Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Williams benches Bryce Harper for not hustling

“We made an agreement. He and I made an agreement. This team made an agreement that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times, that we play the game with intensity and the willingness to win. As it turned out, his spot came up. Kevin Frandsen put on a nice at-bat against [Trevor] Rosenthal. But his spot came up with the ability to win the game. That’s a shame for his teammates.”

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“It’s the way we set out to do it. Regardless of situation, regardless of what’s happening to you personally, we have to play the game a certain way to give ourselves the best chance to win. And it’s too bad that it came down to that situation in the ninth inning, when he could have been at the plate. For the sake of his teammates, and the sake of the organization, he needs to play with aggression and the way he plays.”

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“He’s an exciting player. People come to pay money and watch him play, and watch him play the way he can play. And it’s pretty exciting. It’s pretty dynamic. But there’s another side to it. The other side is, regardless of how the ball comes off the bat or regardless of how he’s feeling about an at-bat, he must maintain that intensity and that aggressiveness. And that means running all the way to first base and touching the base.”

“There’s a million reasons why. The transfer rules that we’ve seen lately. What if that guy bobbles the ball as he’s throwing it around? If he doesn’t touch the base, he’s out. If he’s in the dugout, he’s automatically out. Beyond the all the just-run-90-feet stuff, there’s a real, tangible rule behind it now. So we must do that. And he understands that.”

-Nationals manager Matt Williams explains his decision to bench Bryce Harper for not hustling on the below play. (via Washington Post)

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