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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. cheers4ablumpkin - May 7, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    @dj mc because I get pissed off bc baseball get so much at tension on sc top 10 and half of the plays are nice but there’s better ones that don’t even make it. And there are no steroids in lacrosse either. No need to cheat.

    • Alex K - May 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      You’re right. There is no reason to use steriods in a sport like lacrosse where being strong and fast help.

    • metscast - May 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      There are steroids in lacrosse. There’s just no money so no one cares.

  2. Ben - May 7, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Gah, fix the comments. As soon as it flips over to the second page the first page is no longer visible.

    • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 1:36 AM

      sooooooo annoying

      • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        Yeah I wanted to check if my comments had reached 100 thumbs down overnight.

  3. cheers4ablumpkin - May 7, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    @dj mc bcuz the sport gets so much attention on ESPN. Like some the top 10 plays aren’t even nice. It’s bullshit. Plus there’s no roids in lacrosse.

    • mdpickles - May 7, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      Where I came from, the lacrosse team was made up of guys who were cut from the baseball team.

  4. cheers4ablumpkin - May 7, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    For example… This week top play weaver complete game the guy flys out to left field and makes a easy catch. I get it was a complete game but the catch wasnt even challgeing. Like wtf is that bullshit

    • foreverchipper10 - May 7, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      It was a no-hitter but really who cares because it is baseball right? Ho-hum. Idiot.

  5. ridiculousbacon - May 7, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    So for starters, those claiming Harper is no longer acting like a huge douchebag, well WTF is wrong with his head then? He literally looks like a d@*khead with that tuffet haircut. As for what occured, well Hamels is an idiot for being honest, but not as big of an idiot as those crying about unprofessionalism & other nonsense.

    • ridiculousbacon - May 7, 2012 at 1:48 AM

      I’ll agree that it seems pretty STUPID to throw pitches at each other, but it really isn’t the end of the world so for the love of god, stop please with the “what if he hit his head and his head fell off….”. It probably happens every other week, of every single season & how many times do you recall seeing players dying in last 20yrs or so from pitches thrown at their heads or all these other “what if” scenarios u whine about?

    • metscast - May 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      He wears a helmet and a hat. Why would you care what kind of haircut he has? Maybe his teammates gave it to him as a rookie initiation.

  6. carlozperes - May 7, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    I don’t mind him hitting him. The kid is too comfortable up there and the umps are giving him a strike zone a 15 year vet would get. I mean seriously his strike zone is so small right now. He wasn’t trying to hurt him so what’s the problem. Hamels got hit too. People make to big of a deal about these things now adays. Just like basketbal its so soft right now. You can’t breath on someone to hard or you’ll get called for a foul

    • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      So pitchers should just hit him since his strike zone is too small to actually throw him a strike? Yep makes sense…

  7. Chris Ross - May 7, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I think this definitely brings to light the issue of intentionally hitting a batter in baseball. It’s a touchy issue with a lot of people because we are afraid of change but you wonder if something needs to be done about it. Hamels was so open about it yet I don’t see the MLB doing anything about it. Is it any different than hitting a quarterback in the head or throwing an elbow at a player in hockey? I’m not sure it is but then again this is old time baseball and it’s the way things are done. Hamels post game comments is definitely going to stir up some debate.

  8. Kyle McCall - May 7, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Cole Hamels rules

  9. shzastl - May 7, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    one of those cases where if you lie, you go unpunished. Tell the truth, get suspended. Great message for the kids!!!

  10. NJgriffNC - May 7, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    That’s it sign him for a billion dollars I don’t care what it takes I have never EVER been so proud of a home grown Philadelphia athlete. I love baseball. I respect Bryce Harper. I think he’s a cool kid and I think he is great for the game, but if you don’t think this is the penultimate and OFFICIAL message that Cole Hamels is a Philly kid and wants to be here for his entire career then you just aren’t seeing the situation correctly. You are my favorite Phillie of all time Cole and I am so proud to have grown up in your generation.

    • chalkruz1989 - May 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      You are aware that Cole Hamels is not from Philadelphia right? He’s far from a philly kid, he’s the polar opposite, he’s a Cali-boy. Not that there is anything wrong with that but you are talking of two completely different regions of the country.

    • stuckonwords - May 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      pe·nul·ti·mate [pi-nuhl-tuh-mit]
      1. next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.

    • metscast - May 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      There’s that South Jersey/Philly education shining through.

  11. eaglebobby - May 7, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    Maybe, Matthew, if the Nats management hadn’t acted like douchebags way back in February, where their “take back the ballpark” crap and “we’re not selling any tickets to people in the 215 or 610 area codes” and the players themselves hadn’t acted like they’re the new kids on the block even though it’s only May–not late September–Hamels wouldn’t have hit him. Until they’re not in first place in September, the Phils are STILL the reigning 5 TIME NL EAST CHAMPIONS. Even with Howard, Utley, Lee, and a couple of their relief pitchers on the shelf, they’re only 4 1/2 back of the Nats. There’s a long way to go–and now Werth is injured for at least 6 weeks, maybe even longer. The Phils will be back in this before the summer is out–and also, I watched the game on ESPN America over here in England this morning, and there were STILL plenty of empty seats in that stadium.

    • phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

      I highly doubt the “natitutde”/”take back the park” campaign had any influence on Hamels hitting Harper. He shouldn’t have hit him is the bottom line.

      And let’s be serious for a second, if the Phillies had this campaign kinda think when they were trying to become contenders again, everyone in the 215/610 area code would think it was awesome.

      • CJ - May 7, 2012 at 8:43 AM

        I do’t buy that argument. I’d be pissed off if they felt they had to pull a stunt like that to drum up fan support. Fans should be supporting their teams. And ownership really shouldn’t care who’s giving them the money as long as someone is.

        As I said last night after some very tall nats fan was pounding his chest that they took back the park, they never should’ve lost it. I realize that the Nats have some very unique challenges that make it tough on them, but even so, when you successfully take back your own park, that means you lost it at some point, which isn’t a good sign. Philly’s had some atrocious seasons in the past and still outdrew rival Met fans at the Vet, without the gimmicks. To even hypothesize that such a gimmick would be needed in Philly is so inconsistent with the history of its rabid fanbase (love it or hate it), that I can’t believe it’s even been mentioned, let alone by another Philly fan.

  12. eaglesw00t - May 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    If hamels is suspended, Zimmerman had better receive the exact same thing

    • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Zimmermann didn’t admit it was intentional. There is no proof he was throwing at Hamels since his pitch was down and in instead of in the middle of the back. Not justifying it but since Hamels opened his mouth he has no way to avoid a suspension. Like others have said. He could have simply said nothing or just smirked or something. He basically forced MLB’s hand at this point. Maybe MLB will just suspend him without pay for 4 games so he doesn’t miss a start but loses his game check for 3 or 4 games.

  13. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    No big deal

  14. roverboy1949 - May 7, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    When a position player gets a 5 game suspension, he really misses 5 games. When a pitcher gets a 5 game suspension, he really misses 1 start. That has never seemed very equal to me. Even if the pitcher gets a 3 start suspension, all the manager does is pencil him in to start every other day and he still only loses 1 start. Fix that, Mr. Commisioner. He hit him on purpose! and was dumb enough to admit it! I love old school baseball, but at least keep your mouth shut and smile.

    • paperlions - May 7, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      He doesn’t even miss 1 start, he has his next start pushed back 1 day.

    • eaglesw00t - May 7, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      And Zimmerman in turn hit Hamels. Although, he hit him in the knee. A much worse place to get hit, and possibly causing serious injury.

      Personally, I dont give a flying eff about who hit who. Its baseball. Satchel Paige and Bob Feller used to hit people all the time to back them off the plate. Dont cry about it when a Nats pitcher did the exact same thing in retribution, only worse.

    • stuckonwords - May 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      They’re not actually trying to suspend pitchers for 5 games in these cases. They’re trying to suspend them 1 game, but for pitchers they have to give them 5 to accomplish 1.

      The fact that he’ll get his next start pushed back by a day, as mentioned in another reply here, does still accomplish the intended punishment, because it means the team will have to use some other starter on that 5th day. It probably won’t be one of the other 4 starters on short rest (although if it was, you can assume less-than-usual effectiveness), so it usually means using a bullpen guy or a one-day call-up from the minors. This all has a trickle effect, and makes it tough on the team for a brief time. And that’s all MLB is trying to do. They’re not trying to issue a 5 game punishment; they’re trying to issue a “naughty naughty” slap on the wrist…which is pretty much all that’s warranted in a case like this.

  15. paperlions - May 7, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    I missed this….why did Hamels hit him? What did Harper do?

    Because if Hamels hit him because “he’s too comfortable up there” or because “he’s kind of good”, then that’s being an asshole. If he hit him because Harper did something he doesn’t approve of, then that’s being childish.

    As a fan of baseball that doesn’t care about the Nats, I love the way the kid plays baseball….he aggressive on the bases and dares you to make the play, cannon for an arm, all kinds of hustle (aren’t people supposed to be a fan of hustle?).

  16. gmsingh - May 7, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    He’s lying–the pitch was supposed to be over the outside corner and that was the best he could do.

  17. florida727 - May 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Cole Hamels is an idiot. MLB shouldn’t suspend him for 5-6 games. It should suspend him for 5-6 SCHEDULED STARTS. Pitchers get off easy when it comes to suspensions because they only pitch once every 5 days as it is. If he does get suspended for “5-6 games”, the reality is, he’s being suspended for ONE, the one he was going to actually play in. Yeah, I know, financially it costs him based on the prorated share of 5/162nds of his salary. But the team only suffers for one out of 162 games. That alone makes his suspension inconsequential to the team. No pain = no behavioral change.

  18. mqcarpenter - May 7, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    I think what they BOTH did was kick ass!

  19. paperlions - May 7, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Is baseball the only job in which adults are encouraged and lauded for hurting someone simply because they don’t like the way they go about their job? Can you imagine adults acting like this? And people from different companies, at that…

    This is like someone from a real estate agency getting pissed because he doesn’t like the font size on the signs from some other agency and going over there and slashing tires or spray painting the side of their building.

    Or a doctor taking exception to another admiring his work after a successful surgery and punching him/her in the kidney.

    Adults aren’t supposed to act like spoiled children…but in baseball, it is encouraged…and it is “old timey”? Give me a freakin’ break.

  20. sumerduckman - May 7, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Hamels is a whiny little punk. I hope one of the Fillys (probably Hunter Pence) enjoys his 100 mph Strasburg fastball in the ribs.

  21. planck16 - May 7, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    He plunked him, he admitted it, and he thinks he will get 3 games which means nothing to a stArting pitcher If I were the commish, I would suspend him for 6 games so he would miss at least one scheduled start. Not because he hit him, but he admitted it, called out MLB, and now will start a beanball war with the Nationals. I suggest Galvis, Utley, or Howard gear up because it is coming.

  22. johnnyb1976 - May 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Id love to see Aroldis Chapman whizz one by his head at 100mph. I have no problem with what Cole did, Harper is cocky and he feels entitled.

    • metscast - May 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Harper has been pretty quiet since being called up. And if you think he’s the only guy in MLB with ego problems, I’ve got a stadium in Miami you can invest in.

  23. cltjump - May 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    As a Braves fan, Go Cole Hamels. I like Bryce Harper, I hate Hamels. But this is cool, you guys. This is baseball.

  24. lightcleric - May 7, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Wow, the Phillies got someone on base.

  25. dkphilly1122 - May 7, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Cry Nats fans cry!! I didn’t even know the Nats even had fans let alone that go to the games at Citizens Bank Park South. He hit him with a pitch, Bryce didn’t care and scored, so why are you’s bitter?? They threw back at Hamels, it’s part of the game. Like someone said, if you can’t handle it go watch Tennis or Golf instead. I mean Nats fans never payed attention to there young team until this year. It’s sad they got a good young team and little to no support or real true fans. I feel bad for the players, they LOVE when Philly fans take over, they even said it on the MLB Network. They said it’s better than the usual no fans!!

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