In case you missed it, Bryce Harper was handed a four-game suspension Tuesday after charging the mound at Hunter Strickland. Strickland struck Harper with a 98 MPH fastball during their game on Monday causing a bench-clearing brawl between the Giants and the Nats.
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo joined the Junkies and stood by his right fielder's actions. When asked if he expected retaliation by Strickland from something that happened three years ago;
It was not on my radar. I didn't think it was a possibility but when he got drilled, it was easy to comprehend what was going on. The guys react like they react.
Rizzo went on to say that the players have done a good job of handling situations like this on their own.
This game is played with emotion. Like you said, they're grown men. They're very, very competitive. What I always say about these types of things is the players police themselves and they've done a good job of it for years, they'll continue to do a good job of it. You have to expect players to act in accordance to a situation.
The GM feels that although brawls like this have emotional drive behind them, they will cause more harm than good with the risk of potential injury.
There's not a lot of things that can go right in those fights. A lot of things can go wrong.
Rizzo took no issue with Harper's actions but feels that Strickland holding a grudge against a player for their performance a few years ago does no good for his team.
If Strickland had that big of a problem with him, there's hallways and runways by the clubhouse that you can have a little conversation in between games, before games if you want to instead of taking it to the mound and drilling a guy.
Rizzo hopes that the teams got it out of their system and will be able to move on from here. Harper has appealed his four-game suspension and Strickland has appealed his six-game suspension.
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