Jake Arrieta on Bryce Harper-Hunter Strickland fight: ‘Awesome’
Don’t count Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta among those in the camp who are condemning the fight between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland. In fact, Arrieta characterized Monday’s dust-up during Monday’s Washington Nationals-San Francisco Giants game as “awesome.”
I don’t think anybody is right or wrong. I thought it was awesome,” Arrieta said Tuesday during an appearance on Chicago’s The Score 670, via ESPN. “Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to see two teams emotionally charged getting after it. And when something like that happens versus continuing to chirp and talk about it, why don’t you go out there and see somebody? That’s exactly what happened in the game yesterday.”
Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced that Harper has been suspended four games for his role in the benches-clearing brawl while Strickland was suspended for six games. Both players are appealing the respective punishments.
Arrieta, despite the suspensions levied, argues that allowing Harper and Strickland to settle the score in such a manner is a positive thing.
“If two guys want to go see each other, let them be in the middle, let them throw some punches, then break it up,” Arrieta said. “I don’t like to see any sucker punches. I do think in the heat of battle if you’re getting hit on the hip with 98, then you should be able to go out and see somebody. I think the umpires handled it well. They let them exchange for a moment, then they tried to break it up.
“What I don’t like to see is a lot of chirping and guys just talking crap to each other. If you got something wrong with a guy, go see him. And then they’ll break it up and continue to play the game.”
Arrieta probably isn’t the only MLB player to harbor such an opinion on in-game fisticuffs. Although it’s safe to say Major League Baseball definitely does not agree with Arrieta’s take. In the end, such brouhahas, while oftentimes ugly and potentially dangerous, are bound to occur in baseball from time to time, no matter how the powers-that-be feel about them.