Major League Baseball has just announced that Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels has been suspended for five games following his plunking of Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper last night.
Unless Hamels appeals the decision, the suspension will begin immediately and force the Phillies to find a new starter for Saturday’s home game against the San Diego Padres. Given Thursday’s off day, this shouldn’t be a problem for the team.
We discussed the issue earlier today on The Getting Blanked Show, and I remain a little bit dumbstruck that Hamels would not only have thrown at Harper for what basically amounts to no reason at all, but also admit to his intentions after the game when he could have easily said that the pitch just got away from him, as many pitchers do.
Instead, he said this:
I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. 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.
I’m left with two thoughts following these comments: 1) I don’t think Hamels is understands what the word “prestigious” means; and 2) Wouldn’t segregating players based on race be an example of old baseball? I wonder if Hamels is in support of this, as well.
Given the oddly brazen admission, it was expected that justice would be swift in handing down a suspension to Hamels. It didn’t disappoint.