A comment inside the Atlanta Braves‘ clubhouse after their thrilling Game 2 victory turned members of the media against each other.
After Bryce Harper was doubled up to end Game 2 of the NLDS, Orlando Arcia said, “Atta boy, Harper,” taking a shot at the two-time MVP in celebration of the victory.
There has since been debate on whether Arcia’s comment should have been made public. Fox Sports’ Jake Mintz was the first to report the dig came from Arcia.
Arcia said he didn’t mean for Harper to hear his comment, expecting privacy in his clubhouse. However, the comments were made, according to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, when cameras and recorders were “rolling,” and “more than a dozen” reporters were in the clubhouse. So, it’s fair game for reporting, some have argued.
But Alanna Rizzo of the MLB Network vehemently disagreed and went after Mintz on the network’s “High Heat.”
“I am so irritated with all of these people, these bloggers, or podcasters, or not even reporters, not even journalists going into the clubhouse,” Rizzo said of Mintz, who is a member of the BBWAA. “You’re ruining it for the rest of us, the guys that come in in the postseason and don’t have any clue of the pulse of the team. And it’s making it worse for the people that are there every single day covering this team on a daily basis.
“And then some j—off comes in at the end of the season that gets a credential, God only knows why. And the clubhouse is a sacred space,” Rizzo said. “And, remember, I’ve been in clubhouses for the last 16, 17 years. I remember I would go in there, get my job done and get out. That is their space. So, for this idiot to go in there and take something out of context just to … give himself a name is ridiculous.”
The BBWAA called Rizzo’s comments “unprofessional and unacceptable” in a statement on Friday. Following the backlash, Rizzo took to the airwaves to apologize.
“What I said yesterday about Jake was completely inappropriate, it was inaccurate, and it was beyond unprofessional. I got caught up in the heat of the moment,” she said. “What I said was completely off base. I’ve had an interesting 24 hours, I’ve learned a lot more, and I apologized to Jake. I have talked to him already. I’ve apologized to him privately, and I also apologize to him publicly.”
The Phillies got the last laugh. When Harper went deep in Game 3, he stared down Arcia as he rounded the bases. Philadelphia won the series Thursday, and players were spotted with T-shirts that said “Atta Boy Harper” in their clubhouse party.
The Phillies are aiming for their second straight pennant and will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series.