Bryce Harper was an instrumental part of the Washington Nationals winning their first division title in franchise history, dating all the way back to the inaugural season of the Montreal Expos in 1969.
The phenom deserved to be a part of the celebration that took place in the locker room.
As is tradition in sports, when a team clinches a playoff berth or division championship, the locker room is covered in plastic and everyone goes nuts by pouring champagne and beer over each other.
However, Harper happens to be 19 years old and doesn't turn 20 until October 16.
Mathematicians will tell you that he is 380 days away from being able to drink legally, so when someone snaps a picture of him holding a beer, people are going to come out of nowhere to criticize him and the Nationals.
Some of it will be in good fun, bringing up topics like Harper saying "that's a clown question, bro" when a reporter asks him what his favorite beer is.
Others might decide to make Harper out to be a pariah who must be punished because he is everything that is wrong with the world.
It is somewhat surprising that it hasn't happened yet, though some of that can be attributed to the fact that Harper is not seen drinking the alcohol, nor was he stopped by the police for any kind of foul play after the celebration was done.
Harper was a good sport about it, telling Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he celebrated with Drake LaRoche, son of Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, by pouring apple cider over each other.
Bryce Harper celebrated with apple cider and Drake LaRoche, 9. "We poured it all over each other."— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) October 2, 2012
Being realistic, Harper is a human being, at least that's what we are told, though his ridiculous power suggest he could be a Greek God of some sort. He knows he is going to be scrutinized unlike anyone else in baseball because of the hype surrounding him.
This was a spontaneous moment of joy for a player and team that just did something this franchise had never done before. If a picture of him holding a celebratory beer is the worst thing in the world, I think the planet would be in much better shape.
Let Harper celebrate as long as he wants.
Let the Nationals celebrate as long as they want.
As long as no one is getting behind the wheel of a car—this assumes that alcohol is even consumed, since most of it just winds up on the floor—by all means, go nuts.
And given Harper's contributions to the Nationals this season, which should end with him being named National League Rookie of the Year, he should be a part of that celebration.
Regardless of whether or not he is legally old enough to drink a beer, there's no reason he can't pour it over people.
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