
Baker called the punishment of Harper unfair saying that very few batters would have turned the other cheek.
Of course, there is not a manager in baseball in favor of having his most productive batter out of the lineup. Harper, the National League MVP in 2015 leads Washington with 15 homers, 41 RBIs along with 44 runs scored.
However, both Harper and Baker said that it appeared the Giants were surprised by the beaning and that Buster Posey the Giants catcher did not make an attempt to stop an irate Harper from reaching the pitcher.
Social media at the time was full of commentary due to a lack of any reaction, but Posey would not discuss the situation but he and Strickland have since spoken about it. Strickland said he has talked to his catcher.