Ranking Bryce Harper's 6 Biggest Baseball Enemies

Robert Wood@@bleachRWreachrCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2012

Ranking Bryce Harper's 6 Biggest Baseball Enemies

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    Bryce Harper has set the baseball world ablaze with his intensity, aggression, and passion for the game.  

    But not everyone in baseball likes the 19-year-old phenom.  And it's not just because he uses too much pine tar on his bat.  

    Here is a ranking of Bryce Harper's six biggest baseball enemies... so far.   

6. Ozzie Guillen

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    You may have heard of this incident.  

    Ozzie Guillen had a problem with the amount of pine tar on Bryce Harper's bat during the July 15 game between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins in Miami.  

    Guillen complained once, and then a second time, and then took umbrage with how Bryce Harper talked to him while standing in the batter's box as Guillen discussed the issue with the home-plate umpire.  

    The incident became a national story.  

    But thanks to Harper's teammates, it won't stick around for very long.  

5. Cole Hamels

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    Cole Hamels was Bryce Harper's first and perhaps most memorable enemy in the major leagues.  

    On May 12, Hamels inexplicably beaned Bryce Harper in the back, in the last game of a three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C.  He later admitted to hitting Harper on purpose, and was suspended five games for his actions.  

    Since then, there has been no tension between Hamels and Harper on the field.  And they seem to have patched things up off the field as well.  At the All-Star Game, Cole Hamels claimed that the two had buried the hatchet.  

    But the Phillies and the Nationals play each other almost 20 times a year.  Hamels could inexplicably bean Harper during another random game in a couple years or so.  

4. Reporters

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    During many postgame interviews, Bryce Harper sounds like Nuke LaLoosh, schooled in the art of the interview by none other than Crash Davis himself.  

    Harper's rote responses can be difficult to listen to, for both the fans and the media.  

    But some members of the media have taken a proactive approach, deciding to ask unique and interesting questions in an attempt to get unique and interesting answers.  

    Take that infamous Canadian TV reporter, who interviewed Harper after hitting a mammoth home run in Toronto during interleague play.  

    Don't even bother asking me the name of that reporter.  

    That would be a clown question, bro.   

3. Opposing Fans

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    Earlier this season, Bryce Harper said he wasn't scared of the fans in Philadelphia, even when security was added because of his presence.  

    That fearlessness is a good thing.  Because for the rest of his career, he will be showered with boos, profanity and small objects every time he takes the field in Philadelphia.  

    And New York.  

    And Atlanta.  

    And Miami.  

    And Los Angeles.  

    And Chicago.  

    Assuming Cubs fans aren't out of breath from booing their own players.  

2. Mike Trout

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    Mike Trout has to be considered a "frenemy."

    These two phenoms are close friends from their time together in the Arizona Fall League, and they keep in touch during the season.  

    But the two competitive youngsters have a budding rivalry, born from their constant comparisons to each other.  Harper has embraced this rivalry, saying "It's like Bird and Magic.  I'm Bird."  

    In baseball, comparisons such as this are not always beneficial to both parties.  No matter how well Bryce Harper performs, he may always fall short when compared to the show-stopping Mike Trout.  

    Harper would suffer the same fate as baseball icons Ted Williams and Hank Aaron, who were overshadowed by their more electrifying counterparts, Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays, respectively.  

    Bryce Harper could ultimately resent Mike Trout for this unintended slight.   

1. Umpires

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    Bryce Harper is a passionate player, but sometimes his passion is directed towards the wrong people.  

    Harper has openly displayed his disgust towards umpires on multiple occasions.  And he may be gaining a reputation around the league.  

    The most recent example occurred on July 14, against the Marlins in Miami.  In the top of the third inning, Harper stepped to the plate against Mark Buehrle.  During the at-bat, Harper took an inside fastball close enough to hit his cup.  

    Home plate umpire Eric Cooper called it a strike, and Harper was visibly upset.  He remained composed at that time, but struck out looking.  

    In the eighth inning, Harper was facing Randy Choate, who had just replaced Buehrle.  Again, Harper took another inside fastball that should have been called ball three.  Cooper again called it a strike, and Harper shot him another glare.  

    Bryce struck out swinging on the next pitch, and then turned his ire on Cooper.  He yelled at the home-plate ump as he slammed the bat down on the plate with both hands.  Cooper responded to Harper's tantrum by removing his mask and staring Harper down, but he did not eject the upstart.  

    It would behoove Bryce Harper to not make any more enemies among the umpires, because they tend to hold grudges.  If his histrionics continue, Harper will be plagued by biased umpiring throughout his career.