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Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper suffered a bone bruise in his left leg when he stumbled on first base during his team’s 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, and his agent put the onus on Major League Baseball to address the issue.
“We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it’s not wet and there are drying agents on the ground,” Scott Boras said Sunday, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “I don’t know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That’s certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick.”
Crasnick noted the first base bag was wet when Harper slipped.
According to Robert Flores of MLB Network, Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said Harper avoided tendon and ligament damage. Rizzo termed the bone bruise “significant,” per Crasnick, and said he’ll be out for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time.
Boras pointed to the NBA’s practice of wiping and cleaning the floor whenever a player slips and compared it to the lack of cleaning bases between innings when there is poor weather.
Crasnick noted a potential rule coming from Harper’s injury wouldn’t be the first time a physical setback to a star player led to changes. Giants catcher Buster Posey broke a leg during a home plate collision in 2011, and MLB subsequently put rules in place to bolster catcher safety.
As for Harper, Dan Kolko of MASN said the injury “doesn’t seem like a season-ender” but noted the team hasn’t put an official timetable on his eventual return.
Washington is comfortably ahead in the National League East and can survive without Harper in the short term, but its World Series chances would take a significant hit if he didn’t return to the field by October.
Harper is in the midst of a head-turning season with a slash line of .326/.419/.614,…