In a shocking, tearful press conference earlier today, 24-year-old Bryce Harper announced his intentions to retire from professional baseball. The decision stemmed from Harper’s apparent discovery of thinning hair on the crown of his head.

Despite batting .324/.431/.600 with 20 dingers and 64 RBIs a few games out from the 2017 All Star Game, Harper has frantically sought guidance from numerous medical experts over the last five weeks. All of them have specialized in hair loss.

Dr. Igor Slavsky, Harper’s 13th and final opinion, reiterated the opinion that a dozen other physicians shared: “Mr. Harper’s follicles are in tip top shape. His growth cycle shows absolutely no signs of weakening. I referred him to a psychologist for further evaluation.”

According to the psychologist, Adam Barnes, Harper suffers from a crippling case of Phalacrophobia, which is the fear of going bald. Barnes believes a recent event may have traumatized Harper and exacerbated his phobia to the point of creating delusions.

The timeline appears to support Barnes’ diagnosis. On May 29, Hunter Strickland hit Bryce Harper with a 98 MPH fastball. The fiery outfielder charged the mound, removed his helmet, and prepared to chuck it at Strickland. Even at close range, the helmet missed by a laughable margin.

Harper followed up the errant throw with a less than stellar jab at Strickland’s face. During our exclusive interview, Adam Barnes explained the devastating effects of the photo seen below: “You can clearly see here that Bryce has a full head of hair. Immaculate volume, really. But the so-called punch is sadly more of a face mush if anything. Twitter was merciless about the whole event from start to finish. The blow to Bryce’s self-confidence set the stage for a mental breakdown.”

Catcher Matt Wieters confirmed that Harper’s behavior shifted soon after the incident. “A few days after the suspension, Harp started paying two batboys to follow him around with handheld mirrors. One in front and one behind so Harp could keep an eye on the back of his head at all times,” Wieters shared. “He’d head into the clubhouse between at-bats to recheck. Almost missed the 6th inning once.”

Jayson Werth, desperate to contribute while rehabbing from a toe injury, offered to cut his caveman hair in a Locks of Love-style donation to Bryce Harper. When that didn’t work, Manager Dusty Baker asked Cal Ripken Jr. to mentor the young phenom.

It was a little ridiculous. I told him I played most of my record 2,632 consecutive games bald. Hell, I even killed it on the diamond with gray hair. There’s nothing to it, but he didn’t want to listen. Bryce said his style of play wasn’t compatible with a bald spot. – Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles 

Bryce Harper is famous for vibrantly flipping his locks at home plate after a four-bagger. He once admitted to spending 30 minutes prepping his hair before games. With his options exhausted, the star steps away from baseball leaving a barrel of “what ifs” in his wake.

To close his press conference, Harper proclaimed, “What am I supposed to flip after a home run if I don’t have my beautiful mane? My bat? That’s a clown suggestion, bro.”

 

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