Hamels Did No Wrong Throwing At HarperBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Monday, May 7th, 2012
Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels has been one of the top stories in baseball today. However, the discussion surrounding the ace has little to do with his brilliant eight-inning, one-run performance on Sunday night against the Washington Nationals, but rather a single pitch that was purposely thrown to hit Washington catcher Bryce Harper.
Hamels admitted after the game that he intentionally tried to hit the rookie catcher.
“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.”
The lefthander’s comments after the game have caused an uproar in Washington. General manager Mike Rizzo responded with an onslaught of verbal assaults at Hamels, calling the pitcher (among other things) “gutless”, “classless”, and described the act as one of the lowest he’s seen in 30 years.
To describe this incident as the most gutless and classless act that major league baseball has seen in three decades is an overstatement, to say the least. Hamels had no ill intent on his mind when he hit Harper. He wasn’t attempting to injure him. He didn’t throw at his head, or try to break his wrist.
You’d think Rizzo and the Nationals have never seen a player intentionally hit by a pitch before.
For true examples of gutless and classless acts in major league baseball, look no further than the sport’s commissioner Bud Selig turning a blind eye during the peak of the steroid era, sacrificing the integrity of the game in hopes of regenerating interest in the sport.
For Mike Rizzo and the Nationals, this season is the first in many years that the team is going to be relevant. They’ve invested a lot of money, and spent a lot of time developing prospects while working towards this day, and there’s a new energy amongst that franchise that hasn’t been there in the past. They’re become excited and passionate about what they believe their team can do this season, and perhaps all of the newly found “Natitude” caused Rizzo to get a little carried away with his comments.
Hamels wanted to honor a tradition of welcoming a young player to the major leagues that he was fond of while watching the sport in his youth. There wasn’t any malicious intent directed towards Harper, and Harper himself after the game seemed to have no issue with the act, simply stating that Hamels “threw a great game tonight”. If Hamels made a mistake, it was admitting that he intentionally threw at a player, which will likely force the league to hand him a suspension.
Short URL: http://gcobb.com/?p=30189