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Cole Hamels suspended five games for intentionally hitting Bryce Harper

May 7, 2012, 5:15 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Cole Hamels admitting that he intentionally plunked Bryce Harper yesterday has earned the Phillies left-hander a five-game suspension from MLB, along with an undisclosed fine.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo should be happy, as he called for Hamels to be suspended along with calling Hamels a whole bunch of names, including “classless” and “gutless” and “chickens**t” and “fake tough.”

In reality though it just means Hamels’ next start will likely be delayed by one day and because the Phillies are off Thursday they could simply pitch Roy Halladay on regular rest Saturday and not even have to use a spot starter.

Obviously pitchers intentionally throw at batters all the time, but the five-game suspension means it might be a while before another pitcher actually admits it.

UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of reports that Hamels will not appeal the suspension, so he’ll be eligible to start Sunday.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. phillyphever - May 7, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Sorry Cole, you deserved this one.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Cole Hamels is GAME ON !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • xplorer007 - May 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      Just not sure what message Cole was trying to send. Why plunk a 19-year-old rookie who was 0-7 in the series up to that point? Stupid to do it and even more stupid to talk about it. Wonder if this could cost Cole a place on the NL All-Star team if other players and/or Tony LaRussa take offense.

      • biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        Cost a spot on the NL All-Star roster? give me a break, no one will remember this in a month and everyone in baseball knows half the times, pitchers plunk the batter on purpose. He just stated what everyone else knows.

        If LaRussa wants his Cards to have a shot at home field in the WS, he will choose the best players available, and if Hamels is still pitching like this, you are talking about an NL Cy Young candidate.

      • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Everyone will remember this a month from now. Harper is a budding star, and as Ben Lindbergh over at BP put it,

        If anything, Harper has been a model citizen since his promotion. He’s avoided any controversy, and his video highlights section already extends three pages. It’s like looking at a Hall of Famer’s baby book. The video titles summarize one success after another. Harper’s incredible throw. Harper’s leaping catch. Harper’s barehanded catch. Harper’s diving grab. Harper’s go-ahead double. Harper steals home. Harper boosts attendance at Nationals Park.*

        Harper’s early career is only burnished by this incident.

  2. singingfriar - May 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Now THAT’S chickens**t.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Quick question about suspensions and roster spots: could the Phillies recall somebody to take his spot on the roster while suspended, thereby giving them an extra bullpen arm for a few days or do they have to play a man down so to speak?

    • kicksave1980 - May 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      I believe they can, as long as the called up player is on the 40 man roster…

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Thank you. I figured they could but wasn’t sure because it was a disciplinary matter. Obviously, I know they can in terms of PED suspensions….just wasn’t sure if MLB differentiated between types of suspensions.

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 7, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      No, no replacements for suspended players.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        So MLB does differentiate types of suspensions?

      • kicksave1980 - May 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        drmonkeyarmy – My mistake, Matthew is correct. I finally found it in the rulebook, and the team must remain shorthanded for the length of the suspension.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Thank you. My follow up question would be, what about PED suspensions? They can obviously replace the player on the roster, so MLB treats the roster situation differently based upon the length of the suspension? Oh, I am assuming they can replace the PED suspended player on the 25 man roster. Really just looking for a clarification on that.

  4. skerney - May 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    If he’s old school, he won’t appeal.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      He did not appeal. Will start serving suspension tonight.

  5. mianfr - May 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    What are you doing, Cole? Come on. Get your head in the game.

    • hoopmatch - May 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      And out of your ass.

    • emoser - May 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      It’s not costing him a start… really not that big of a deal. The headline of this article should read ‘Hamels suspended for bragging about intentionally hitting Harper.’ If they doled out suspensions just for throwing at someone on purpose then Zimmerman would be out 5 games too.

    • mianfr - May 7, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      Short memories…

  6. randygnyc - May 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    And if nothing else, Hamel’s won’t be participating in any beanball wars in the future.

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      How do you figure? All it means is that he wont be discussing them with reporters.

    • cleverbob - May 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      He didn’t bean anybody.

  7. Ben - May 7, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Good. Well-deserved.

  8. dennisund - May 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    About what I figured. Now beat those Mets new school style.

  9. shempbat - May 7, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    It should have been a 5 start suspension.

    • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      So…he should be suspended for what would amount to be about a month, give or take a few days…? A tad Draconian, dontcha think?

      • natstowngreg - May 7, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Agreed. At the same time, a 5-game suspension for a SP seems weak, if you’re trying to discourage throwing at hitters. They have pushed back his next start a day or 2.

    • pizzmoe - May 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Yea, why not suspend him for the rest of the season while you’re at it?

    • biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Ban him from Baseball.

    • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      I don’t know about 5 starts, but shouldn’t he have to miss at least one? He’s not even really missing one, it’s just gonna get pushed back a day. For something like this I think a 9 or 10 game suspension would be better. If a position player gets suspended 5 games he loses like 20 at bats, pitchers are barely affected.

      • emoser - May 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM

        If every intentional beaning was dealt with that way then baseball would be a joke. Zimmerman throwing at Hamels was no less intentional, it’s just a difference of how they acted about it afterward. You’ll never see a pitcher get suspended if they do it just once during a game and keep their mouth shut about their intentions.

      • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        I think it’s more of a joke that they face virtually no consequences when they do get suspended. I mean, later in the season when guys are starting to get worn down, an extra day of rest might actually help them a little. It causes a minor inconvenience for the manager and nothing else. If we’re gonna hand out 5 game suspensions for intentional beanings we may as well not even police it at all.

  10. El Bravo - May 7, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    All I care about with this whole situatin is that douchebag mcgee (Cole) pitches one start this week. It seems that he will. My fantasy roster will remain intact. Yeah, I’m biased in favor of a Phillies SP NOT being punished purely for fantasy reasons. Suck it. Go Braves.

    • miketreedy - May 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      No one gives a s*** about your fantasy baseball team. Shut up!

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        You do. I can tell you all about it over a nice cup of tea.

    • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Oh, my stars and garters!!!!! You have Phightins on your roster?!?!? That’s heretical sacrilege, isn’t it?!?!?

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        Cliff Lee was my ace last year. I can see talent even through shitty red pinstripes.

    • cur68 - May 8, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      Dang, man, never woulda thunk a pie eater would go for a Phillie on his team. *shakes head in bafflement at the craziness in the world*

  11. ducksouped - May 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    What a bitch. Where the hell did this web come from ?? Since when is hammels a tough guy? Does anyone else think this is kinda outta left field?

  12. stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    So first off, let’s be real about a 5-game suspension for starting pitchers — this does not equate to them losing a start. All it does is simply push back their next scheduled start by a day. This suspension will almost certainly not make a difference in the number of games Cole starts this season. Oh, and he loses no pay. It’s just an overall perfect example of a slap-on-the-wrist type of punishment.

    So… given last night’s incident, and Cole’s blatant admission afterwards that it was intentional, MLB is sending the message that pitchers can throw premeditated beanballs, for no damn reason at all, and that will draw the cookie cutter slap on the wrist punishment mentioned above.


    • pizzmoe - May 7, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      It wasn’t a beanball, pitchers do it all the time, and he got hit in retaliation, so basically the whole thing is over and the suspension is just for sending a message, not some great punishment.

      • blackholeson21 - May 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        So the Nats hit Cole by accident?
        Wow! What are the odds? And who is this Rizzo guy? I’ve never heard.of him but he sounds like a dick.

    • stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      And try to forget about the fact it was Cole Hamels & Bryce Harper for a moment. Who cares who it was. Next time let’s say it’s your favorite team’s #3 hitter, and an opposing pitcher makes a premeditated decision that the first time up he’s going to drill that guy with a fastball, just for the hell of it.

      MLB’s blanket disciplinary policy of pushing a pitcher’s next start back by a single freaking day is supposed to be reasonable punishment for this type of offense?

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        MLB also doesn’t seem overly eager to punish DUI offenders…which to me is a more serious issue than plunking somebody in the ass.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        That didn’t come out right…..

      • stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Sure, MLB’s inconsistency on the DUI punishment (or lack thereof) is just another example of its incompetency.

        Doesn’t make me think it’s any less chickenshit for pitchers to throw 90+ mph fastballs at guys. That it was unprovoked is just about as weak as it gets. The real old school guys would bitchslap Hollywood Hamels for trying to lump himself in with them based on that type of move.

  13. drummerdave20 - May 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Harper deserves it. he’s a punk. a 19 year old punk with an attitude. so cole basically said. ” I’m a world series MVP. I’m 28. and been doing this a lot longer than you”. so he deserved it. it’s no different than a guy doing it n then denying it after the game. no need to lie. good job cole. I respect him for having the balls to do that. he started a rivalry between us n them as well. it’s awesome. and he’s only missing 1 start

    • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      ^ Which is a douche bag move, and admitting it is just foolish, honestly.

    • jimbo1949 - May 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      H8rs gotta h8, morons gotta moron.

  14. dawglb - May 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I ‘m so proud. Our little boy, Cole is all grown up! Way to go! Hope it lights a fire under the Club!

  15. chap6869 - May 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    So the difference between Hamels beaning Harper and Zimmerman retaliating the next inning is that Cole admitted it. Sounds about right. Guess Cole wont be saying much to the media for a while.

    • baseballisboring - May 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      The difference between Cole and Harper getting hit is that Cole deserved it.

      • emoser - May 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        Well let’s just hope that Harper’s feelings weren’t hurt too bad, then.

    • cleverbob - May 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Hamels didn’t bean anyone.

  16. myvickinabox14 - May 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    It’s crap, do what, he threw at a douche bag who crowds the plate. He got hit as well, Zinmerman should be suspended as well. Cole manned up and admitted that he hit him on purpose. If he lies about it, no suspension.

  17. justtryingtomakesense - May 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    So, the gist of all this is that it’s okay to be a loudmouthed, haven’t accomplished anything outside of high school yet, entitled to act like an all-star, snot nosed kid but God forbid one of the best left handed pitchers in baseball decides to deliver a message with a 75 mile an hour change up. The message….shut up and prove you belong here. But then, in an age when polls show that the majority of 18-25 year olds say their niumber one goal is to be rich and their number 2 goal is to be a celebritywhat can you expect. At least Harper hasn’t said much although that’s probably more out of fear than it is toughness.

    • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Harper did prove he belonged there, by stealing home and making Hamels look like the snot-nosed kid.
      And the pitch was 93mph.

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

        Yeah, really, who’s the snot nosed kid? Harper takes his base like a pro, then he steals home and puts his team ahead. Hamels acts like a jealous high school cheerleader, beans him in the back, puts his team behind and then gets himself suspended by admitting it, which is just dumb. So who looks like a punk here?

      • Ben - May 7, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        No kidding. I’m gonna laugh so hard if Hamels loses the ERA title for this.

      • cleverbob - May 8, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        I seriously doubt Hamels will lose any sleep over missing out on the “ERA title”. Last place in the NL East, on the other hand…

    • blackholeson21 - May 7, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      Can we get an Eagles player and a Sixer to step on Noah’s toe or something so we can have a city suspension sweep. Good.for.both Claude and Cole for having an edge to their games. Go Philly!

  18. jimmymarlinsfan - May 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    As a marlins fan, I loathe the phillies as much as anyone else, that being said…I’m for old school baseball and sometimes I think rookies need a welcoming to the big leagues and that is usually in the form of a beanball to the back or butt which is what Hamels’ seemed to do as he didn’t offer any reason for intentionally hitting him

    I think the punishment is so beneath what an actual punishment is, that they should accept that intentional beanballs occur and if it’s not at the head, then an occasional bean ball is ok

    And being that it’s baseball, Harper got revenge in the form of stealing home…I’d say all parties involved felt some pain

    • joebuckiscreepy - May 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      As twisted as it is, Harper almost seemed honored…like it showed that Hamels respected his talent.

      • jimmymarlinsfan - May 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        And I agree…and you listen to Cole after the game and he pretty clearly didn’t mean anything by it

  19. stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Ubaldo throws at Tulo and Hamels throws at Bryce. Those are a couple of touch sumbitches.

    • stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      *Tough even.

  20. tsi4431 - May 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I am a Mets fan, and I actually gained respect for Hamels.

    I wonder what will happen if a player admits to trying to break up a double play by sliding into the defender at 2nd? No difference, more injuries caused by a slide then a beanball.

    Same with a play at home. Ask the players if they tried to take out the catcher, if they admit it, you now have to suspend them. Zero tolerance.

  21. stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Thoughts from a couple former big leaguers…

    “I never threw at a guy for being a rookie … that’s just so stupid. That’s like throwing at a guy for hitting a home run off of you cuz you made a crappy pitch. You hit guys for specific things. Guys don’t have good enough command not to hit guys in the head.”

    “Cole Hamels disappointed me today by hitting Bryce Harper. No honor there. Whoever is the leader on that team doesn’t have control.”

    Again, forget about the fact it was Hamels and Harper involved. If the next jackhole pitcher decides out of the blue to drill your favorite team’s #3 hitter, you’ll obviously be singing a different tune. Try to have a consistent, objective viewpoint on this.

    Is there anyone who truly believes it’s not a big deal for pitchers to intentially throw 90+ mph fastballs at hitters?

    • kkolchak - May 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      That pretty well sums it up right there. Harper had done nothing to earn a beaning other than just play hard the entire series. His reaction afterward, both on the field and after the game showed who the punk is–Hammels.

    • dennisund - May 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Yeah, Morgan Enserg’s comments are worthless. Sorry.

      • Kevin S. - May 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM

        Actually, Morgan Ensberg’s got some fantastic perspective on the game. You don’t need to be a great player to have a worthwhile opinion, especially if you back it up, the way Ensberg usually does.

      • dennisund - May 7, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        You don’t have to be a player of any kind to have a worthwhile opinion. Using his comments with the title of ‘former player’ doesn’t mean anything more than a newspaper reporter’s, especially when the player has a shorter span in the league than the player he is speaking about. Did anyone get a quote from Chris Coste???

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Morgan Ensberg? Best you can do?

      • stabonerichard - May 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

        Would the words of Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro be more to your liking?

        “It’s kind of disappointing it even happened. If what he said is true, I’m kind of disappointed. Obviously, that’s not what we’re about.”

      • dennisund - May 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

        @stabonerichard, Yeah, far more relevant, too.

  22. joebuckiscreepy - May 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Well deserved. Stupid to hit him, stupid to admit it.

    Hypothetical question: if Hamels was suspended 5 games for intentionally hitting Bryce Harper and admitting to it, shouldn’t Zimmerman get suspended as well since it was more than obvious that he hit Hamels on purpose? Just because Hamels was honest about it doesn’t make it more suspension-worthy. Same intent on both pitches. I could see them coming down harder on Hamels because he did it first and more or less flaunted it afterwards, but Zimmerman is obviously guilty of the same thing and retaliation often results in the benches clearing. From now on, the standard is more or less set that retaliation won’t result in suspension.

    Also, for the record: Rizzo is a tool. (I just couldn’t help it) What happened happens all the time. Harper took it in stride, got his revenge by stealing home, and didn’t say a word about it afterwards…actually pretty classy. Calling someone “chickens*it,” “gutless,” and “fake tough” to the press is classless.

    • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      Yes, Zimmerman should be suspended/fined the same amount for idiotic propagation of some asinine unwritten rule.

  23. omegaichiban - May 7, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Bryce should invite cole to the octagon, and if cole refuses, punch his ass in the grill.

  24. randygnyc - May 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Such delusional liars commenting here:
    Cole hit him with a 72 mph change up?
    Nope , 92 mph fastball 2 inches from his spine.
    Harper is a loud mouth, cocky kid?-
    Nope. Harper has said or done nothing at the major league level to deserve beaning.
    Cole is the arbiter of MLB justice?
    Nope. Just a punk kid who all baseball fans know QUIT ON HIS TEAM WHEN THEY MOST NEEDED HIM.
    All this makes Hamels EXACTLY like phillies fans- DOUCHEBAGS!!!!

    • chap6869 - May 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Says the DOUCHEBAG that always has a negative comment on Philly articles, Yeah Randygay, your the voice of reason on this message board, what a smacked azz!!!!!

      • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 8:26 PM

        Yeah…he hardly ever has anything constructive to say regarding anything but the Yankees, but your homophobic slur has no place, either.

    • joebuckiscreepy - May 7, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      If you are making generalizations about Phillies fans being douchebags, then I am going to go ahead and make a generalization about guys named “Randy” being creepy douches. We should hang out sometime, bro.

      • redskins1 - May 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

        philly fans suck!!! Tough guy!!!

  25. dawglb - May 7, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    @blackholeson21, Hahahahahahahahaha! Loved your post! Well said!

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