Sportress of Blogitude

Clown question: Reporter asks Bryce Harper about NLCS (vid)

A reporter who asked Bryce Harper about the NLCS shortly after the Washington Nationals’ NLDS Game 5 elimination loss to the Chicago Cubs is getting ripped over the arguable audacity of the inquiry. In fact, it was such an outrageous situation that Harper’s infamous “Clown Question, Bro” quip from years back was immediately resurrected in response.

Harper was fielding questions in the clubhouse after Thursday’s heartbreaking 9-8 loss when an unidentified media member asked, “Any thoughts on how the Cubs-Dodgers series is going to go?”

The Nationals superstar slugger, slightly taken aback by the question, responded, “Uh, not really looking towards it at all.”

The footage inspired TBS studio host Casey Stern to invoke Harper’s trademark “Clown Question” line to chastise the reporter for asking such a question.

“Let me tell you something. You guys, players, talking about players, I don’t know who that member of the media was, but you do not ask a player, who after 18 days off all season just lost his season, what he thinks about the next series,” an incredulous Stern said in a testy rebuke. “To quote Bryce Harper, that is a ‘clown question.’ That is a disgrace.”

It certainly was an ill-timed question that could rise to the level of being disrespectful to Harper. But Harper deserves credit for blowing off the question with a brief quip and not making it a bigger issue.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy even weighed in on Twitter about the gaffe.

The “Clown Question Bro” craze was spawned in 2012 when Harper, then 19, was asked in Toronto if he intended to go out for a celebratory beer after launching a monster shot in a win over the Blue Jays.

One problem: Harper doesn’t drink.

Harper began shaking his head even before the reporter finished asking the question, shrugged and said that he wasn’t going to answer the question and finished it up with a surly comment that became quite the sensation: “That’s a clown question, bro.”

It would have been great had Harper busted it out again Thursday night — it was warranted — but oh well.