Bryce Harper, Gabe Kapler could face discipline over ejection incident
Bryce Harper was ejected from Monday’s game for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout, and his post-ejection meltdown is being reviewed by Major League Baseball for potential discipline.
Making matters worse for the Philadelphia Phillies, Gabe Kapler possibly could incur a punishment of some sort as well, as the manager appeared to make contact with home plate umpire Mark Carlson during Harper’s on-field rant.
After Harper was tossed, both he and Kapler left the dugout to argue with Carlson. During the heated confrontation, Kapler appeared to make contact with Carlson while attempting to keep Harper at a distance.
There were some on-field fireworks at Citi Field as both Gabe Kapler and Bryce Harper argue with home plate umpire Mark Carlson.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 23, 2019
Bryce Harper has been ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/KyM0M8GsMB
The league, as noted, is reviewing Harper’s conduct following the 12th ejection of his MLB career, though a determination of any discipline has yet to be determined.
Kapler, meanwhile, received a call from MLB’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre on Tuesday afternoon about the incident.
“He called not that long ago and basically wanted to get my side of the story before he talked to the umpires,” Kapler said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I have no idea what the procedure would be but I was very cognizant of the space I had between me and Mark and feel like I respected that.”
Kapler added he “felt nothing” and that his intention was to “always to respect the distance and the space.” Kapler went on to say that his main goal during the incident was to “protect Bryce.”
Carlson indicated after the game that there was contact between himself and Kapler. When Carlson was asked if he believed the contact was intentional or accidental, crew chief Brian Gorman said that determination will be made by the league.
If Harper is indeed disciplined for his meltdown, it would hardly come as a surprise. On the other hand, Kapler did not appear to intentionally initiate contact with Carlson, but that does not mean the league won’t see things differently.