by Charles (Chuck) Oliver aka Bloggo Schloggo
Cole Hamels plunks rookie sensation Bryce Harper. It was the first each had faced each other. No history or animosity between them. Harper goes to first base. He immediately gets back at Hamels by catching the Phillies sleeping and goes all the way from first to third on a short single to the outfield. Then what does he do? Steals home while Hamels throws to first to keep the guy at first from getting a big lead and possibly steal second. That’s how you get even- by your performance on the field of play. Hamels isn’t “old school”, Harper is. The kid plays with the abandon of Pete Rose or Ty Cobb. That’s old school. Later in the game Hamels gets plunked in the leg to add insult to injury.
Cole Hamels pitched a great 8 innings and promptly tells the press after the game he hit Harper intentionally. Duh really?
I had a lot of respect for Hamels before this dumb and dumber incident. I didn’t think for one minute he was throwing at Harper. I thought Hamels was attempting to throw inside and the ball got away from him. There was no reason to plunk Harper.
Let’s face it – all contact sports are under scrutiny as we learn more about concussions and the life long damage they can incur including brain damage, depression and even suicide,
As we learn more we change the rules of the game as we have witnesses especially in hockey and football. There is nothing wrong with rough play and hard contact in the course of a contest. Intentionally trying to injure a player is dead wrong. I’ve seen things happen on rinks, gridirons and diamonds that if they took place on the streets you would go to jail for those acts of violence. I’m talking felony assault and battery with intent to harm or injure. If you threw a rock or baseball at somebodies head at 90 mph and knocked them out you might find yourself facing attempted murder charges or assault with a deadly weapon.
We live and learn and as we do we make changes. Those changes are what we call progress. I can remember Roger Clemens intentionally beaning Mike Piazza and knocking him unconscious. He could have killed him. On another occasion he threw a bat at him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Clemens getting locked up for lying to congress under oath about his steroid use. He’s a bum as far as I’m concerned.
There is enough violence in this world and it has no business on the field of play. What kind of message are we sending to our kids?
The wrap is that Hamels got a 5 day suspension which means he really won’t miss a start he’ll just be moved back a day. Also a fine I’m sure he can well afford.
He hurt the team no doubt about it. With the Phillies struggling as they are it’s the last thing they need. The Nationals are in first place and will meet the Phils about 15 or so more times this season. When they meet there will be pre-game warnings issued for sure. Hamels has succeeded in putting the entire pitching staff at a disadvantage. Do they alter their pitching so as not to pitch too far inside?
I believe Hamels wasn’t trying to injure Harper and I’m glad he didn’t throw at him above the shoulders. That being said hitting him in the back a little more to the left could have possibly caused a spinal injury. There is no place in baseball, a family friendly sport for 90 mph bean balls. That wasn’t the case here. But in future meetings things could get ugly and the last thing we need is a bean ball war. If you want to prove yourself do it by excelling on the field the old fashioned way with hard work, hustle and talent.
I love the Phillies and love watching Cole Hamels pitching one of his gems and will continue to do so. It’s time for the Phils and Hamels to get the house in order and concentrate on winning ball games and reclaiming their rightful place at the top of their division.
ONE MORE NOTE…
The Phillies bonehead move in the off season was letting Wilson Valdez go. Sure Freddy Galvis is a pretty good defensive player but sporting the .180 batting average he has is strictly minor league material. The guy has been nothing less than a rally killer. Valdez is a money player that is a clutch hitter and can play 2nd, shortstop and 3rd. Even pitch in a pinch. The Phils probably would have 2 or 3 wins more with Valdez. Dumb move Amaro.
- Spike Eskin Says: The Bryce Harper Incident Was Cole Hamels’ Free Agency Audition (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Hamels Suspended 5 Games for Intentionally Hitting Harper With a Pitch (nytimes.com)
- Hamels Suspended 5 Games For Throwing At Harper (washington.cbsradio.stats.com)
- Mitch Williams Says What Cole Hamels Did Was ‘Indefensible’ (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Spontaneous Combustion: Cole Hamels throwing at Bryce Harper highlights Baseball’s futility with unwritten rules. (fanonfiresportswire.com)
- Vote: Should Cole Hamels Have Been Suspended for Beaning Bryce Harper? (nesn.com)
- Cole Hamels hits Bryce Harper, admits he did it on purpose (wjla.com)
- Three Reasons Phillies’ Cole Hamels Should Have Received More Than A Five-Game Suspension (detroit.cbslocal.com)