Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper (3) hits a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves in game three of the NLDS for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It would be fair to say slugger Bryce Harper was feeling himself Wednesday night, hitting two home runs in the Philadephia Phillies’ 10-2 romp over the Atlanta Braves to take a 2-1 series lead in the National League Divisional Series.

During both of those home run trots, Harper looked directly at Atlanta’s shortstop Orlando Arcia, and stared him down. Presumably, this was in reaction to a report from Fox Sports’s Jake Mintz, who said that Arcia had mocked Harper while celebrating the Braves’ Game 2 victory in the clubhouse, saying “Ha-ha, atta-boy, Harper!” repeatedly.

After the second home run, Harper also did a throat-slashing gesture as he crossed home plate to signify that he had just helped put the game out of reach, which turned out to be very true.

None of those things sat well with Ben Ingram and Joe Simpson in the Braves radio booth. The two admonished Harper for making the gesture in “today’s climate” and for taking the Arcia report too far.

“[Harper] again gave the throat-slashing sign, which, given today’s climate around the world, I’m not sure that’s quite appropriate or what anybody wants to see,” said Simpson.

Simpson then tried to downplay the Arcia quote, saying that it’s not even confirmed if the shortstop actually said it.

“There was a story attributed to some writer who said he overheard Arcia say something in the locker room that was disparaging about Harper after Game 2,” said Simpson. “There’s no proof that it was even said. Even the writer said he wasn’t sure that’s what he said. But Harper’s taken it to heart and he’s been glaring at Arcia as he rounds second on both homers.”

“That was something that was turned into something that it was never meant to be,” added Ingram. “And even if that were the case, okay, so they enjoyed the fact that they doubled-up Harper in the ballgame. Heaven forbid they show joy in doing that.

“But, when you’re a competitor, you’re looking for anything to drive you. And that’s what Harper has done.”

Arcia has essentially confirmed that he did indeed say what was reported, though he was upset that it left the locker room.

For what it’s worth, Harper said after the game that it was all just part of the game.

“It’s a game. It’s fun,” he told NBC Sports’ Michael Barkann. “It’s a lotta fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Not so much for the Braves radio announcers.

[Jomboy Media, Michael Barkann]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to