Originally posted on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 5/8/12

 

Cole Hamels thinks he’s “old school”.

True "old school" baseball player, Bryce Harper, being congratulated after stealing home against Cole Hamels

Hamels hit Bryce Harper with a pitch in the first inning of last night’s game in Washington, D.C., on purpose, with the goal of “sending a message” to the Nationals rookie.

Well, Bryce Harper got the message, weak as it was, and then he shoved it right back in Cole’s face when he stole home on him later in the inning.

Here’s my message to Hamels…. if you have to tell the media and the world that you were trying to send a message by plunking someone, that means you did a pretty ********* job of sending it in the first place.

Hamels’ public admission to hitting Harper with a pitch was clearly done to pump up his own ego.  It was a lame attempt to try and get everyone to believe he is actually a tough guy.  Nationals GM, Mike Rizzo, called Hamels “fake tough”, and he is right.

Hamels also thought that he, himself, was intentionally hit by a pitch later in the game.  Unfortunately for Hamels’ ego, he was wrong again.  Jordan Zimmermann was trying to throw an outside fastball and simply missed his target.  Zimmermann’s reaction was of disgust with himself, not of satisfaction in hitting Hamels.  The Nats will have plenty of time to retaliate for Harper’s beaning this season, and they’ll do it by going after one of the Phillies everyday players that actually matter, not Hamels.

Shane Victorino was called out tonight for interference when he attempted to take out Mets shortstop, Justin Turner, in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Umpire, Ron Kulpa, made the correct call, which gave the Mets an inning-ending double play, and ultimately saved the game for them.  Victorino has always been called a “hard-nosed” player, but in reality he’s just a dirty player that will cheap-shot middle infielders.

Unnecessary take out slides have resulted in numerous injuries over the last few years, to both the fielders and the runners.  Those injuries include concussions to Justin Morneau and Ryan Church, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka‘s broken leg, among many others.

The following inning it was Ty Wigginton‘s turn, this time it was a cheap-shot on the catcher, Josh Thole.  Wigginton attempted to score from third base on a high chopper back to the mound.  Bobby Parnell made the play and fed Thole with the throw.  Wigginton actually slid into home plate and was tagged out.  But, Wigginton finished his slide by popping up and intentionally throwing his shoulder into Thole.  The shoulder caught the side of his face and laid Thole out for a couple of minutes.

MLB needs to change its policy, or lack thereof, on these unnecessary collisions at both home plate and second base.  With the increased attention to concussions and head injuries, coupled with Buster Posey‘s near career-ending injury last year, it’s time to end the tough guy attitude nonsense and get that type of play out of the game of baseball.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at 60ft6in.com.

 

by C. Sven Jenkins

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