Bryce Harper's retort goes viral

TORONTO -- Bryce Harper's comebacks look ready for the big leagues, too.

The 19-year-old Washington Nationals outfielder quipped, "That's a clown question, bro," to a Toronto TV reporter who asked if he planned to take advantage of Canada's lower drinking age after belting a long home run in a win over the Blue Jays.

For a brief time, the highest trending topic on Twitter was Harper's response: "That's a clown question, bro." The outfielder's name was also among the site's most popular subjects.

Twitter users have been reformulating the phrase to fit different contexts, too.

In Ontario, the drinking age is 19, not 21 as in the United States. Following the game, a reporter asked Harper whether he planned to celebrate his huge homer with a beer, and what his preferred brand would be.

Harper is a Mormon, a religion that forbids alcohol. A Nationals PR staffer suggested the reporter try a different line of questioning, but Harper was ready.

"I'm not answering that," Harper said. "That's a clown question, bro."

Sure enough, by Wednesday morning, online retailers were offering T-shirts emblazoned with Harper's comment, while fans far and wide were posting tweets about the latest baseball catchphrase.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said he knew the identity of the reporter who asked the question and said he planned to "blow him up" when the team visits Toronto for three games beginning Sept. 14.

In Pedroia's opinion, Harper handled himself well.

"Poor kid," Pedroia said of Harper on Wednesday. "I would have said [expletive] you, I'm 19."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Matt Porter and The Associated Press was used in this report.