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Jim Leyland thinks Cole Hamels’ five-game suspension “is way too light”

May 8, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Jim Leyland Reuters

Lost in Cole Hamels saying his decision to intentionally hit Bryce Harper was “old school” is that someone who’s actually old school thinks he should have been suspended for longer than five games.

Jim Leyland, who’s 67 years old with 21 years of big-league managing experience and a World Series title, told Jason Beck of that “five games is way too light, in my personal opinion.”

Leyland called Hamels “a very good pitcher” and “a very talented guy” but noted “that ball could have missed, hit [Harper] in the head or something else like that.” And the Tigers manager was also bothered by the “braggadocious way” in which Hamels admitted to the plunking being intentional.

It’s a moot point, as Hamels has already decided to serve the five-game suspension and will essentially just have his next start pushed back by one day, but when “old school” is being thrown around as some sort of absolute state of mind it’s interesting to hear from a baseball lifer like Leyland on the subject.

  1. gwolinetz - May 8, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Jim Leyland is only 67 years old? How is that possible? He looks like he fought in World War II.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - May 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      And that’s why you don’t smoke cigarettes.

    • aceshigh11 - May 8, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      My Dad is two years older than Leyland and looks quite a bit like him, down to the gray mustache.

      He’s also been a smoker for almost 60 years. He’s been very lucky with his health, but it does take a toll on your skin.

      • pdowdy83 - May 8, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Your dad started smoking when he was 9?

      • aceshigh11 - May 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        13, actually…hard to believe, but it’s true. So yeah, 56 years.

        He’s in damned good health too. He’s one of the few lucky ones I guess.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 8, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        I hear you Aces. My Father started smoking at 11. He smoked for 40+ years then quit cold turkey. People don’t realize that a huge number of 70+ year olds started smoking at very young ages. Different times.

      • dirtfrompeedysuniform - May 8, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        Let me get this straight you morons are talking about Leylands 2 pack a day habit? Who gives a f><K when your black lunged fathers started puffing.

    • explodet - May 8, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      He’s also younger than Cito Gaston, who looked like this just a couple years ago:

      There’s an anti-smoking campaign in there somewhere.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Jim Leyland on his boy Barry Bonds ,,,,,,,,,,CRICKETS CRICKETS CRICKETS ! Hamels hit a player in the butt with a ball his boy Barry hit himself in the butt with a needle ,,,,,,,,,,,,,CRICKETS !

  2. chill1184 - May 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I think when it comes to a pitcher who only plays every five days it should be five start suspension not five games.

    • rpink24 - May 8, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      So 25 games without pay for hitting a batter is legit punishment.

      • thefalcon123 - May 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        I get what you mean. Perhaps suspended for 5 starts but only docked 5 days pay?

        Better yet, let’s do the eye for an eye rule. Next time Hamels plays against Washington, the Nationals bring Harper up to the mound. Harper has the choice of beaning Hamels without fear of repercussion (since Harper didn’t charge Hamels) and Hamels just has to sit their and take it.

      • CJ - May 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Hamles was hit already falcon, so what’s your point? You thikn it’d hurt more if Harper hit him than if a real pitcher hit him?

      • basedrum777 - May 8, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Could they do something where his other 4 starts must make a 2 starts before he’s allowed to? Or at least 4 “other starters” must make 2 starts before he can make his next one?

    • The Baseball Gods - May 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      They do five games because he is a pitcher. A position player would have only gotten one game for a similar offense.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        No, I think that is incorrect. Position players would received five games as well.

      • pdowdy83 - May 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        Either way he should be forced to miss 1 start. They should call it a 6 game suspension so if a team tries to push him back so he doesn’t miss one it would completely mess with the order of their rotation.

      • The Baseball Gods - May 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        That is what they try to do with the 5-game suspension. A 6-game suspension wouldn’t have done anything either other than push his start back to Monday. The Phillies just got lucky with the day off on Thursday. It would have had to have been an 8-game suspension to force the Phillies to use a fill-in starter.

    • stuckonwords - May 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      That’s hard to enforce. As a manager, you could then pencil him in as the starter for the next five days. Point is…how do you determine when 5 starts went by?

      Don’t forget, also, that the suspension he has received is costing him upwards of a half million dollars. That’s a pretty serious slap in the face for one beaning. I’m not sure how you justify that it merits more.

  3. rpink24 - May 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I guess Jeff Samardzija also deserves a hefty suspension because he clearly threw at Heyward on purpose. Nobody is saying anything about that. I believe the point in suspending a player sometimes is the money they lose during the suspension. Hamels stands to lose a lot if it is suspension without pay.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 8, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      It’s not. Only if the suspension comes via PED do they suspend pay

      • rpink24 - May 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        Then I take it back if that is true. Still think 1 start is good enough. 1 out of 33 starts is about the equivalent of a 5 game suspension for an everyday player.

      • stuckonwords - May 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        It’s been reported that he’s losing upwards of $500,000.

    • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Jeff Samaldafjajffjakljza didn’t come out and say so did he? That’s the only way the MLB even cares about these things it seems. If Samadklfjadsajfoiujcza blew out Heyward’s knee with a beanball, I’d make it a point to travel a few miles north and punch Samaklaljdkfuoipafjkafmfdamza in the ballsack. Go Braves.

      • rpink24 - May 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        So that’s how you spell it. :) It shouldnt matter either way if a player says he did it or not. That would have been awful if Heyward would have gotten hurt on that. Could have been like Zimmerman throwing at Hamels knee like he clearly did. At least Hamels went ribs like you should and not high like Jeff Samadwwjhfsdjaklassa and low like Zimmerman.

      • istillbelieveinblue - May 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        Shark was retaliating for one of his teammates getting nailed. Why did Hamels throw at Harper? Because he was a punk as a 17 year old in AA? Grow up, Cole.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        I agree completely (and with Craig on this). Beanball wars are stupid. Once it ends a kid’s career b/c he gets smoked in the knee, head, etc., maybe MLB will wake up. Cole’s biggest mistake in the MLB’s eyes was admitting it, not committing it. I hope they don’t use same protocol for murder.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Shark? Who calls him that?

      • Jonny 5 - May 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Jimenez didn’t admit it and he got 5 games too. Is it whom you hit as well?

      • istillbelieveinblue - May 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        His baseball teammates at Notre Dame gave him the nickname “shark”. I used it here because it is substantially easier to spell than his actual name. 😛

      • aclassyguyfromaclassytown - May 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        That reminds me, I need to go buy a cup.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        Samardzija. Ain’t that hard.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        easier to do this though samkldfjadfjlsajfjafdjzaklfdjija

  4. El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I’d like to hear Vin Scully’s comments on the whole thing. During the Dodgers game last night, Scully told a wonderful anecdote about his ice-skating “race” with Jackie Robinson. So yeah, I doubt there is much more of an “old school” presence in baseball than Mr. Scully.

  5. thefalcon123 - May 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    “Jim Leyland, who’s 67 years old with 21 years of big-league managing experience and a pair of World Series titles”

    Did the Marlins win two World Series titles in 1997?

    I’m still confused as to what the hell Harper supposedly did to warrant an intentional beaning? Being young and really good? This whole situation makes Hamels come off as an even bigger douchenozzle than I already thought he was.

    • aceshigh11 - May 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      I have no idea either.

      I guess it was his “induction” into the big leagues, almost like a hazing. I think it’s bullshit…Harper may have acted cocky and brash in the past, but since he’s been in the majors, he’s been pretty professional…so I don’t get what Hamels’ beef was.

    • El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Funny you mention that:

      Revised Douchenozzle List 2012:

      1. Randy Miller – South Jersey Courier-Post (abuses BBWAA privileges, HOF vote by submitting blank ballots; also invented superhero Saberboy, which is cool)

      2. Luke Scott – perennial all-star douchenozzle. Luke says, “you don’t have to worry about me unless you’re a criminal or communist.”

      3. Ryan Braun – for cheating and also for not cheating, either way we will likely never know the truth, and that is annoying.

      4. Jon Heyman – CBS (for having a documented history of talking up and selling Scott Boras clients to ball clubs)

      5. Nick Swisher – seriously, do I need a reason?

      6. C.J. Wilson – Tweeted Napoli’s cell number as “prank” b/c Napoli said he was looking forward to hitting HRs off of him this season.

      7. Matt Bush – DUI and for ruining his career

      8. Joba Chamberlain – for thinking he is capable of using a trampoline with his fat toady ass
      [REMOVED: Joba’s addition was rescinded given how unlucky the poor bastard was and he was just trying to be a good dad.]

      8. Bobby Jenks – DUI (influence mainly muscle relaxers…), amazing quote “When Deputy Sutphin asked Jenks if he had taken anything else other than the muscle relaxers, he told the officer that he “was going to be honest with you, I was just leaving Babes because I hit a car. I just had to get out of there.”

      9. Delmon Young – Assault; anti-Semitism; generally just a D-to-the-nozz all around.

      10. Pedro Gomez – BBWAA voter with no sense.

      11. Cole Hamels – for beaning Harper for being 19 and talented.

      • aclassyguyfromaclassytown - May 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        Nick Swisher’s face is enough of a reason for him to be on that list.

      • stoutfiles - May 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        You forgot Colby Rasmus and his dad.

      • natstowngreg - May 8, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Wait a minute. Bryce Harper is supposed to be on that list. Get with the program, people!

  6. Chris Ross - May 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Very interesting to hear from Leland about this. Leland isn’t just old school either, he looks as old school as it gets. I just don’t like how Hamels thinks that something his father and grandfather probably taught isn’t questioned by him at all whatsoever. Leland is right, it could have missed and then what. If Bryce Harper gets hurt the suspension is much worse even though he wasn’t at all trying to go for Harper’s head.

  7. Ben - May 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Leyland is right. Pitchers have 8 effective inches of control and that could easily have been Harper’s spine, or head instead.

    “To close out, let’s try to answer our questions about the dartboard of the opening paragraph. Based on the PITCHf/x results it appears that a fastball thrown at a dartboard placed over home plate will hit the bulls-eye with some part of the ball a little less than 1.5 percent of the time. Fully 46 percent of these pitches would miss the dartboard completely. Just think of that when they tell you about somebody’s pinpoint control.”

    • thecapedbandito - May 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Harper’s head is 8 inches from his belt?!

      • Ben - May 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        You obviously didn’t read the article. 8 inches of effective control, but even pitchers with excellent control throw a substantial proportion of their pitches haphazardly and with no real idea of where the pitch will end up.

  8. Jonny 5 - May 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Leyland never called for a plunking in all of his major league days huh? I call complete and utter BS on that.

    I hope he tore Porcello a new one when he intentionally plunked Youk in ’09 ending in a brawl. Naaa, he couldn’t be full of it right? naaaa…

  9. philsgamer - May 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Would this even be a story if Hamels hit someone like Wilson Valdez or any other rent-a-player? No. It’s because Hamels hit the pretentious punk Bryce Harper. There is a double standard at play here and THAT is the real issue.

    Pitchers throw at batters every single day of the MLB season. It’s a part of the fabric of baseball. However, Hamels broke one of the many unwritten rules in baseball (that Bryce Harper has broken many times already) and he’s getting punished for it. Why are we still talking about it?

    Hockey players and football players routinely hurl their bodies at other players with the intent of knocking them to the ground/ice. It’s a given and accepted part of the game that once in a while someone is going to get hurt. But when a pitcher (who is paid to have pinpoint precision when throwing a baseball) throws at a batters’ lower back, people are up in arms because “he could have gotten hurt”? Give me a break. Grow a pair and be a man about it. Hamels did what he did and then took a stand and is getting suspended for telling the truth.

    Lesson learned kids, dishonesty in sports is the best policy.

    • Ben - May 8, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Hockey and football are bloodsports that encourage mindless violence and the destruction of players’ lives for the sake of better TV ratings. Baseball, and baseball fans are better than that.

      • philsgamer - May 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        You’re making it an issue that Hamels threw at a batter intentionally. See my previous comment where I said this occurs on a daily basis.

        The MLB and media backlash have taken issue with the fact that Hamels SAID he did it intentionally. I guess I just don’t take issue with an athlete standing behind something they did on the field intentionally. In fact, I find it a weasel move when you can see that a pitcher blatantly threw at a batter and then says to the media that “it must have gotten away” with a wry smile on his face. I take bigger issue with that.

      • Ben - May 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Yeah, I get your point. It’s a point as old as Plato’s Republic (See the Ring of Gyges passages for a discussion of the problem of justice being virtual and not actual).

        My point is that the machismo you say is “accepted and given” is the reason why hockey players end up with Alzheimers by the time they’re 40, football players with serious brain damage commit suicide, and the reason why Buster Posey missed an entire season and had his career jeopardized.

      • philsgamer - May 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        I agree with your point sort of. This relatively new fear over head injuries has come about because of the ever increasing size and speed of athletes in football and hockey. Better equipment and revolutionary workout programs have given players a false sense of invincibility on the field and on the ice in these two sports. Couple that with a general lack of respect that is exhibited in sports these days and it lends itself to bad situations.

        There needs to be a balance struck in these sports where the excitement and speed of the game doesn’t sacrifice players’ safety. As much as I hate Sidney Crosby, I don’t want to see the guy injured and potentially have his career cut short. He’s a great hockey player and is great for the sport.

        However, in baseball, having a pitcher throw at a batter or a base runner running over the catcher attempting to dislodge the ball are things that have been around since the inception of the game. Every sport has ways of players “policing” the game. Baseball’s way involves pitchers throwing at batters. These pitchers (especially the high profile ones like Hamels) are the best in the world at accurately throwing a ball where they please. If he wanted to hit Harper in the head, he would have. So the argument that “the pitch could have gotten away and hit Harper in the head” doesn’t hold much water.

    • natstowngreg - May 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Cheap shot at Harper aside, the double standard was that Hamels threw at Bryce Harper because he was Bryce Harper, not some utility infielder. It was noteworthy because one of MLB’s top pitchers threw at one of MLB’s top prospects.

      BTW, what “unwritten” MLB rule did Harper break? He didn’t charge the pitcher, didn’t spike an infielder.

      • philsgamer - May 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Have you followed Harper’s collegiate and minor league career? Do some research, you’ll find the answers you seek.

      • natstowngreg - May 8, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        As a Nats fan, I’m well aware of his reputation and previous actions, more than you are. We were discussing what happened Sunday night. He did nothing but act like a professional.

  10. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - May 8, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    One thing that I haven’t heard much about in regards to the whole “Hamels beaning Harper” incident that should be considered is the ramifications of coming out and saying “Yeah, I meant to do that” rather than saying it was unintentional, as to how this will affect Hamels down the road. For example, the next time Hamels hits someone with a pitch, or even comes close to it, do you think an Ump is gonna be quicker to toss him from the game now that he’s openly admitted to trying to hit a person? If he accidently hits someone from now on, is he automatically gonna get suspended? It should really open other players eyes to the effects of admitting it. The shame is that I’m sure guys get hit on purpose all the time, but Hamels is getting punished for being honest about it. MLB is basically rewarding people for lying about intent. It can’t be an easy situation for MLB to deal with though seeing as it’s hard to prove if a guy meant to hit someone or not without them admitting it. I guess the lesson here is that wrong is only wrong when someone knows about it.

  11. The Baseball Gods - May 8, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Lets not all forget when Jered Weaver threw at Alex Avila’s HEAD last season and only got a 6-game suspension.

  12. delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    “that ball could have missed, hit [Harper] in the head or something else like that.”

    Yes. And that as also true of the other 101 pitches he threw that night. And the the 4,000 odd picthes thrown by other picthers that night.

    Cole Hamels was wrong to hit Harper, but why are other wise sane people acting as though this is the first time in history a pitcher has done that? I am sure you have plenty of instances in which Leyland’s own Pitcher nailed someone on purpose, and he backed up that pitchers claim of “Ooops, the ball slipped”. What are we to make of that? It was okay simply because everyone preteded it was an accident? Go back and criticize your own guys Leyland, or shut up.

    Hamels did the crime, he will pay $400 K, Kyle Kendrik and his 6.00 ERA will need to stay in rotation for one more start, everyone should move on

  13. wpjohnson - May 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    While most all other pitchers clearly lie about intentionally hitting a batter, Hamels told the truth. Good for him. Sending “messages” has always been an important part of baseball. Hamels sent a message to a prissy 19 year old rookie in need of an introduction to the major leagues. Sadly, we have reached a point where we are “sissifying” baseball. Soon, all fielders will wear hard helmets and face guards. Maglie, Drysdale, Gibson, et als. would not recognize today’s tee ball mentality.

    Those who say Hamels “beaned” Harper show a true ignorance of baseball. Apparently they were busy taking flute lessons when they should have been taking infield. Hamels hit Harper in the middle of the back. there was no real chance of injury. Anyone who ever played baseball should know that. He didn’t throw at his head. If he had been throwing at his head, thus a beanball, he would have hit him in the head. Hamels has good control. He was merely sending a mssage and he was honest about it. Good for him. True baseball that honors its wonderful history and tradition dictates such actions.

    Let the “pansies” disagree. They are wrong. They need to dig out their flutes and go sit in the parlor.

    • ThisIsBaseball - May 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I am still lost on why he “needed” an introduction to the Majors. Because he is 19 and has talent? I could see that sort of introduction, maybe, if it was his first game, given his past conduct. But this was not his first game. He’d been in the Show for at least a week and by all accounts his conduct was nothing like it had been in the lower levels of baseball. Since being recalled he has acted nothing but a humble, respectful player. By taking the ball to Harper a week after he’d been in the majors, as “an introduction” makes Hamels look like a brat. The suspension is warranted, not because of a “sissifying” of baseball, but because Hamels was wrong. Throwing at players in baseball has it’s (very, very limited) purpose. But he just made himself look more immature than the 19 year old kid he threw the ball at.

    • jcarne9014 - May 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      So Hamels was sending a message, was he? Well, looks like Harper did not get it because after getting hit, he went to for 3! And, oh yeah…HE STOLE HOME on Hamels’ sorry ass!!!

  14. jcarne9014 - May 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    What is lost here is that ultimately Harper made Hamels look like an ass. He brushed himself off without even a look at the mound…and a few minutes later, HE STOLE HOME!! Oh, and by the way, he went 2 for 3. If Hamels “wanted to make a statement” he should have just struck out the kid.

  15. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    So Hamels hit the guy with a pitch. Oh my god. What is this world coming to?

  16. dawglb - May 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Whatever, Jim. Seriously??? Aren’t you from the era when you walked to and from school in a foot of snow,….uphill, both ways? Aren’t you from a time When players didn’t wear helmets, batting gloves, necklaces, earrings….? What happened to you?

  17. jcarne9014 - May 8, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    First teenager since 1964 to steal home…almost 50 years! Guess Hamels showed him, huh?

    • delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Wow. So if I am hearing you correctly, all Hamels has to do to Shutout the Nats is not hit someone on purpose? Yup, you guys showed him alright.

      Here’s hoping you guys have the same success next time

      • jcarne9014 - May 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Not sure what you don’t understand, delaware…Hamels tried to welcome the kid to the majors by hitting Harper and Harper owned him afterwards. Hamels got toasted.

      • delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        And I said I hope you “toast” him just like that the next time he faces the Nats. What’s the problem?

        Hamels should not have hit Harper, as I have said many times.

  18. bravesneednewcoaches - May 8, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    What if next time Bryce faced Cole, he swung and intentionally missed the ball but “accidently” let the bat slip out pf his hands towards the mound! Hope Cole can turn around quick enough so it only hits him in the back, you know, where he couldn’t possibly get hurt. Then they would be even. I see no difference in the two!

    • delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      That actually happened last August with Utley right after the Giants plunked Shane Victorino. The bat flew right at and hit Tim Lincecum, hardly made a scratch even though it hit his injured knee

      Sorry for the buzzkill – better luck with your next fantasy scenario

  19. dawglb - May 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    What is ridiculous is,….take Hamels, put him in your teams uniform, and all of a sudden your opinion would change. If he was a Yankee, 80% would hate him. If he were a Pirate, 80% wouldn’t care…..

    • delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      I agree. And for the record, he is in my unifrom, and I say it was wrong

  20. jimbo1949 - May 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Leyland remembers.
    Just a little bit of Old School Baseball, just like when Juan Marichal didn’t like being brushed back by Koufax after Marichal brushed back Wills and Fairly. So when Roseboro threw the ball back to Koufax and came close to Marichal’s head, Marichal turned around and started to beat on Roseboro’s head with his bat. Ya know, Old School Baseball.
    Never understood why batters would rush the mound when one of the culprits was right next to him.

  21. wpjohnson - May 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Well, I see that jcarne9014 and a few more of the flutists have taken offense to my post. Let’s give Harper a few years to establish a major league biography before we blow smoke about his limited accomplishments to date. Baseball legends are built on volumes of sustained success. Harper has not as yet completed a simple sentence.

    It matters not whether he is 19 or 29. He is new. He needs to learn how the game is played in the major leagues. And, to accomplish this, he needs to be roughed up a bit from time to time so that he will remember that, at present, he is an unproven rookie and not an established major leaguer. Call it his initiation. Like it or not, he needs to learn his place. We don’t need affirmative action or political correctness in baseball.

    That is true baseball as it has been played since 1869. Of course, I don’t expect those who spent their youth practicing their flutes to understand.

    • jcarne9014 - May 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      Let me put down my flute long enough to respond. I am not saying Harper has earned his place yet. However, according to you, “He needs to learn how the game is played in the major leagues”…”Learn his place.” So, rather than throwing three strikes past Harper to let him know where he now is, Hamels plunks him and then Harper proceeds to steal home on Hamels! Who showed who what?! Looks like “his place” is crossing home while Hamels has a stupid look on his face. OK…back to my flute.

      • delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Don’t forget to mention he stole home on him

      • wpjohnson - May 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        Who won the game? You are trying to get a bit too much mileage out of that steal of home. It was an exciting play but the game still ended Phillies 9, Nationals 3. Hamels went eight innings and is now 4-1. There will be no asterisk in the record books indicating that, although the Phillies and Hamels won, Harper stole home.

        Still, I’m not anti-Harper. He could be good for baseball- if he succeeds. I hope he succeeds, not necessarily for his sake as for the good of the game.

        My concern is, as I called it, the “sissification” of baseball. Baseball has a hard and tough tradition. That is part of why it is the greatest game. That is part of why it symbolizes our country more than most any other institution. Sending messages is an important part of that history and tradition. Of course, suspensions are a part of the game, too. So be it.

        We can say that Hamels sent Harper a message by hitting him in the back. We can also say that Harper sent a message by stealing home on Hamels. Good for Hamels. Good for Harper. Both acts were a fine part of the game.

  22. pjcostello - May 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    I believe that a 5-game suspension is the same for both pitchers and position players, in terms of their paychecks. Even though starting pitchers play every five days, their contract is based on the league year, not the number of starts they make… in this sense, the punishment is the same no matter the position on the field.

  23. nonmendacium - May 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    jim Leyland has managed pitchers involved in numerous intentional pitches thrown at hitters. his comments are nothing short of hypocritical

  24. delawarephilliesfan - May 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Yes indeed – or in this case, his pitcher threw at a guy, and Leyland charged out of the dugout to punch the guy who was hit!

    I guess it was okay since everyone claimed Bob Walk hit the Kevin Gross by accident. Nothing to see here, folks

  25. ufullpj - May 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    If they actually suspended managers and players for throwing at hitters intentionally, Tony Larussa and the Cardinals might still be suspended.

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