ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 9: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals signs autographs during a pregame rain delay against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 9, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Photo: Scott Cunningham
Photo: Scott Cunningham

Nats’ Harper drags foot across Braves’ emblem (updated)

What’s the problem with the Braves’ ‘A,’ Bryce Harper?

The Nationals outfielder dragged his foot across the Braves emblem in the dirt behind home plate - in a clearly intentional move - in each of his first three trips to the batter’s box in Saturday night’s game against the Braves.

Harper has been roundly booed in each plate appearance during the series. He apparently chose to take the lack of southern hospitality out on the Georgia clay. He kicked at the Braves’ ‘A’ emblem on his way into the left-hand batter’s box once, twice and three times.

Braves fans got a bit of the last laugh after Harper committed a base-running blunder in the sixth inning in his third plate appearance. Harper hit a one-out single but was doubled off when he ran to third on a Wilson Ramos fly ball to center. Braves centerfielder B.J. Upton caught the ball and threw it to Emilio Bonifacio. The shortstop merely jogged the ball all the way across the diamond to first base and recorded the final out of the inning.

Harper was not so deliberate in his fourth plate appearance in the ninth inning and took a pass on the action in the 11th inning. Following the game, Harper denied he went after the logo.

“That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m walking up to the plate,” Harper told reporters. “I really had no idea. When [a team staffer] came up to me, I had no clue that I did anything. Seriously, that’s the last thing on my mind going to face Harang or Kimbrel or somebody like that. I had no idea why that was such a big deal. Of course, that’s the last thing on my mind.”

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was unaware of Harper did until informed of it Sunday. “It think it’s silly,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s one guy being silly.”

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