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Cole Hamels: ‘I was trying to hit’ Bryce Harper

May 6, 2012, 11:48 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

Cole Hamels decided to open his big mouth after his outing. It should cost him a five- or six-game suspension.

Hamels plunked brash rookie Bryce Harper in the first inning of Sunday night’s game against the Nationals and admitted afterwards that he was trying to send a message.

Here’s the quote from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb:

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.

Hamels added that he had no intention of injuring Harper. After reaching first, Harper moved along to third on a Jayson Werth single and then stole home when Hamels made a pickoff throw to first. It was his first career steal. And there’s little doubt Harper was sending a message right back to Hamels when he tried it.

Hamels did get the last laugh from there. It was the only run he allowed in eight innings of work, and the Phillies won the game 9-3. In the third inning, he was hit in the leg by a Jordan Zimmermann pitch.

Since Hamels admitted to the intentional plunking, the league shouldn’t have any choice but to suspend him. It’s one of those cases where had simply said the pitch got away from him, nothing would have come of it.

  1. ame123 - May 6, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Nah, he’s not gonna get suspended. It was a clean harmless butt-shot and it gave the nationally televised game some juice.

    • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      Let’s leave the intentionally harming other players stuff for hockey, yeah? This “it’s part of the game” stuff is getting old.

      • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        This is professional sports, if you don’t like contact, it go watch badminton.

      • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        Intentionally throwing a ball at 90+ miles an hour at someone is profesional sports? The fact that Harper came around to score should tell you that’s the definition of unprofessional.
        And if Harper had been injured, you’d be fine with that?

      • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        Did you notice where the pitch was thrown? There is a difference between trying to hurt someone and sending a little message. By your logic, Zimmerman was an even bigger punk for hitting a defenseless pitcher.

      • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        I never made excuses for Zimmerman either, you’ll notice.

      • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM

        It’s also astounding that Bryce “blow a kiss” Harper of all people managed to come out of this incident looking like the classy one.

  2. denny65 - May 6, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    I’m OK with what Hamels did. Gotta love old school baseball.

  3. dawgpoundmember - May 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Let it be, he didn’t go for his head and it was not a retaliation. It will probably be the last time someone even “lets one get away.” Besides, Harper took it like a man, not a 19 year old kid.

  4. Kevin Gillman - May 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    That was an awesome message Bryce sent to Cole though. But Cole still had the last laugh with the 9-3 win.

  5. schmedley69 - May 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Yes, he should have kept his mouth shut.

  6. dawglb - May 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Cole Hamels is now my favorite Phillie. Rubin Amaro should extend his contract tomorrow!

  7. baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Oh fuck him, what is he, Old Hoss Radbourn or something? Bryce’s message was a lot louder, wasn’t it
    ? Good job putting him on and then letting him steal home off of you.

    • dallas1624 - May 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      No, Fuck you A hole.

      • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 1:30 AM

        Thank you for that intelligent and carefully measured response. I bet you and Hamels could hang out.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      Pet peeve….why are you calling him by his first name? Are you buddies or something? Do you and he go and hang around the local 7-11 cruising for hotties?

    • biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 1:14 AM

      Actually, Hamels’ message was louder, a win.

      • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 1:28 AM

        But that’s a team thing…thank god they didn’t lose by one run. In terms of Hamels and Harper, you have a 19 year old kid who comes off looking classy and intelligent, by taking his plunking like a professional, going down to 1st with no jawing and then making a heads up baserunning play that put his team ahead at the time. Then a 29 or 30 year old veteran who puts his team behind in the first inning, because of some macho, “old school” bullshit which shouldn’t even have a place in a game played by mostly civilized adults, especially when he did nothing to instigate it in the first place.

      • biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 1:34 AM

        Or you have a 28 year old ace, confident that he can and will be dominant, beaning a well known cocky rookie, showing him this isn’t high school anymore where you can blow kisses after you hit a home run.

  8. georgia - May 7, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    My only issue with this is that Harper hasn’t really been the cocky player he was in the minors during his short tenure in the Majors so far (as far as I know). He definitely sent a message back to Hamels by stealing home, but other than that, what has Harper done other than been a fantastic baseball player in the Majors?

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      I would agree. I think this was just as Cole said, a welcome to the big leagues. This was a sort of initiation to see how he responds. Harper passed with flying colors.

      • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

        True but I don’t think Hamels should have said he did it intentionally. While we all knew it was probably intentional it seems like now MLB HAS to suspend him for some amount of time. If they don’t anyone who throws at a player intentionally can use this as a basis of appeal if they get suspended and Hamels doesn’t. Sometimes it is better to just keep your mouth shut on something like this.

  9. malvord13 - May 7, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Classic baseball, nothing wrong with it, we need some rivalry back in the league. The redsox vs yanks used to be a brutal game. Now they hug each other and hang out. It’s a mans club now, it’s embarrassing for sports. I support cole with his classic baseball. It’s a sport not a friends club. You don’t like it then ya, go watch tennis.

  10. danielcp0303 - May 7, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Harper made Cole look like a complete fool, I think that look of embarrassment on Hamels face is punishment enough

  11. liquidityjones - May 7, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Seriously, how stupid and cliche is this shit? Cole Hammels is being so high and mighty and protecting the game somehow by hitting him with a pitch? Thankfully for Cole this was in a baseball game because in real life Bryce could have and should have beat the shit out of him.

    Suspend the guy. What great message is said here? Here’s a message: fuck Cole Hammels and fuck you too if you don’t agree with me.

    • ridiculousbacon - May 7, 2012 at 1:27 AM

      @liquidshrimp: Bryce is that you?

    • biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 1:30 AM

      Who is Cole Hammels?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        The older brother of Coal Hamels

  12. liquidityjones - May 7, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Btw, Cole Hammels was hit by the first pitch of his first at bat.

  13. yahmule - May 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I think now is an opportune moment to point out Curt Schilling is an asshole.

  14. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    About time they played baseball.

  15. beefytrout - May 7, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Did Hamels intentionally throw at him for something he did or said? Or just because he’s a rookie? Am I missing something?

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      Because of the hype he’s getting and the douchiness he has exhibited prior to the call-up.

      • beefytrout - May 7, 2012 at 12:46 AM

        If that’s true (about the hype), throwing at him seems counterproductive. Wouldn’t overmatching him and getting him out make more sense than putting the guy on base?

      • danielcp0303 - May 7, 2012 at 12:52 AM

        “Because of the hype he’s getting and the douchiness he has exhibited prior to the call-up.”

        Doesn’t mean Cole and his Survivor wife aren’t douches either

  16. mikeincmn - May 7, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    They have to suspend him. Yeah it was a harmless butt shot and no one got hurt, but you can’t just allow guys to start throwing at other guys just because no one got hurt in this case.

    Stupid comment to make on Hamels part, but lets face it the majority of the league probably feels that way about Harper. I don’t hate Bryce Harper, but the guy hasn’t exactly gone out if his way to endear himself to “old school” baseball fans and players. Which is fine, he is under no obiligation to do so, but it really should be a shocker when stuff like this happens.

  17. chasemutley - May 7, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    If you’re going to spew that garbage, at least learn how to spell the mans name. Hamels, not Hammels. It’s in the headline for Christ sake.

  18. cheers4ablumpkin - May 7, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Why is baseball call hardball? It should be more like pussyball. Lacrosse >>>>>>>> baseball

    • DJ MC - May 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Living in Baltimore I’ve met the world’s one lacrosse fan. Since he isn’t you, I’m wondering what made you feel the need to troll like that?

  19. drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I have no problem with this. Had he bitched about getting hit in the leg, I would think differently about his comments. All the commenters and bloggers making a big deal about this need to relax a tad. These things happen and it took care of itself so whats the problem?

    • DJ MC - May 7, 2012 at 1:09 AM

      It doesn’t take care of itself. It becomes self-perpetuating BS that leads to poor play due to needless injuries and suspensions and players generally acting like jackasses. If someone enjoys that, fine for them, but I prefer to see baseball players play baseball, not some half-baked combination of dodgeball, boxing and cops and robbers.

  20. randygnyc - May 7, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Hamels should be suspended for admitting he intentionally hit Harper in the back with a 94 mph fastball. And from an old school baseball viewpoint, it was uncalled for. No prior history, let alone specific transgressions. Hamels decided he was the arbiter of baseball jurisprudence and would punish Harper for…….what exactly? It made hamels look like a p@ssy.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      No, being a pussy would be not admitting it and whining about taking one off the knee. He did neither.

    • Gonzo - May 7, 2012 at 1:54 AM

      Uncalled for? Lots of rookies get a ‘welcome to the big leagues, kid’ type of reception from other teams. The players just don’t admit it.

  21. scoregasmic - May 7, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    God cole…ur on my fantasy team I
    Can’t risk you getting suspended

  22. thomas2727 - May 7, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    The funniest part of this was Phillies Phans that were going to war on Twitter defending Hamels saying the pitch got away.

  23. xmatt0926x - May 7, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I’m actually surprised Cole Hamels admitted to that. First, it’s really dumb because he’ll now be suspended and lose a start. You can smirk in the interview and make it obvious that he hit him on purpose without using the words which will force a response from MLB. Secondly, I honestly didn’t think he did it on purpose as I was watching it. I’ve been watching Hamels since he came to the Phillies and he never struck me as that type of guy who would do something like that. I just don’t associate “old school baseball” with Cole Hamels. I don’t get the whole thing about intentionally plunking guys anyway but the main thing is his mistake in admitting it. With the offense as it is the Phillies just can’t afford extra missed starts by their aces. Hope you impressed your teammates Cole. I’m not sure it was worth it.

  24. HitsDingers - May 7, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    You know what else is old school baseball? Staying with the team that drafted you.

  25. sabatimus - May 7, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Brendan Shanahan would give him a $2500 fine.

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