I've said this before but I think it needs to be repeated. Baseball players can be the most sensitive, grudge-holding, fake tough guys in all of sports who hide behind these stupid "unwritten rules" of baseball for way too long. Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland is example 1A.
Three years ago Bryce Harper went deep twice on Strickland in the playoffs in the only two plate appearances they have faced off. Strickland did not like the way Harper did his HR trot and ran the bases on the first one. On the second one he did not enjoy Harper launching one into McCovey's Cove because Harper stood at home plate too long (OH MY GOD!) because the ball was right down the fair pole line and it was questionable if the San Francisco wind would keep it as a HR. Strickland covered his mouth with his Rawlings glove while yelling sweet nothings at Harper as he ran the bases. This is the kind of shit that needs to be squashed right away from baseball. This unwritten rule that you can't enjoy hitting a HR is so fucking stupid. It's one thing if you do a bat flip and act like an idiot like Jose Bautista and stare down pitchers who don't give a shit. It's another thing for you to throw meat and the batter crushes it out of the park and for you to act pissed off when all they are doing is running the bases and doing their jobs.
Strickland is 99.9% at fault for this fight. He clearly threw it at Harper because of some BS from three years ago. Grow the fuck up Strickland. I think it's telling that even Buster Posey wanted nothing to do with it. Everybody in the park knew Strickland was out of line. You don't bean people for your inability to get that person out. It's a chicken shit move. And I honestly don't blame Harper for charging the mound and throwing punches like a kitten. If someone was trying to bean me with a fastball because they suck at getting people out I too would either charge the mound or laugh at the idiot who throws me BP in playoff games.
What sucks about these baseball fights is the guy who gets hit and charges the mound always gets suspended when it shouldn't be that way. The pitcher was clearly trying to hurt Harper. It's a bush league move and some will say Harper needs to be the bigger guy and let it go but you try taking some baseball stitches on your side and see if you are all hunky dory. People pay good money to see Harper. Nobody cares about Strickland except his close family and friends and even that's probably questionable at this point. Strickland is basically your ex girlfriend who holds on to conversations that happened years ago and says "SEE I knew you were a bad guy!"
Suspend Strickland for 8-10 games but let Harper play. Harper shouldn't be suspended for this soft pillow slap fight and MLB can't afford to keep their brightest star (now that Mike Trout is out with a thumb injury) in the dugout because of some petty shit some loser relief pitcher felt.