I don’t know why we’re still talking about this when it happened in 2015, but it’s an interesting debate. Drew Storen, who was on that 2015 Nationals team, but is now with the Reds, was asked who would win in a “legit fight” between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper.
“I gotta take Pap,” Storen said. “This is a shot in the dark because I don’t know either’s fighting ability, but the one thing about Pap, when I saw him in person in the clubhouse, as opposed to on the field, he’s a really big guy. I later found out that he got recruited to play tight end at Mississippi State along with playing baseball. He’s a very big human being, so just from that principle alone, I’m going to take the size. And he’s got the eyes, he’s got the look that he knows how to fight.”
Let’s look at the tale of the tape here. Harper is listed at 6’3″, 215 pounds and Papelbon comes in at 6’5″, 230 pounds. The size advantage was pretty clear with the eyeball test, but I’d be willing to bet that Harper’s weight is outdated. Dude’s put on a ton of muscle mass in the last couple of years, but we all know that doesn’t necessarily translate to an advantage in a street fight. Regardless, it’s worth noting that Harper is yoked as fuck.
But I’m with Storen here. I don’t care how much you bench, how much you squat, or how much you curl. Literally none of that matters in a street fight. All of that goes out the window when you consider that Papelbon is a certified psychopath. The point that Storen made about the look in his eye, yeah. Absolute lunatic. Watch that video again of their dugout fight. I took my stopwatch out, and from the moment that Harper got loud with Papelbon, it took less than four seconds for Papelbon to decide to attack his throat. His throat!
That first move should carry a lot of weight here, too. Not only did he attack him, but his first move wasn’t a shove or a haymaker — he went straight for the fucking throat. Serial killer move. Then the biggest factor of all — this was in 2015, AKA the year that Harper was having one of the greatest statistical seasons of all-time, and Papelbon still attacked him. It takes a special kind of psycho to have absolutely no regard for human life, and even more so when that human life was the, then, best baseball player on planet earth, who also happens to be your teammate. A person whose brain operates like that should never be fucked with, then you mix in the height and weight advantage and it’s game over. No contest.