If anything, though, on Sunday he just confused people by calling Bryce Harper “unprofessional” after the Nats rookie allegedly used too much pine tar and made some sort of inflammatory gesture toward the Marlins dugout. Ozzie can’t lecture about professionalism any more than Harper can about the grueling monotony of adulthood, though somewhat paradoxically, apparently Harper can teach Ozzie a lesson in what it means to be a professional AND a grown-up.
In response to Ozzie’s insult, Harper took the high road: “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
Nineteen years old, ladies and gentlemen.
Though I think Ozzie has always been more charming than obnoxious, his Marlins tenure is starting to prove that there’s a slippery slope between the two. So what sort of controversies can we expect from Ozzie the rest of the season? I have some guesses:
• Reminiscent of his Fidel Castro remarks, Ozzie will outrage the Amish community by loudly praising light bulbs and other electronic devices.
• Ozzie will be issued a fine of historic proportions after he orders the guy throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to bean the lady singing the national anthem.
• Feeling like he was negatively portrayed in the Showtime series “The Franchise,” Ozzie will book a guest spot on HBO’s “Eastbound & Down,” on which he will wax profanely about Showtime until someone on set informs him it’s not a reality show. Then he will ride Jet Skis with Kenny Powers.
• Ozzie will openly troll the Internet by saying that “The Dark Knight Rises” is “OK, but not as good a sequel as ‘Cars 2.’”
• He and Carlos Zambrano will get a wild hair and go on a rampage at the Gatorade cooler factory. No beverage dispenser will be spared.
• Unimpressed with the artistic gravitas of the Tommy Bahama Decepticon home run sculpture in center field at Marlins Park, Ozzie will go behind owner Jeffrey Loria’s back and replace it with a 100x50-foot Thomas Kinkade pastel landscape.
• Ozzie will get tossed from a game after he pulls a Radio Flyer full of optometry equipment onto the field, performs an eye exam, and determines that the umpire is not actually blind.