Apparently Major League Baseball isn’t a fan of the way Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels welcomed rookie phenom Bryce Harper to the big leagues.
The league suspended Hamels for five games for throwing at the young outfielder during a game against the Washington Nationals last week.
Hamels made matters worse when he publicly stated that he intentionally threw at Harper, 19, as a way of welcoming the young ballplayer to the big leagues.
“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels told reporters. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.”
Maybe honesty isn’t the best policy.
“Obviously that’s not what we’re about,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, according to The Associated Press. “We’re not about trying to injure people. Things that happen in the game happen in the game. Those are parts of the game. But as far as how the Phillies want to conduct themselves, we try to take the high road on things. By no means are we condoning this. We fully support what the commissioner’s office has decided to do.”
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo took his frustration out on Hamels, telling The Washington Post that the pitcher is “gutless” and “fake tough.”
Hamels nailed Harper in the back in the first inning. Harper got the last laugh, however, scoring that same inning when he stole home during Hamel’s pick-off attempt at first base.
The Nationals responded by hitting Hamels in the left leg later in the game. Although it sure looked intentional, MLB decided against disciplining Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann for plunking Hamels. After the game, Zimmermann denied hitting Hamels intentionally.
-With Associated Press