When professional athletes engage in fights — which are almost always meaningless and puerile — two things usually happen:
- The players’ teammates tend to strongly take the side of their fighting coworker.
- The fans tend to feel warm, fuzzy thoughts for the fighting player wearing the jersey they like, while holding hatred for the opposing fighter.
The fact that neither of those things were true for former San Francisco Giants reliever Hunter Strickland when he instigated a fight with then-Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper is a testament to just how ridiculous the fight was.
Hard feelings between the two — which really had no right to exist in the first place, since Harper’s “offense” was doing the thing he is paid to do on the baseball field — laid dormant for three years. They didn’t face each other at all between the 2014 NLDS and the 2017 Day of Silly Fights, but apparently absence did not make the heart grow fonder.
You remember the fight. A fight that many of Strickland’s teammates — including Buster Posey — didn’t seem interested in joining. A fight that didn’t earn any positive comments to the media from Strickland’s teammates — or manager. A fight that only served to make Giants fans not like Strickland.
But don’t just take my word for it. If you want further proof of Strickland’s red assery, it’s been chronicled in the video series that is, in my humble and incredibly biased opinion, the best sports video content on the internet: SB Nation’s Beef History.
It’s safe to say that most Giants fans are glad that Strickland is no longer a member of the organization, and sad that Harper didn’t choose to sign with San Francisco prior to the 2019 season.