Ouch!You know how drama in the NFL has erupted due to allegations of bounties created to intentionally injure players? Probably not very good timing for Cole Hamels, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, to admit that he threw a pitch at Bryce Harper, a #1 draft pick playing for the Washington Nationals, entirely on purpose. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "I was trying to hit him. I'm not going to deny it."
What the heck, Hamels? Way to pick on a young kid trying to find his way in professional baseball (yep, Bryce is only 19 years old!!). Though the Phillies ended up winning the game, Harper did get a little bit of his own revenge in. And of course there are videos of both the hit and Harper giving a symbolic, satisfying finger to Hamels as a result of said hit.
Here's footage of Hamels hitting Harper in the back:
Ouch! That'll leave a mark. I mean, I guess it's one thing that Hamels didn't aim for his face or his leg or something. No permanent harm done. And Harper was able to make one hell of a play afterward anyway:
And yes, he was able to do this as a result of getting on base after the intentional hit. There is a lot of hype surrounding young Harper, and that's part of the reason why Hamels is okay with admitting that he did it on purpose:
It's something I grew up watching. That's what happened. I'm just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything. That's the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It's that old-school prestigious way of baseball.
So ... I guess this was a "respect your elders" message in some weird, twisted way.
Harper hasn't responded to all of this, but of course the media has. Mike Rizzo came out and called Hamels "fake tough" and went on to say, "I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball."
There's no doubt in my mind that Hamels has to get suspended. It may have been Hamels' way to "introduce" Harper into MLB, but instead he just comes off as classless. Harper didn't do a thing to warrant it, and his stealing home later was the perfect FU. I'd say stealing home right in front of the pitcher who intentionally hit you is a better definition of the "old-school prestigious way of baseball," wouldn't you?
Do you think Hamels intentionally hitting Harper is the old-school way of baseball? Would suspending Hamels be an overreaction?
Image via NatsTown2K10/YouTube