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The Bryce Harper-Hunter Strickland beef went dormant for 3 years, then exploded into a famous brawl

This brawl had beef waaaaay in the rearview mirror.

Baseball’s unwritten rules leave a lot of room for beef. Pitchers have been known to get mad when batters celebrate. Pitchers punish batters for celebrating by throwing baseballs at them. It’s a strange, ancient ritual, and it turns out it can take place over a matter of years.

In 2017, San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland hit Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper with a pitch, igniting a pretty serious brawl. Why? Well, Strickland wouldn’t say so at the time, but he was responding to an incident from *3 years* prior. Three years! And the incident in question was Harper kiiinda gloating after he hit a couple home runs in a playoff series his team didn’t even win.

This is a tale of a long-held grudge; of beef exploding after years of hibernation. It’s also a story about starting a fight about which your teammates aren’t entirely enthusiastic. Baseball’s so weird.

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