Why was Bryce Harper ejected? Breaking down the first baseman’s exit against Rockies

MLB: Texas Rangers at Philadelphia Phillies
Bryce Harper gets ejected in the first inning against Rockies

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper was ejected from the game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Friday night. After striking out in the first inning against Colorado's starting pitcher, Ty Blach, Harper threw his helmet and bat on the ground and voiced his displeasure at the second strike call to plate umpire Brian Walsh.

While there were no signs of aggression from Harper's side, the umpire ejected him from the game, while Phillies' manager Rob Thomson quickly approached the home plate and seemed to demand an explanation for the call.

Take a look at the incident in the top of the first inning at Coors Field on Friday night:

In the video, it appears that Bryce Harper's initial conversation was calm, and he only became agitated after being ejected. The same was true for Rob Thomson.

Rule 8.02(a) in the Baseball Rules Academy states that:

"Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game." (Source: baseballrulesacademy.com)

A manager or player can appeal a decision made by the umpire provided there is reasonable doubt surrounding the initial call. The umpire may then discuss the matter further with other members of the umpiring group on the field and abide by their decision if there is considerable doubt.

However, according to the aforementioned rule, no player or manager has the right to argue with umpires over their discretionary decisions during play. Engaging in such arguments can result in immediate ejection, as was the case with the slugger.

Bryce Harper is no stranger to controversial calls

Bryce Harper is no stranger to controversial calls that have resulted in his ejection. Last year, during a regular-season game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Harper was called out on a check swing by third-base umpire Angel Hernandez. Enraged, the slugger charged towards third base to confront the umpire. He was ejected from the game before reaching halfway to his destination.

Take a look at that video from last year:

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Bryce Harper was ejected from regular season games a total of four times in 2023, and getting tossed out in the Phillies' home finale of the season left the star slugger visibly angry.

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