Even though I try to stay away from anything too controversial, or ruffle any feathers, sometimes, I HAVE to say something when I see something horribly wrong. This is merely my opinion as a fan of Baseball.
Even if I WASN’T a Mets fan, I would STILL call for Bud Selig (Commissioner of MLB) to suspend Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels for that ADMITTED and pre-meditated drilling on Nationals rookie Bryce Harper.
Yes, I’m a Mets fan, and you’d think since this was between two of ‘our’ rival teams, the Phillies & Nationals, I could care less. Not so.
HERE”S why I care, and why I have a problem with it. This kid (Harper) has only been in the Majors for a week or so, and from all reports is a decent, humble kid. He certainly proved it, in the grace he showed after the intentional hit. There was no call for Hamels to do this to a kid (he’s still a teenager), regardless of his -again, ADMITTED – wanting to ‘welcome him to the MLB’ to ‘uphold an old tradition’.
He ADMITTED IT. No matter WHEN he ‘decided’ to hit him, it doesn’t matter. Suspend him for five games. Now most people will say, “Well, he only sits out 1 game, since he pitches every 5th day.” So my solution to make sure he (and others) doesn’t do it again? Make it count for games he’d PLAY in. If a position player or Manager gets suspended, it’s consecutive games they’d be THERE for and probably working right? Make it for 5 games he’d PITCH in. Send a REAL message that this sort of thuggish behavior will NOT be tolerated. Anybody who’d target a kid like that is a bully and coward. 9 out of 10 times, when asked, a pitcher will OBVIOUSLY lie, saying, “Oh it got away from me.” If they’ve already suspended two pitchers for SUSPECTED beanings this early in the season, how can you justify NOT suspending one who ADMITS it??
Hamels said right out:
From the Associated Press:
“I was trying to hit him, I’m not going to deny it.”
“That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is,” Hamels said.
“But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball,” he said.
In other words, Hamels said, “It’s just, ‘Welcome to the big leagues.'”
Again, Mr. Commissioner, send a REAL message. Suspend him for 5 games he’d pitch in. It’ll make him think twice about doing it again, and make his team think twice about letting him get away with it. Never mind that it was mean spirited, DESPITE what Hamels said, consider how mind-bogglingly STUPID it was! Think about what would have happened if that ball had gotten away from Hamels’ control. A full blown, 93MPH baseball into the back of the ribs HAD to hurt as it was, but what would’ve happened if it hit him in the wrist, knee or – God forbid- his HEAD. We’re talking career – and even LIFE – threatening injury. If he’d been hurt badly, I wonder if Hamels would STILL admit to it.
Just because it DIDN’T happen, does NOT mean that it COULDN’T have happened. It’s because of THAT, that the punishment SHOULD fit the crime.
Giving a starting pitcher a 5 game suspension is a joke. Change the punchline.
Again, I want to stress, this is NOT because I’m a Mets fan. It’s because I’m a Baseball fan.
UPDATE: It seems, between the time I’d started this post, and then posting it earlier, Hamels WAS suspended, and it was for the 5 games. What irks me the most are the pundits who have said today that they have ‘no problem” with what he did. Yet, what would you bet that if Harper HAD gotten seriously injured from it, they’d be leading the pack screaming for Hamels’ expulsion, as opposed to a suspension. MLB had a chance to send a message for right. They blew it. Let the bullying continue. Selig could learn something from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.