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There’s no excuse for Cole Hamels intentionally throwing at Bryce Harper

May 7, 2012, 8:22 AM EST

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

As we saw last night, Cole Hamels admitted that he threw at and hit Bryce Harper intentionally. Harper being young, brash and, in Hamels’ mind anyway, pampered was his motivation. “Old school baseball,” was his defense.  But no matter how he rationalizes it, it’s low rent and pathetic.

Hamels says that he wasn’t trying to injure Harper.  But it was a 92 mile per hour fastball, and I’m sorry, no matter what your intentions, a 92 mile per hour fastball has the potential to do serious damage to a person. Obviously he did not injure Harper, but he very easily could have, his intentions notwithstanding.

What if Harper turns a little late or a little early and it breaks his wrist? What if the ball gets away from Hamels ever so slightly and runs towards Harper’s head? It doesn’t matter that neither of those things happened. When a hard-throwing pitcher intentionally aims a baseball at batter, he is acting recklessly and, in my view, maliciously, and that has no place in baseball.

And spare me your “it has always been thus” arguments. Just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it right. People have had their careers ended by thrown baseballs before.  A couple have even been killed. We decry cheapshots and intentional efforts to harm opponents in every other sport. We should feel no differently about it in baseball. And I defy anyone to give me a justification for doing so that does not rest on the “it has always been this way” defense. A bad act is a bad act no matter how many people have perpetrated it in the past.

Hit batsmen are a part of the game, regrettably. But there is no excuse for intentionally hitting anyone. Even Bryce Harper.

228 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. joebuckiscreepy - May 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    cool story, bro.

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

      I’m trying to reach someone from 2009 to reply to your comment. I’ll let you know if anyone gets back to me.

    • philiplewis1 - May 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Throwing at hitters is the dumbest tradition in baseball. Absolutely no advantages and many disadvantages. Can you think of a hitter who has ever been intimidated by this. I doubt it. So what purpose does it serve other than put your team at a disadvantage by putting someone on base (who eventually scored in this case).

  2. sictransitchris - May 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I can’t wait for the Philly Defense Force to arrive.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      I expect that. I also would expect them to be going apeshit crazy if a pitcher intentionally threw at Ryan Howard or Hunter Pence or someone.

      • CJ - May 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        but it has always been thus! :)

      • heyblueyoustink - May 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        Slurping the Nats before the weekend, ripping Hamels for doing something every other stinking club does after the weekend just because he admitted it. I would hope over the long season, you know, since you’re taking such the brave stand here for logic, reason, and humanity, that you’ll be just as vigilant poining out the hundred plus other times this goes down this season.

        And with just as much angst.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        “slurping the Nats?” Did you not read my posts? I was quite critical of the whole “natitude” thing. I think it was kinda dumb. I did write a post about Friday’s game talking about it, but that was certainly not an endorsement as much as it was an observation.

      • thefacts121 - May 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM

        If only there was a test case of a prominent Phillies player getting hit intentionally last night to test your theory…

        What Hamels did was wrong: no defenses here. But to leave out Zimmermann doing the exact same thing like two innings later from your article was kind of silly.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 7, 2012 at 9:09 AM

        Fine then Craig, no slurping, just my take on it, still though, you are going to be consistent and watch for this topic, since it seems to have bothered you to such a degree, right?

        I can expect in the future when this happens that you’ll at least put a one line flyer about Zimmerman attempting ( and failing ) low rent retaliation, correct? At least a sentence fragment?

      • whatever888 - May 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        You mean like when Tim Hudson repeatedly went after Polanco’s elbow? I don’t really remember any scathing Op-Ed’s then. But I guess those balls just got away.

        Listen, you want to go after Hamels, fine whatever, suspend him, I’m sure he won’t mind, because my guess would be he’s earned respect from his teammates and other players in the game. Or maybe he won’t, and he should be suspended a start for being dumb. I don’t know. But that’s not really what this is about. I’m sure anyone who reads this site regularly can glean, you’re getting off on trolling Phillies fans, which is cool, whatever, page views. It’s not like you’re breaking any new ground here. The selective outrage is actually pretty hilarious.

        I’m sure you’ll play it off as “oh no what if Harper had gotten hit! I’m just looking out for the safety of players!” But when you lace off obscenities after walk off wins against the Phillies on twitter, it’s kind of hard to take you seriously as a national journalist/blogger/whatever. Maybe that’s not what your going for, in which case, I guess I’m sorry I wasted your time.

      • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        Great, suspend Hamels. Wait…that means more starts for Kendrick….

      • dennisund - May 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Howard has been HBP 40 times in his career, most of them by Greg Maddux.

      • joebuckiscreepy - May 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Just to clarify: my “cool story, bro” comment was satirical at best. Everything you said was completely obvious and I agree that it was stupid for Hamels to throw at Harper (even if he is a prick), stupid for him to admit it, and stupid of him to try to justify it in any way.

        I just feel like you went a little overboard stating the obvious and get kind of annoyed at the fact that your site, as well as the other nbc sites, get thousands of extra hits by trolling philly fans. I find it a little curious that you didn’t call out Zimmerman for retaliating against Hamels later. It’s the same deplorable act, yet you didn’t call him out. Every team does this. It’s stupid, Hamels was dumb for admitting it, but at least his stupidity might draw attention to a problem that is widespread across the league.

        “A bad act is a bad act no matter how many people have perpetrated it in the past.” -Craig Calcaterra.

        You say that, yet don’t say a word about the retaliation that happened immediately after? I guess it’s ok because this is more of an opinion piece than actual journalism, but I still have to call it out.

        There are idiots in every sports city, I have seen it first hand. I am just as annoyed by obnoxious philly fans as I am by obnoxious fans in every other city. I am sick of antiquated, exaggerated stories and a few dozen random idiots giving people an excuse to brand an entire fanbase as barbarians.

        You knew what the reaction would be when you wrote this, try finding a happy medium between journalism and trolling. Trolling aside, keep up the good work.

        (cool story, bro. haha)

  3. georgia - May 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Didn’t Johnny Cueto (sp?) kick someone in the head after a benches clearing incident a season or two ago and pretty much end their career? I know this is off topic slightly.

    • schmedley69 - May 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      Yes, but he wasn’t a Phillie, so it didn’t garner much attention here.

    • jeffthomasb - May 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      That would be Jason La Rue, former Cardinal backup catcher. That was an ugly day for baseball. La Rue was headed for retirement before too long anyway, but the concussion he got from Cueto’s baby-crap soccer move pretty much forced the issue.

    • johnnyb1976 - May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Cueto was trying to kick Chris Carpenter and Jason LaRue got in the way, (Come on we’ve all wanted to kick Chris Carpenter).

  4. darthicarus - May 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Damn you Bryce Harper for having a special talent and being called up at 19-years of age. It’s all his fault, luckily for the rest of the world Cole Hamels is around to sheriff this sort of non-sense. Glad the Nationals took the weekend series.

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      Except they didn’t “win” on friday, they were given that game by ghost of Joe West

      • papasadappa - May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        You’re right. I am sure they will put an asterisk in the standings to delineate that….to use Cole Hamel’s words “its just old school baseball” that they missed the call.

    • johnnyb1976 - May 7, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      Its not that Cole is jealous of Harpers talent, Harper has acted like a spoiled entitled child since the day he got drafted. Im not a fan of either team, but when a punk kid talks trash and has done NOTHING to prove otherwise hes gonna get hit in the mouth. Cole hit Harper for a reason, to keep the punk in check. Ill give Harper credit though he did make Cole pay for it.

      • 18thstreet - May 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        I’d say stealing home on national TV shows that this punk kid/spoiled child knows how to back it up.

      • darthicarus - May 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        I’m sorry, I guess I’ve missed the parts this year where Harper has acted like a spoiled entitled punk. To the best of my knowledge he has been the exact opposite of that. Of course if you are referring to moments from his high school days or maybe when he blew the kiss at the pitcher a year or so ago then I’m sure Cole Hamels never once did anything of the sort when he was not on a Major League team.

  5. stex52 - May 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Hit batsmen are unavoidable because the pitcher has to be allowed to pitch inside, and that’s hard to do. Intentional throwing at the batter has no excuse and should be punished more severely. Do they forfeit salary with the suspension? I assume they do. But they also need to address the fact that a five day suspension is no punishment for a starting pitcher.

    • georgia - May 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      It depends on whether they make their money every day of the regular season or per start. I don’t know the answer, but I’m betting they don’t lose much of anything with a small suspension.

    • woodenulykteneau - May 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      Which is why MLB hands out six-game suspensions to pitchers ever since Lou Piniella exposed that loophole.

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        BTW, a little off topic . . . but shouldn’t it be a 7 Game suspension? With a 6-Game suspension you can still keep your rotation intact, but 7-Games would be a real inconvenience – especially if the team has a scheduled off-day during that stretch.

  6. ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    This was a test of how he would react: to see if he would open his mouth and act like a brat or take it like a man and establish himself as a real big leaguer. I think Hamels did Harper a favor to be honest.

    • oasiserfede - May 7, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Ok, THAT’S what he did……I just thought Hamels was being a jerk. I’m sorry.

  7. appanage - May 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    So it’s “low rent and pathetic” when a guy says he meant to hit the batter and perfectly OK if just tells the press the pitch got away from him?

    • fivetoolmike - May 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      It’s low-rent, pathetic, AND stupid when a guy says he meant to hit the batter; it’s just low-rent and pathetic if he says it got away from him.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      No, it’s always low rent and pathetic when a pitcher intentionally throws at a hitter no matter what he tells the press about it afterward. Sometimes, of course, we know what he is doing. Other times it’s harder to gauge their intentions. In this case there is no ambiguity about it.

    • ame123 - May 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Lol, Craig must have disregarded that little point. Kind of ruins the whole premise of the post, doesn’t it. Also how about Zimmerman being the big man and sending the retaliation at Cole’s ankle. Real classy move there, yet again not mentioned.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

        In what way does that ruin the point? Retaliating with an intentionally-thrown ball is just as stupid. Any time a pitcher throws a ball at someone intentionally it is stupid and reckless. Or do you think I just wrote this because I’m a Philly hater?

        Anyway, we know your defense here: “they did it too!”

        See how far that gets you in arguments elsewhere in life.

      • stex52 - May 7, 2012 at 8:44 AM

        Not at all. Sometimes it’s harder to tell. When they open their mouths, they make it easy.

  8. shanabartels - May 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    It doesn’t bother me when CC Sabathia throws a retaliation plunk if the other guys started something. But CC has the good sense to say the ball just “got away from” him.

  9. woodenulykteneau - May 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Can you imagine if Jack Hamilton had admitted he threw at Tony C?

  10. drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    I think people are being way over dramatic about this. Furthermore, if there is this righteous condemnation of Hamels, where is that same feelings for Jordan Zimmerman? If throwing at people for any reason is an offense punishable by tongue lashings from bloggers and message board commenters, what do the self righteous soap box junkies think about his actions?

    • danrizzle - May 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Take a wild guess.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        Oh hey danrizzle, how are you doing today?

    • phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      I kinda of agree. I hate intentionally hitting batters. As Craig rightly points out, there’s just too much room for error and the potential for injury is always there. Plus it puts a man on base (who scored in this case).

      But I really don’t get the “Hamels is kind of a jerk” thing now. I don’t see how throwing at one batter should ruin his reputation in the baseball world. He seems to be great with the media and with his off the field stuff.

      And I also agree that where is the condemnation of Zimmerman? How come he isn’t kinda of a jerk too?

      • nategearhart - May 7, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        I think it’s because he did it trying to serve as some “gatekeeper of the game’s integrity” thing. If it was a personal thing between the two, that’s one thing. But it’s pretty damn pretentious and egotistical of Hamels to take it upon himself to decide who is and isn’t doing baseball right, and to dish out punishment accordingly. Total douche move.

      • phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM

        I doubt he was trying to preserve the game’s integrity. He seem to say that it was more a “welcome to the big leagues” kinda thing. Not his best decision, but to be decried as a douche and jerk is over the top.

  11. nolanwiffle - May 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    The only thing Hamels proved with the plunking and subsequent admission of his intent is that he possesses a room temperature IQ………a slightly chilly room.

    Harper has displayed nothing but professionalism since his call-up. Fun to watch.

    • atworkident - May 7, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      Harper is going to be a beast. One of these days I am going to get off my duff and watch him live.

  12. lardin - May 7, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    As long as batters can wear elbow pads and shin pads and whatever armor they want, I have no problem with pitchers throwing at batters. The pitchers job is to get outs, his job becomes that much easier if he can scare the crap out of the batters.

    • georgia - May 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      There is only one time in the past where I would apply your statement and agree. When Randy Johnson threw the ball over (can’t remember his name)’s head and visibly scared the hell out of him.

      • darthicarus - May 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        Are you thinking of the All-Star game when he threw over John Kruk’s head? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SH715tr6ek

      • georgia - May 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        That’s the one.

  13. bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Craig,

    Just curious . . . where do you stand on fighting in hockey?

    I’m just asking . . . because I’m quite sure the evidence would suggest the occasional intentional buzz pitch has a far lower frequency of inflicting serious long term injury than hockey fighting.

    • stex52 - May 7, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      Can’t speak for Craig, but fighting is a big part of what made me lose interest in hockey.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      I know almost nothing about hockey so I can’t say with any sort of certainty. I do think it’s different though when two guys are going one-on-one in that situation, each of which are able to defend themselves equally, each at risk themselves. A batter, however, is a sitting duck and, in the moment, the pitcher has nothing to fear himself.

      I’d say that the intentionally-hit batsman is more akin to the hockey cheap shot.

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        OK, your response is reasonable (as usual) and I respect your perspective. However, I wonder how much of your response to this particular incident is based on the fact that a 19-year-old phenom was the target of an established ace pitcher.

        In any event, I think I disagree and here is why:

        Hamels was clearly in control of his craft last night. When he threw in tight on Harper, he threw it roughly belt high.

        Is it difficult to get out of the way of a 90 mph pitch on that trajectory? Yes.

        Is the players life or career in peril on that particular pitch? Highly debatable.

        Is there a purpose to the pitch by Hamels? Well, it’s clear that Harper was hanging out over the strike zone, and the ump didn’t exactly have a clear view of the entire zone. So Hamels decided to go inside, belt high in an attempt to reclaim the strikezone. Whether or not he hit Harper the pitch isn’t nearly as dangerous as you have portrayed it to be.

        When throwing in tight or outright throwing at a batter . . . is head-hunting on par with what Hamels did last night? I sure hope that’s not your view, because I find that unreasonable. I just don’t think a blanket castigation of all pitches in tight and at batters is justifiable.

        And lest we forget there are batters who made a career of crowding the plate and happily accepting a plunk for a base.

        Ultimately, whatever advantage Hamels believed he sent, apparently rattled Harper enough for the phenom to respond with his own message: you will not – and do not – intimidate me. You hit me? I’m gonna steal home.

        if Hamels had thrown closer to letter high, then my opinion of that particular incident might be a tad different. But I think belt area to knees is fair game.

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        For those that didn’t see it . . . here’s the MLB.com video link . . .

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      • ezthinking - May 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        bigleagues – easy to get out of the way? You throw at the hip because it is the last thing to get out of the way. Stop being an appologist. He wasn’t throwing ‘tight’ he tried to hit him. Whether that conduct is appropriate can be debated, but by putting it in your terms says everything about your views on Harper and nothing on the game.

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        ezthinking:

        Not for nothing, but did you actually read what I wrote? Or did you just project what you wanted me to have written?

        Here is the line I wrote:

        Is it difficult to get out of the way of a 90 mph pitch on that trajectory? Yes.

        So, tell me . . . how did you extract the exact opposite meaning from that?

      • bbil2012 - May 7, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        However, I think Bert Campaneris showed that retaliation can be almost immediate.

      • bigleagues - May 7, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        ezthinking:

        Also, what are these obvious views I have about Harper? That he’s a phenom and ultimately showed Hamels who’s BOSS by stealing home?

        Or did you extract and attribute some other opposite meaning from my comments.

        Please . . . enlighten me.

  14. savocabol1 - May 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I guess I don’t understand. You see this type of thing happen in almost every single series. One pitcher hits a player, then the opposing pitcher ends up plunking a batter as well.

    Yet no articles, or comments, or scoldings do we get from people/writers on this site.

    So what is it? You are a lowlife if you hit someone intentionally everytime? Or just when a big name player is on the receiving end? So it isn’t ok for a pitcher to throw a retalliation pitch then?

    Lots of hypocracy going on over here.

    • atworkident - May 7, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      Agreed times 20. I could only do one thumb up…

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      To repeat again: every time a pitcher intentionally throws at a batter it is dangerous and stupid. I have noted that many, many times over the years. It’s notable today because of the rare fact that Hamels admitted it, throwing it into a more prominent discussion.

      No, the fact that he admitted it doesn’t make it worse. It simply makes it of greater interest for discussion because there is no ambiguity about his intentions.

      • lukeslice - May 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        On this issue CraigI think you should get off your high horse … this is part of baseball, Hamels is just dumb for actually admitting it. AND he hit him in the middle of the back, he didn’t go head hunting, so stop painting him as some ultra-villain for DARING to throw at a batter.

        p.s. I hate the Phillies, so just to be clear, this isn’t some Philly fanboy nonsense.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Yes, because every pitcher has pinpoint control and can always, always put the ball exactly where they want to. Never in baseball history has a ball thrown by a pitcher accidentally drifted a couple of feet higher than they intended it.

        Nope, there was total scientific impossibility that the ball Hamels threw could have gotten away from him and hit Harper in the head. Just never could have happened.

      • lukeslice - May 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

        Ugh … obviously a pitch can get away from a guy … point is, this is a man’s game and fans need to wash the sand out … guys get hit all the time, sometimes intentionally, it is what it is. The world we live in is way to PC these days thanks to sissy opinions like this. It’s call hardball for a reason.

      • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Getting hit unintentionally is a risk every batter knowingly takes every time he steps in to the box. Hitting guys intentionally is stupid and should be dealt with by suspension and fines. This holds true for every retaliatory pitch, too.

  15. atworkident - May 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    I have no problem with it. Especially in the National League when Hamels had to bat AND get hit.

    If Hamels gets suspended then Zimmerman should too. Neither pitcher threw at the batter on accident. Bryce was wearing his big boy pants he sucked it up when he got hit and got even by stealing home.

    • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      The ball hit the kid in his kidney (that’s a 19 year old kid, too. Lets not forget we have a grown man hitting a 19 year old kid with a 92mph FB). It probably hurt, and luckily that was it, but it could have been much, much worse, too. Hamels was an idiot to do it and an even bigger idiot to talk it up, like what he did was right. Zimmerman was idiot to retaliate, but he kept his mouth shut about it. I hope they throw the book at Hamels for being an idiot. Zimmerman should get a suspension, too but his cutesy “speak no evil” ploy will save him.

      • phillyphreak - May 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        Can we skip the grown man hitting a teenager bit. Harper is a big boy.

        Hamels was wrong.

      • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Nope. Not gonna skip it. If Hamels had walked over and sucker punched the kid in the kidney is the same as drilling him with for no reason with the FB. The fact that he’s a 19 year old makes it worse. There is no reason for a grown man like Hamels to sucker hit a kid who didn’t do a damn thing to him. Only reason we let Harper’s ages slide by is because he looks like a grown man. Looks be damned. He’s 19. A kid. Since when is it cool for a grown up to start belting kids who haven’t harmed them in any way?

      • thecapedbandito - May 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        If he’s old enough to make millions of dollars playing the game, he’s old enough to take a 92mph fastball in the back. You don’t think guys in the minors or even in high school can throw that hard or something? I’m sure it’s not the first time he’s been hit by 90+ mph heat. Besides, do you really think Bryce Harper wants special treatment in the majors with this “he’s just a kid” stuff? He probably wants to prove that he can fit in and doing what he did last night (getting beaned, brushing it off, stealing home) only helps him in that regard. I couldn’t stand Bryce Harper after reading about him (many of the pieces coming from this blog). I have a lot more respect for him after seeing his chosen form of retaliation last night. As for Hamels, ok he hit the guy intentionally which you don’t want to see. But unlike many responses here, I don’t think it’s douchy at all that he came out and admitted it. We’re not stupid, we know the ball didn’t get away from him. So just step up and say that you meant to hit him, and thats what he did.

      • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        There’s rules and the there’s rules. We go on a bit round here about unwritten rules. A personal one o mine is “don’t hit kids” & “don’t condone anyone that does”. I don’t care how any of you dress it up, even Harper: hitting the kid was wrong on lots of levels, including that one.

      • thecapedbandito - May 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        If your argument is a general “it’s wrong to intentionally hit a player” then fine, I agree with you. But saying it’s worse to hit a 19 year old than a 32 year old veteran is just an argument I don’t get. Honestly, if you really think that a 19 year old “kid” needs to be protected then institute a rule similar to football where a player must play through their junior year in college. My point still applies though. Guys in the minors, in college, and in high school throw the ball really, really hard and that 19 year old kid is going to get hit a few times regardless. Let me ask you this…if it was a young up-and-coming 20 year old pitcher who hit Harper would that make it ok since it’s not a “grown man” who hit the “kid”?

      • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        When did it become right for grown ups to clobber kids? Tell me that?

      • nolanwiffle - May 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        You’re not really trying to paint this as some kind of child abuse, are you?

      • thecapedbandito - May 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        You make it sound like Bryce Harper was riding his bike to catch the ice cream truck to buy a popsicle and then Cole Hamels jumped out behind a bush and beaned him in the back. Bryce Harper chose to play baseball. By making this choice he runs the risk of getting hit by a pitch every now and then, just like every other major league, minor league, collegiate, or high school player (whether it’s intentional or not, both scenarios are going to happen most likely). A 92mph fastball from a 29 year old hurts the same as a 92mph fastball from an 18 year old. But in your eyes the fact that a 29 year old threw it means he’s picking on a kid. Let’s put the ball on a tee for Bryce going forward and even the playing field for the poor little kid.

      • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Reply to both bandito and nolan: if he was your 19 year old son, would you want a grown man sucker punching him in the kidney? If the kid was my son, Mr. Hamels would be answering to me for hitting him like that, one grown man to another.

      • nolanwiffle - May 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        The 19 year old “kid” is 6’3″, 215 pounds and is being paid to play major league baseball. What age would a pitcher have to be in order to throw at Harper? 19? 20? 21?

        Wasn’t Sidney Crosby a teenager in his rookie season?

      • cur68 - May 7, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Just what does Crosby, a hockey player in a contact sport who EXPECTS, is ARMOURED, & PREPARED to get get hit, have to do with Harper, an baseball player in a non-contact sport?

        I expect that men of 28 years have a bit of perspective on life. Maturity. To have learned that there is the law, a moral code, and a sense of right and wrong beyond basic laws. To see a 28 year old man drill a kid of 19 who hadn’t done him anything leaves me outraged. I wouldn’t do that to a kid and I don’t care what size he is or what he gets paid. Those factors are excuses for the weak witted. Harper did nothing to deserve that shot to the kidney. A grown man of 28 should act his damn age and show more goddamn sense than Cole Hamels did. Its amazing to me that something about the accident of his genetics that saw Harper be 6’3″ or his good fortune to be paid a certain amount can be used as excuse to ignore his age in relation to Hamels’. So effin what he’s big and rich? That gives that idiot Hamels free rein to do whatever he pleases? He was LUCKY he didn’t hurt Harper seriously with that pitch, regardless of Harper’s age. The fact that Harper IS just a kid, DOES play into it, just like if Hamels’d walked up behind him on the street and sucker punched Harper. A judge would include the age of the assault victim in his sentencing of the assaulter, just like they do for other crimes.

      • nolanwiffle - May 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        There are inherent risks to stepping in a major league batter’s box. That’s what Harper signed up for, it’s a dream come true. Nationals management has deemed him physically and mentally prepared for the rigors of major league baseball. It’s a play that happens every freakin’ day in the majors. I am in no way defending Hamels. His throwing at Harper for no apparent reason was idiotic. I’m just not prepared to scream, “Child abuse!”

        Also, the sucker punch analogy is not working.

      • thecapedbandito - May 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        If I was Bryce Harper’s dad and I was that concerned about him potentially being hit by a pitch, intentionally or unintentionally (it is bound to happen many times during his career), I would not have let him play baseball as an 8 year old and beyond. Otherwise, I’d be a bit naive for allowing my son to play baseball and not expect him to be at risk for taking a few fastballs to the ribs, and then running down on to the field and telling Cole Hamels that “Now you answer to me!!” when it does happen. At some point in a kid’s life he’s no longer a kid and does not have his daddy there to back him up if something goes wrong in his chosen profession. I think the big leagues qualifies as one of these points in someone’s life. The thing is, Bryce Harper would probably take offense to all of this nonsense making a big deal out of him getting hit with a pitch. You think he wants special treatment and didn’t stop and think “hey there might be a chance a big mean, 29 year old GROWN UP throws at me once in awhile.” Come on.

      • thecapedbandito - May 7, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Again, I’m not agreeing with throwing at someone intentionally ever. But what is frustrating about this topic (other than turning this into a child abuse issue when the “child” is 19 years old and is “abused” in front of a nationally televised audience within the confines of a professional sporting event) is that this will happen 100 more times this year, maybe even to Harper again. Yet we are going to blow this case 1000x out of proportion due to the fact that Hamels didn’t make up some bs excuse and at least was honest about it. There will be countless intentional beanings this year that won’t have a sentence written about it in these blogs. And assuming some of the people getting beaned are 21 or younger, that’s a handful of child abusers who are going to get away with it.

  16. charlutes - May 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    What did even Bryce Harper even do?

    • georgia - May 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Made it to the Majors and showed everyone respect through his first few games. That’s about it.

    • 18thstreet - May 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      If only he were a worse baseball player, this never would have happened. That’ll show him to try.

      Ideally, all young talented players will be punished for choosing baseball as a career.

      Sincerely,
      MLS

      • Utley's Hair - May 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Why would Major League Soccer write such a note?

  17. bleed4philly - May 7, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Didn’t hamels get hit afterwards? I think justice was served.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      No, throwing at people is borderline criminal. I think the local sheriff needs to give Hamels a stern talking to. Furthermore, Bud Selig should suspend him until the All-Star break. Actions like this should not be tolerated. I’ve never seen anything as cowardly or dumb on a baseball diamond. He should be ashamed of himself and be forced to shave his head in humiliation.

  18. chalkruz1989 - May 7, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    It is pretty foolish for Cole to have done it and admit to it after the fact, and I am from Philadelphia. Say Bryce Harper charges the mound and one of the two gets hurt? Harper is the rookie here, Cole merely acted like he was.

  19. schmedley69 - May 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    You guys are missing the point. Pitchers are always going to hit batters, whether intentionally or not. It’s unavoidable with balls traveling over 90 MPH. The real issue here is that the ball is way too hard. They really need to think about switching to some kind of Nerf-like substance before someone gets killed in this barbaric game.

  20. verytalldad - May 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Phillies fans should be blaming joe west and the nats weak attendance numbers bc thats what they have blamed the loses this weekend on.

    Phillies fans seem insecure with their aging team. At least you guys have all those awesome divisional champions tshirts! Those are super cool

    • The Baseball Gods - May 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Ummmmm, I’m pretty sure the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. It’s also much better to win the division than to never win the divsion (a la the Washington Nationals)

  21. vanrossum1 - May 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    I don’t think Craig has ever played baseball before.

  22. joshuavkidd - May 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    sounds like the same writers from PFT who are always whining and complaining about football being too violent… lets just make everything so vanilla and soft that any joe-schmo off the street can step onto the field and play. If you don’t like the game, watch somethig else… that goes for all sports. Quite trying to change it to suit your needs… the other 99% of us like it the way it is.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 7, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Exactly, who do those minorities think they are trying to play a white mans game? No Irish need apply either!

      -OldHossRafbourn

  23. jsally430 - May 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    if I was davey Johnson is have Mr.stratsburg start practicing for knees or Achilles tendons. for who ever comes back for the phillies first. it doesn’t have a place in the game but its ridiculous to throw at a 19 yr old in his 8th.game

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      So, you are condemning throwing at people….then, you suggest that the Nats throw at people? I think you are a bit confused in your point.

  24. Future of Fantasy - May 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Yea… And quarterbacks aren’t protected enough, either. Also, they need to clean up hard fouls in the NBA. [sarcasm]

    This is part if the sport growing up. Why should it change when it comes to the highest level?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      This is part if the sport growing up. Why should it change when it comes to the highest level?

      Gee I’m not sure? Maybe this quote can clear some things up: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

      Also, if your only defense is “this is the way things used to be/taught”, please see my above quote from [incorrectly spelled] OldHossRadbourn

  25. astrosfan75956 - May 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Get over it Craig.

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