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Mike Rizzo calls Cole Hamels “classless,” “gutless,” “chickens**t” and “fake tough”

May 7, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Mike Rizzo AP

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post called Nats GM Mike Rizzo this morning. And Rizzo unloaded on Cole Hamels like a freakin’ battleship bombarding the coastline:

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo responded to Cole Hamels’ admission he drilled Bryce Harper on purpose last night in harsh terms, saying MLB should suspend Hamels and calling out Hamels as “fake tough.”

“Players take care of themselves,” Rizzo said after I called him this morning. “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball … It was a gutless chicken [bleep] [bleeping] act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.”

“Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”

All of you people who think I was overreacting and being melodramatic about this can now stop commenting and start sending emails to the Nats.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. The Dangerous Mabry - May 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Rizzo really ruined a chance to control the narrative and have the Nationals come out as the classy team. Harper set him up for it when his postgame comment was nothing more than “Hamels threw a great game”. With Hamels jawing about Harper, and Harper taking the high road, all Rizzo had to do is have a calm, measured statement, and his team would have come out looking great. Instead, he flies off the handle and says things like “He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with”, which takes away any chance to come off as the professionals.

    Way to go, Rizzo.

    • evanwins - May 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Wow. Is Harpers mommy gonna complain too?

      This is a man’s sport. If Harpers can’t take a hit by pitch, maybe he should take up sewing.

      And I guess Rizzo had no comment about Zimmerman’s retaliation?

      • marshmallowsnake - May 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        If you want intentional illegal hits, watch football or hockey.

      • marinersnate - May 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        The Phillies want to be “old school”? Davey Johnson should of shown them a little old school. Bottom of the third, one out, one on, Johnson goes to the mound, takes the ball from Zimmerman and sends him to left field. He brings Harper to the mound, hands him the ball, and says “Here kid, you do it”. Would “old school” “tough guy” Hamels even have had the guts to step into the box? Not a chance. My guess is he suddenly would have developed a hang-nail and had to get to clubhouse and have it attended to immediately.

        Was I disappointed with this whole thing? Sure was. I was disappointed that Zimmerman didn’t nail “old school” “tough guy” Hamels square in the ribs like attempted to do to Harper.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - May 7, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        At least give hockey credit for transparency in the league’s policing of those hits. The Shanahan videos have gone a long way towards giving the league office some legitimacy when it comes to suspensions or non-suspensions or the like.

        Don’t look for any similar transparency from MLB.

      • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        At least there was a reason to hit Hamels. Harper’s bean ball the reason was …..

      • paperlions - May 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        Uh, you might want to actually pay attention. Harper didn’t complain. In this scenario, it is Harper (the 19 yr old kid) that has been more old school than anyone.

      • drewsylvania - May 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        Not biased at all, eh?

      • nightman13 - May 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Philly is a whole city of fake tough guys. They confuse being a-holes with being tough.

      • natstowngreg - May 7, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        But PL, Harper is an immature jerk! It’s in all the media, so it must be true. Please stick with the narrative.

      • rg3isvictory - May 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Hockey is a mans sport fella, this is just a good sport!!! Mans sport, what a joke!!!

    • HitsDingers - May 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      I totally agree. I’m a Phillies fan and after Harper scored I called my buddy and asked if he just saw Harper own Hamels. Harper took it like a big leaguer and kept playing. I came away pretty impressed.

      If I were Hamels I would laugh at Rizzo’s comments and consider buying him a thesaurus.

      Hamels hit him right around the wallet pocket. People are acting like he went high and hard at Harper’s head. Give it a rest.

      • professor59 - May 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Exactly. I would have loved to hear that Hamels sought out Harper after the game and said, “Hey kid! Remember when you stole home while I was throwing to first? That was F$^%ing awesome!”

        It’s not as personal as some of you would like to believe. A lot of times, a guy comes up from the minors and hits .400 because nobody challenges him inside. Once they get a healthy fear of MLB pitching, they revert to normal. Harper did everything right here, and Rizzo is a complete idiot.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      Shut up clown !

  2. xmatt0926x - May 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    As a Phillies fan I don’t agree with what Hamels did and he doesn’t strike me as Old School either but I also don’t find Mike Rizzo’s anger to be totally sincere. I think he’s loving every bit of this new “controversy” and will play it for all it’s worth. I don’t put anything past the people that came up with “Natitude” and “take back our park” to get national attention just a year after they were the same people emailing the Phillies trying to organize Philly fan trips to their park for opening weekend.

  3. jaymidd - May 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Zimmerman just got out on bail. He better watch his mouth…he’s already shot an innocent kid once. He’s on very thin ice!

    • drewsylvania - May 7, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      funny ha-ha, bravo.

      • jaymidd - May 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Lol….thx bro.

  4. mybrunoblog - May 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Cole Hamels is old school he takes trains on the road. Hamels was quoted as saying ” I’m old school, planes are for pussies. Hey, anyone see my Marlboros and my glass of scotch?”
    It can’t be confirmed but I think Hamels was wearing a flannel jersey last night.

    My two cents…..I got no problem if Hamels would have maybe dusted Harper. Nothing dangerous just move his feet a little, make him know this isn’t triple a. Hitting him? That’s just weak….Hamels is too ignorant to realize that most of the hype about this kid comes from fans and the media. The kid is just playing ball.

    • teamobijuan - May 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Why does Hamels need to “make him know this isn’t triple a”.

      You think Harper doesn’t know where he is? Tell us of your time in the bigs.

  5. Ryan Gillon - May 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Bigger exaggeration: Rizzo’s comments on Cole Hamels or the contract he signed Jayson Werth to last year?

  6. etchedchaos - May 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    I suppose he conveniently forgot about Nyjer Morgan’s antics when he was a Nat.

    • xmatt0926x - May 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      That’s funny etchedchaos. You’re absolutely right on. I don’t recall Rizzo’s violent anger at any of Morgan’s antics. And the funny thing is that I seem to remember Nyger Morgan also proclaiming that he was an “old school” type of player and that was why did the things he does.

    • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      and the antics were running over a catcher while trying to score? Tha’s right, GM’s get pissed when their players are trying to score runs for their team rather than beaning the opponent for some inexplicable reason allowing the opponent to score first.

      • xmatt0926x - May 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        LOL . Are you serious?? Running over a catcher when trying to score? You mean the elbow to the catchers upper body as he ran by him? What plays did you see? I think this is all just good theater and I haven’t defended Hamels one bit, but don’t try to make your point by defending Nyger Morgan and his bullshit. I agree with Rizzo that Hamels isn’t exactly old-school but he is being somewhat hypocritical when he never spoke up about Morgan, who also claimed to be old-school in explaining away his bad decisions. Come on.

      • samuellsamson - May 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        xmatt I suppose you can make a case that Rizzo is being hypocritical here, but the two cases do seem to be different in degree if there are some similarities in general theme. I would be pretty upset if my 19-y-old rookie superstar got beaned for absolutely no reason.

        From all I’ve seen Harper’s behaved classily and respectfully since his call-up, and in no way deserved a ball in the ribs — even if we accept any rookie might, which is questionable. In fact he was the one in this whole business who behaved most classily, by not complaining about the obvious purpose pitch; instead, he got his revenge by stealing home. Good lad.

    • cggarb - May 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      GREAT POINT. This is all a smokescreen to distract from some completely unrelated things done by a guy who hasn’t been on the Nationals in two seasons. Too bad for Rizzo that you guys had the ability to point this out here. BUSTED!

      • etchedchaos - May 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Rizzo said it was the most classless thing he’d seen in 30 years. Nyjer Morgan is very relevant. He got suspended for intentionally throwing a ball at a fan, that trumps Hamels by a gargantuan margin in the classless stakes.

      • xmatt0926x - May 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        cggarb, who claimed anything you are saying about this being a smoke screen? We’re just pointing out that he’s being a little bit of a hypocrite. Relax.

    • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Ummm, Morgan’s incidents were at the end of the season and he was out of D.C. before the next…not a great example since Rizzo gave him away for a bag of balls to get rid of his antics. Good try though…

      • etchedchaos - May 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        You seem to have completely missed my point, it’s not that he agreed with nyjer’s antics, but that he conveniently forgot them when making his ’30 years of baseball…’ statement.

      • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Yep you are right. I did indeed misinterpret that. Sorry about that. (This isn’t sarcastic either.)

    • nolanwiffle - May 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Rizzo “traded” Morgan for Cutter Dykstra and some cash…….which is to say, Rizzo tired of Morgan’s act and released him.

  7. stevedeans - May 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Not to mention that if Hamels gets a 5 day vacation, so will Zimmerman for retaliation. I was surprised that Cole would hit the kid on purpose. I guess that if he just waited out the rest of the game, he could have watched Harper make a few bad plays and just laugh at those instead.

    Maybe Cole was trying to help the Nats sell tickets.

  8. phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    So, when Ubaldo hit Tulowitzky Jim Tracy said the same kinda thing. And I think your reaction at the time was to say you don’t know if it was the most gutless thing he’s (Tracy) ever seen. Why no disclaimer like that this time? Seems like similar situations to me.

    • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      at least there were some comments and history with Ubaldo and Tulo. Hamels just goes all beanball because he’s pissed he was trying to play stink finger in the back of a car instead of playing major league ball at Harper’s age.

      • phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        For real dude? Hamels has a WS ring, a WS MVP, and is one of the best pitchers in baseball. I doubt he’s mad at Harper for being in the majors.

        Total crappy move to just bean him, but it shouldn’t ruin his reputation. I think people are really quick to judge (and infer) in today’s society.

      • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        Come on Phils, David Eckstein, Scott Brosius and Pat Borders; all have WS MVP trophies and multiple rings. Brosius has 3 rings, Eck and Borders have 2 each.

      • HitsDingers - May 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        So basically no statistic or award has any meaning?

        WS MVP is meaningless because Brosius won one
        Cy Young means nothing because Eric Gagne or Bartolo Colon won it
        MVP is garbage, even Morneau won one

        You’re right, I never realized how unimpressive Cole Hamels was in 2008 until just now.

  9. 3yardsandacloud - May 7, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I have no problem with hitting Harper. He comes across as arrogant and cocky. Plus, this is a rivalry game and this throws fuel on the fire. Harper is obviously going to be a great ball player. He’s exciting to watch and the Nat’s fans should be happy to have him.

    Hamels plunked him in the back. It’s not a big deal. If he had thrown at his head, fine; but he didn’t. It was as safe a “hit by the pitch” as he could throw. He’s just welcoming the kid to the league. I don’t understand the uproar.

    And before anyone starts with the Phillies suck stuff, I’m not a phillies fan or a nats fan. Just love the game and root for my Tiger’s. I understand the anger, but the GM is wayyyyy off base, as is any fan that doesn’t realize this is part of the game.

    • Kevin S. - May 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      No, seriously, what has he done that comes across as arrogant and cocky? What you meant to say was certain media types told you he was arrogant and cocky because of shit that happened when he was in the minors, and you just went along with the narrative. Bryce Harper has done absolutely nothing in the majors that would warrant those accusations.

      • professor59 - May 7, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        There are a series of Harper’s minor league incidents, many on Youtube. Hopefully he’s matured enough so he won’t repeat them in the majors, but I think they will come soon enough.

      • 3yardsandacloud - May 8, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Since when do you ignore what a guy does in the minors? Do you ignore a football players college arrests? Do you ignore Delmon Young throwing a bat at an ump? No, you take the stories you hear about and you make a decision.

        I said he comes across arrogant and cocky. I also said, he’s going to be great. He’s a phenomenal athlete, with a cannon arm and he hits the ball a mile. His attitude, or reputation that he currently has, rubs people the wrong way. Now, if he is completely different in the majors, his reputation will change. This whole incident was over a bean ball. Which Washington responded to by hitting Hamels (before Hamels admitted it was intentional I might add). Does that make the Nats pitcher less culpable? No, he should get 5 games too because you know it was intentional.

        Baseball, since inception, has used the bean ball as an intimidation factor and teams regularly respond by 1)hitting an important batter when they’re up; or, 2) charging the mound. There’s no reason to change anything, nor is there reason to suspend Hamels. Justice was done on the field when he was hit and then Harper one uped him when he stole home.

        Seems like a lot of crying for little reason. And remember, there’s no crying in baseball

    • sasquash20 - May 7, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Well said 3yardsandacloud. I totally agree. You will get thumbs down because this country is turning into a bunch of tinker bells.

  10. Chris Ross - May 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I thought it was really interesting how Cole Hamels came out and said what he said. It’s been a while since a pitcher has done that and you wonder if there will be any target on his back when he faces the Nationals the next time. I mean, good for him for stepping up and being a man about the whole thing and same with Bryce Harper for laughing it off. There’s nothing more that Harper could have done about it and if you’re going to do what Hamels did might as well be a big boy about it.

  11. drewsylvania - May 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Was there prior history, or did Hamels just hit Harper because he felt like it?

    If the latter, well, that makes Hamels a douche.

    • Kevin S. - May 7, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      It was the latter.

  12. jmcnick - May 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Rizzo never made it past Class A Advanced. How would he know if someone was gutless or classless.
    Noboby probably ever threw at him because he was and still is a nobody.

    • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      and your posting career?

  13. irishphilly87 - May 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Cole just said “Yo I’m a World Series MVP, f*** you Bryce Hype Harper”, love it.

    • psuravens19 - May 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Typical Philly Trash..

  14. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Goodbye, Rizzo

    • drewsylvania - May 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Who’s going to fire him?

  15. jaymidd - May 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Natitude? Seriously? Thats the dumbest tag line ever! And i live in DC. If youre gonna go with that, why not just go with Gnatitude, since they bug you to death or how bout ratitude, since there are nothing but rats up in the bleachers in the outfield. Natitude….get the f outta here. Its gonna be funny when they come tumbling back down to earth in the greater loss column…then they can change it to gratitude for for ripping fans off trying to get them to believe this sorry teams was actually going somewhere. Puhleeze.

  16. ltzep75 - May 7, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Is it me, or is this whole thing just blown way the eff out of proportion.

    1) Hamels hits Harper

    2) Harper later responds by stealing home

    3) Hamels gets beaned in retaliation

    4) controversy over.

    Seems to me that Harper proved he was much more (publically) mature than people give him credit for (took revenge on field, said right thing after game), the nationals (read: Davey) definitively respond and let opposing pitcher know that BS will be served right back to Hamels, and Hamels makes himself out to be an ass. So what’s the big deal?

    Oh yeah, right right – baseball is this very pure game played by angellic spirits who walk out of cornfields. I forgot. My bad.

  17. bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Still wondering why the comment I submitted 2 hours ago never appeared . . .

    I even resubmitted and got a “duplicate comment” message.

    This happens to me several times a week.

    Very strange.

  18. chadjones27 - May 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    So, what’s worse. Cole beaning the kid in the kidneys (92mph, OUCH)? Or Zimmerman going after Hamels knees?

    • samuellsamson - May 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      Zimmerman threw at Hamels for beaning Harper. Hamels threw at Harper for… being Harper?

      I think Hamels’ purpose pitch was worse.

      • chadjones27 - May 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        I wasn’t referring to the reasoning behind the hit. One guy gets plugged in the back (possibly bursting a kidney). And Zimmerman came awfully close to taking out Hamels’ knee cap. Luckily he took one off the calf, but, a fastball of the knee, that dude is in rehab for weeks.

  19. brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    If Rizzo doesn’t want a 19 year old getting hit by. Pitch then he shouldn’t have a 19 year old on the team.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      If you don’t want to get raped, you shouldn’t wear those clothes.

      Do you guys honestly think about some of the stuff you write before hitting post?

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        My post is in direct relation to what Rizzo said. He brought up Harper’s age like a how dare you hit our guy who’s only 19 years old. Harper is in the Majors now, he will get treated how any other big leaguer does.

      • samuellsamson - May 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        He’ll get thrown at for no reason at all? Sounds legit.

    • aceshigh11 - May 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM


      What does that even MEAN? Is this some “rite of passage” bullshit that I don’t know about?

  20. Panda Claus - May 7, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    “Natitude”, meet spoiled “Bratitude”.

  21. dkphilly1122 - May 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    The Nats took two of three…..I’ll give them this weekend, even though any baseball fan will say the Phillies got cheated on two calls that woulda won Friday nights game. They WILL NOT beat our three horses in any series, Halladay, Lee and Hamels if they have it set up in the next series. Especially now that one of your best players in Werth is done, which I’m a Werth fan.

    • pdowdy83 - May 7, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      They blew multiple calls on both sides of the game Friday night. Ankiel was clearly safe at home cus Ruiz didn’t actually touch the plate but they still called him out. Hell there probably would have been even worse calls if Joe West had actually been at the games.

      I would indeed like to see a series where Halladay, Lee and Hamels line up against Strasburg, Gonzalez and Zimmermann with both Utley and Howard back in the line up to go with the Nats having Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche around. Not to mention Drew Storen back in the bullpen too. I think that would be a fantastic baseball series to take in.

    • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      “I’ll give them this weekend,…” Nice of you since the Nats won 2 of 3.

  22. biasedhomer - May 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    There goes Rizzo’s chance of signing Hamels in the offseason. Dodgers, Tigers, Phillies, Cubs, Yankees, and Red Sox all say thank you.

    • brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      Put enough zeros before the decimal point on Hamels’ paycheck and he’ll still go there.

  23. dawglb - May 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Riz, what is gutless, chicken$hit, and NOT old school is your organization! I have never seen such a gimmick oriented organization. “Natutude”? Not selling tickets to Phillies fans in PA? Were you proud of Harper when he showed up the pitcher, last year, after hitting the home run?? Seriously, Riz? Why don’t you act like you have been in baseball for a while? A real baseball man has seen a lot of this stuff before. Enjoy your 11,000 “old school” baseball fans that need to be marketed/encouraged to attend your product. PS: $40 to part is gutless and chicken$hit, too!

  24. dawglb - May 7, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Park not part,…f@$?

  25. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Mike Rizzo: “They told me to say that”.

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