Members of the Atlanta Braves are moved by the umpires after Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch from starting pitcher Julio Teheran during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Washington. Both benches came onto the field. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
During the Nationals' 2-1 loss to the Braves Tuesday, a fight nearly ensued when Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper (as detailed here). While the Nationals' dugout and bullpen emptied and ran onto the field in support of Harper, there was no form of retaliation from their own, which would have likely come in the form of a plunking receipt.
Or, if you ask MASN analyst and former player F.P. Santangelo, should have.
"Based on experience, when you have your best player or one of your best players get hit, if he thinks he got hit on purpose, you have to do something to have his back," Santangelo told Ray Knight on MASN's postgame show. "I mean, you talk about warnings issued and you know, is it silly or senseless to hit somebody else? I don't think so. Being in a dugout, being in a clubhouse my whole life, you want somebody to have your back. And if you don't, I've seen instances like this break up a clubhouse where you don't retaliate when one of your best players gets hit by a pitch.
"If I got drilled and nobody else did, it could break up a ballclub. I'm not saying that's going to happen with the Nationals, but you would think there would be some sort of retaliation because the only thing that matters is if Bryce Harper thinks he got hit. And it's not incumbent on the manager to tell anybody or anybody to tell anybody to do it. On the good teams I was on, it just happened. You didn't have to say a word to anybody. They would just have your back. I didn't see it happen tonight, and quite frankly, I'm surprised."
Did the Nationals look like ninnies and show no fire by not responding? Or did cooler heads prevail? I'll leave that to you.
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