It’s always classy in Philadelphia…or not?

UPDATE 6:20 p.m. EDT: Major League Baseball has suspended Cole Hamels for five games and fined him an undisclosed amount of money.

In the battle of the future of the NL East (Washington) and the past (Philadelphia), there was much animosity between the two mid-Atlantic clubs. In the first inning of last night’s game, Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels proved just how much class the reigning division champs have by intentionally plunking 19 year old Nationals’ rookie superstar Bryce Harper. Really? Intentionally plunking the starred rookie just to prove a point?

“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it.”

That was Hamels response when asked postgame about hitting Harper in the first inning. He should be ashamed of himself. Cole Hamels is a former world champ, who’s dominated hitters left and right during the playoffs over the last few years. Hitting a rookie in the first inning of a regular season game is just plain childish.

Look, Harper comes off as kind of a jerk. A kid who gladly shows off that he has all the talent in the world and loves basking in the spotlight. He’s not the put up or shut up type of rookie Evan Longoria, Jason Heyward, and so many others were, Harper likes to be a jerk about it. With that said, there was no reason for Hamels to intentionally hit him. It’s classless, and just plain silly and the Phillies should punish him accordingly.

However, we all know well that the Phillies will do no such thing. Philadelphia, the city that has no problem with its fans throwing batteries and other objects onto the field at opposing players will gladly tolerate one of their big time starters hitting Bryce Harper. (Heck, I wouldn’t put it past Phillies fans to hurl objects at Chipper Jones in his final at-bat in Philly.)

What exactly does hitting the guy prove?

It proves that the Phillies are frustrated to find themselves in last place in the NL East, 4.5 games behind the Nationals. The season is very young and with an overwhelming amount of the season yet-to-be played, we could still find the Phillies in the first by season’s end and Washington bringing up the rear. However, the tables are turning in the NL East and Philadelphia (without sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley) seem doomed. Washington and Atlanta are younger, faster, and are hitting the ball. Heck, even Roy Halladay seemed a mere mortal when he squandered a 6-0 lead against the Braves last week.

If the Phillies want to give Bryce Harper a warm welcome to the Bigs, they should try pitching to him. Strike him out on a change-up in the dirt or throw a slider that makes Harper look plain foolish. Throwing at the guy just makes you seem pig headed, angry, and unwelcoming. All Hamels accomplished was allow Harper to take first base, not send him back to the dugout with his head hanging low.

Grow up Cole Hamels and come to the conclusion that it’s going to take more than throwing at Bryce Harper for the Phillies to keep up their winning ways in the NL East. The Nationals are only getting better, and if you haven’t noticed, the Braves and Mets are playing better baseball too.

Oh, and Phillies: suspend Hamels for one start and prove to all of us that you aren’t the classless franchise you seem to be. Until then, I will smile each and every morning I see Philadelphia at the bottom of the NL East standings.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Nice article. I think this definitely brings to light the issue of intentionally hitting a batter in baseball. It’s a touchy issue with a lot of people because we are afraid of change but you wonder if something needs to be done about it. Hamels was so open about it yet I don’t see the MLB doing anything about it. Is it any different than hitting a quarterback in the head or throwing an elbow at a player in hockey? I’m not sure it is but then again this is old time baseball and it’s the way things are done. Hamels post game comments are definitely going to stir up some debate. Also, you think you could take a look at my blog post because I would really like to hear your thoughts


    • Thanks for reading! It isn’t any different that a big hit on a QB or an elbow in hockey, and we’re starting to see the repercussions of those hits in the NFL (Saints scandal, head injuries, etc.). It just shows a huge lack of class. If you want to show up a hot rookie, strike him out and make him look foolish! Hamels is good enough to make even the best hitters look like little leaguers out there.

      I’ll totally take a look at your blog and I’ll post it on our links.

      Thanks for reading and pass us along!



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