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Hamels hits Harper on purpose

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#1 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:31 AM

http://msn.foxsports...2?ocid=vt_fbmsn

Harper came up with two outs in the first inning and Hamels promptly drilled the 19-year-old.
Why, exactly?
''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.
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Curious as to how others feel about this. I would suspend him for 10 games. There is no excuse for recklessly endangering another player like that in the name of "old baseball". Throwing at a guy is not a baseball play. I pay to watch big league pitchers paint corners, not bean guys.

There's too much blind deference to tradition in baseball. It's the last sport to have instant replay because of that. There's no point in carrying on or trying to reclaim stupid traditions for tradition's sake. It was once traditional to have separate leagues for players of different colors. Does Hamels want to go back to that as well because we've gotten away from it?

#2 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:58 AM

Stupid. Suspend him for as many games as you can. It is a stupid, stupid thing to do.
Lighten up Francis....

#3 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

I love that Hamels, the veteran, was so concerned with teaching the rookie Harper a lesson, and then completely stopped paying any attention to Harper, who was dancing about 30 feet off of third base by the time he broke to steal home.
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#4 Thrylos

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

stupid to do it and admit it, but he got what he deserved (from the same linked article: )

In the third inning, Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann hit Hamels in the left leg with one out and a runner on first when the Phillies pitcher squared to bunt. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher warned both dugouts.


to the OP: this is not reckless endangerement... Hamels hit Harper on the butt and Hamels got hit on the calf. Not like headhunting...
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#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

Personally, I like it. I like the tradition stuff. I like how it'll add another layer to the Nats/Phillies rivalry. Remember when Hunter destroyed (totally unnecessarily) the White Sox catcher (Burke, I believe)? That stuff makes rivalries better.

#6 chaderic20

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

I don't have a problem with it. As was already mentioned, Harper was hit on the back and Hamels on the leg - no one got beaned, no one was headhunting. The benches didn't clear or anything, there wasn't even any tension in the air. Everyone on the field knew exactly what was going on - Hamels was just putting the hot shot kid in his place, and Zimmerman was protecting his guys. (I'll note here, that I love Harper right now, but let's make him earn it for a while before we crown him, well, anything.) Also, Harper got his own revenge that very inning by stealing home. And Harper showed great maturity by not taking a shot at Hamels when asked about it after the game. As for suspensions, sure, MLB has to suspend both Hamels and Zimmerman to save face. Give 'em each 5 games so they each miss a start and then move on.

#7 jleath13

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:58 AM

yea I have no problem with this either. Its a part of baseball, and especially when someone like bryce harper joins the league. Although this might not be the best way to preserve "old-fashioned" baseball, I appreciate his concern for way the sport is going. So does Tim Kurkjian. All it all, no harm done here. keep it up bryce.

#8 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

to the OP: this is not reckless endangerement... Hamels hit Harper on the butt and Hamels got hit on the calf. Not like headhunting...


Of course it's reckless endangerment. Yes, it's different than headhunting. Headhunting is not reckless, it's intent to injure. Recklessness is willful disregard to the potential harm caused to others. It is defined by the risks created, not the resulting consequences. What Hamels did is textbook recklessness. Throwing a baseball at someone is putting them at risk of injury. The fact that no actual harm came is irrelevant.

The "nobody got hurt, so therefore it's OK" argument doesn't fly with me. This is the same logic employed people who claim that they drive better when they are drunk, do it all the time and have never hurt anyone, therefore it's OK for them to continue doing it.

Edited by one_eyed_jack, 07 May 2012 - 10:11 AM.


#9 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:08 AM

Personally, I like it. I like the tradition stuff. I like how it'll add another layer to the Nats/Phillies rivalry. Remember when Hunter destroyed (totally unnecessarily) the White Sox catcher (Burke, I believe)? That stuff makes rivalries better.


---So unnecessary risk of injury makes the game better? Should we allow guys to carry the bat with them after they put the ball in play and try to prevent the first baseman from catching the throw by whacking them with it? I'm sure that would up the intensity and stir up some rivalries.

#10 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:09 AM

I don't condone trying to hurt a player, but purpose-pitches are part of the game. It's a fine line. If you suspend the pitcher for saying forthrightly that he did it, all you'll do is drive the discussion back underground. This was rookie hazing, pure and simple, and Harper responded in exactly the way he ought to have due to lucky circumstance, resulting in perfect justice. But of even more importance is what Harper does with inside pitches the next few games. If he's seen as backing off and not digging in as much or protecting the outside of the plate, people will notice. To paraphrase Don Drysdale (and probably others), "I own half the plate, and the hitter owns half. Which half is which changes from pitch to pitch. And I don't tell him in advance when it changes."

#11 roger

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

---So unnecessary risk of injury makes the game better? Should we allow guys to carry the bat with them after they put the ball in play and try to prevent the first baseman from catching the throw by whacking them with it? I'm sure that would up the intensity and stir up some rivalries.


No, then you would have to rename the game...maybe call it hockey!

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:29 AM

Rookie hazing is out of 1950s thinking, it's time we all grew up. There is nothing fun about hazing of any kind, and it's especially stupid when you are putting someone on base for free, or hitting them with any kind of pitch. What if he misses, and hits him in the knee or head or wrist or wherever. It is just time to grow up, and not do hazing anyplace anymore. I'm not sure how anyone thinks this is a still a good idea, whether it be this, or fraternities, or bands or whatever. It serves no purpose in making the world a better place.
Lighten up Francis....

#13 nathanaakre

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Anytime a guy intentionally throws a 92 mph fastball at a guy, I would say he's out of line. I don't care if they used to do that back in the day or whatever, or if he's welcoming this kid to the bigs. It actually made me pretty angry, and I don't even care about the Phillies or the Nationals. HOWEVER, if I could think of any better way to retaliate, it would be to have Harper steal home on the veteran pitcher that same inning! How embarrassing for Hamels to watch that happen. I couldn't have been more excited when Harper slid into home. I know people think Harper hasn't "proven himself" and he's "over-hyped", but I love this kid! He runs everything out, he plays full speed, and he makes great plays. He's the kind of guy the Twins could really use right now!

#14 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

Rookie hazing is out of 1950s thinking, it's time we all grew up.


You can just as easily reverse this view, and recognize that these are indeed grown men, looking for every edge possible in pursuit of success. Knowing who will back down and who will not, is part of that. No one wants Tony Conigliaro events to occur; the game seems to police itself well enough to avoid that.

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:55 PM

Grown men don't need to throw balls at each other, they should play the game. I don't get how anyone even thinks this is still a good idea. Was it entertaining? Did it help his team win? I am truly baffled by anyone thinking this is somehow a good idea. How did it give the Phllies any edge at all? Baffled, truly baffled that people still think stuff like this is good for the world or baseball or the fans or any player.
Lighten up Francis....

#16 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

Grown men don't need to throw balls at each other, they should play the game. I don't get how anyone even thinks this is still a good idea. Was it entertaining? Did it help his team win? I am truly baffled by anyone thinking this is somehow a good idea. How did it give the Phllies any edge at all? Baffled, truly baffled that people still think stuff like this is good for the world or baseball or the fans or any player.


---Yeah I'm with you. This isn't one of those issues where reasonable minds may disagree. There is no redeeming value to what Hamels did, it's indefensible to put guys at risk of injury in the name of carrying on a childish hazing tradition.

Think of it this way: suppose Hamels show of faux machismo had gone horribly wrong. What if instead of plunking him in the back, he hit him in the face, left him with eye damages, and ended his short career? Would you buy "well, I was trying to bring back old school baseball" as a valid excuse? Of course not.

And don't start in with the "there was no chance of that happening" argument. Yes, MLB pitchers are accurate, but they aren't perfect. Would you be willing to stand 60.5 feet away from Cole Hamels, legs apart, with your knees on either side of an 'X' painted on the wall behind you and let him throw as hard as he could at the 'X'? If you really believe there's no chance of him missing his intended target, you shouldn't have a problem with it.

#17 TheMix

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:33 PM

As much as I love Harper's talent, and think he's gotten better as a person, he's kind of played like a little bit of a douche. I'm COMPLETELY surprised he didn't get plunked after that nice little helmet shrugging run on his first hit. I thought to myself "great hustle, but what the hell do you think you're doing?" His teammates have said that he's gotten better in the clubhouse, and I believe it, but he's not really proving it on the field. There are baseball players I hate but also love (Mariano Rivera, Verlander, etc.), but then there's players I love to hate because they just have a sense of arrogance about them. And some people like that, but I don't. It permeates more into football than in baseball, but I'd rather it stay that way. I'd hope that Harper grows not just as a baseball player but also as a person.

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

Respect for an inside fastball has been part of pitching forever. Players policing each other on the field has been part of baseball forever. Hamels took exception, Harper retaliated in the best way possible. Since nobody denied anything, the commish had to react and he did. Nothing to see here. Move along. Maybe if Hunter, or the next hitter, took one in the ribs after stealing a bag with a big lead Gardy wouldn't have to whine about his pitchers holding runners.

#19 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:39 AM

---Yeah I'm with you. This isn't one of those issues where reasonable minds may disagree. There is no redeeming value to what Hamels did, it's indefensible to put guys at risk of injury in the name of carrying on a childish hazing tradition.

Think of it this way: suppose Hamels show of faux machismo had gone horribly wrong. What if instead of plunking him in the back, he hit him in the face, left him with eye damages, and ended his short career? Would you buy "well, I was trying to bring back old school baseball" as a valid excuse? Of course not.


And don't start in with the "there was no chance of that happening" argument. Yes, MLB pitchers are accurate, but they aren't perfect. Would you be willing to stand 60.5 feet away from Cole Hamels, legs apart, with your knees on either side of an 'X' painted on the wall behind you and let him throw as hard as he could at the 'X'? If you really believe there's no chance of him missing his intended target, you shouldn't have a problem with it.



Doesn't ever happen much though does it? Curious. What Hamels did is part of the code of the game, some feel that the code isn't as strong as it used to be and the game in a certain sense is less respectful. Guys like Hamels and Verlander want to protect the code, it's their code, not yours, who are you to judge? I'll lay you 100-1 Harper had no issue with it, he knows why it happened and he took it, lived with it and made them pay. My money says Hamels respects him for it.

Not sure where all of this 50's nonsense is coming from, the code and it's many facets have always been around, batters getting hit isn't some 50's throwback, it's always been the way, as have many other "in house" rulings. You think Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan or Jack Morris never threw at guys intentionally? Damn right they did and they'd be the 1st to admit it and wouldn't have any time for critics who never stepped foot in a major league dugout.

Baseball is a child's game played by grown men, the whole thing is childish, why should this be any different?

#20 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:55 AM

Doesn't ever happen much though does it? Curious. What Hamels did is part of the code of the game, some feel that the code isn't as strong as it used to be and the game in a certain sense is less respectful. Guys like Hamels and Verlander want to protect the code, it's their code, not yours, who are you to judge? I'll lay you 100-1 Harper had no issue with it, he knows why it happened and he took it, lived with it and made them pay. My money says Hamels respects him for it.

Not sure where all of this 50's nonsense is coming from, the code and it's many facets have always been around, batters getting hit isn't some 50's throwback, it's always been the way, as have many other "in house" rulings. You think Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan or Jack Morris never threw at guys intentionally? Damn right they did and they'd be the 1st to admit it and wouldn't have any time for critics who never stepped foot in a major league dugout.

Baseball is a child's game played by grown men, the whole thing is childish, why should this be any different?


1) The fact that it doesn't happen much is irrelevant. That's the "I drive drunk all the time and have never gotten into an accident, so I don't see what the problem is" argument. Why should it take a tragedy to strike for the culture to change?

2) Interesting that you think I'm not entitled to an opinion on this because I've never set foot in an MLB dugout, but you presume to know how Harper feels about getting beaned and how past MLB players would react to my criticism. That's the discredit the argument by discrediting the arguer tactic, which is typically resorted to when one has no facts or logic to defend their position. It's like when cops respond to criticisms of police brutality and coerced confessions with "well you've never served on the force" There is no reason you can't criticize the culture of a profession you've never been a part of.

3) Of course plenty of pitchers have thrown at guys over the years. Nobody said Hamels was the first is decades to do this. It's the mindset that's out of the 50's, or perhpas earlier - the simple-minded ideology of blindly following tradition straight out of "The Lottery".

#21 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

He was given a 5 game suspension - is that a fair number? He'll miss one start. Does it send a message to Hamels that he shouldn't hit people or just that he shouldn't say he did it on purpose?

#22 gunnarthor

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

---So unnecessary risk of injury makes the game better? Should we allow guys to carry the bat with them after they put the ball in play and try to prevent the first baseman from catching the throw by whacking them with it? I'm sure that would up the intensity and stir up some rivalries.


Good grief. Reductio ad absurdum is fun. Since player safety is tantamount, we should probably eliminate take out slides while we're at it. And probably change the bats and balls to nerf bats so we don't have any more shattered bats flying at players and fans. Maybe mandate that hitters wear a lot of body armor and pitchers can't throw inside. And change the schedule to give more days off and fewer overall games since all those games and travel fatigue players. Maybe play fewer innings so we don't put as much wear/tear on the pitchers arm.

#23 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

Good grief. Reductio ad absurdum is fun. Since player safety is tantamount, we should probably eliminate take out slides while we're at it. And probably change the bats and balls to nerf bats so we don't have any more shattered bats flying at players and fans. Maybe mandate that hitters wear a lot of body armor and pitchers can't throw inside. And change the schedule to give more days off and fewer overall games since all those games and travel fatigue players. Maybe play fewer innings so we don't put as much wear/tear on the pitchers arm.



I couldn't agree more, all of this self-righteous "wait until someone gets killed" grandstanding is a bunch of hyperbole, get over your indignant selves. If it bothers you so much then stop watching, take an actual stand, not just cry about how wrong it all is. I certainly don't know any better than anyone else but I think you can infer by Harper's non response he didn't think it was such a big deal, I'm sure he's not spending too much time making his funeral arrangements in the event it happens again. The player's don't blindly follow this, they accept it,if they didn't then the collective will would win out, it always does, no different than fighting in hockey. For the record he didn't get beaned, he got hit, bean is a metaphor for head, he got hit in the back, that's being plunked.

And for those who fancy using drunk driving analogies, try to find a better one, one where people don't actually lose their lives.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 08 May 2012 - 10:02 AM.


#24 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

Hamels also broke the unwritten rule of intentionally putting the tying or go-ahead run on base. Granted, it was only the first inning, so it's a minor infraction. It's probably also not the best old-school baseball move to talk about how old-school you are to the media. The whole thing is pretty funny (because no one was hurt). The part I'm missing is this - what's the unwritten rule is that you're supposed to hit a guy because he's a rookie? Did Harper take too long rounding the bases the day before or do something else to show up one of Philly's pitchers? That's a lot of HBP to go around if you have to hit every new guy to the show. If it's a rule, why didn't Weaver hit Dozier last night? Weaver is pretty old-school, right?

#25 gunnarthor

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

The part I'm missing is this - what's the unwritten rule is that you're supposed to hit a guy because he's a rookie? Did Harper take too long rounding the bases the day before or do something else to show up one of Philly's pitchers? That's a lot of HBP to go around if you have to hit every new guy to the show. If it's a rule, why didn't Weaver hit Dozier last night? Weaver is pretty old-school, right?


Putting rookies in their place is a normal thing. Harper is a big time prospect who gets a lot of media attention so he'll get swat down a bit. But pitchers challenging rookies isn't new. Mike Piazza told a story once where he was a hot shot prospect in Dodgers spring training (probably 91 or 92). He stepped in against Bert Blyleven, then with the Angels, career almost over. Bert's first pitch is a fastball high and inside that makes Piazza jump back. His next pitch starts at his head again, Piazza leaps out, ball curves back into strike zone, ump calls it a strike and Piazza later said something to the effect of "I was terrified. I thought I'd never hit ML pitching."

#26 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:14 AM

Hamels also broke the unwritten rule of intentionally putting the tying or go-ahead run on base. Granted, it was only the first inning, so it's a minor infraction. It's probably also not the best old-school baseball move to talk about how old-school you are to the media. The whole thing is pretty funny (because no one was hurt).


The part I'm missing is this - what's the unwritten rule is that you're supposed to hit a guy because he's a rookie? Did Harper take too long rounding the bases the day before or do something else to show up one of Philly's pitchers? That's a lot of HBP to go around if you have to hit every new guy to the show. If it's a rule, why didn't Weaver hit Dozier last night? Weaver is pretty old-school, right?


Not just because he's a rookie, a bit of a cocky rookie, also Washington is threatening the Phillies superiority, they are the up and comers so Hamels wants to point out that if they want to play with the big boys there is going to be a price. He chose to send that message to the guy who might not quite appreciate that yet, the golden child.

The Angels and Weaver have nothing to worry about from the Twins or Dozier (who also doesn't have a reputation), not that the Angels are scaring anybody right now either.

#27 Jim H

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:33 AM

The issue here is intent. The problem of course is 2-fold. Most pitchers in the majors won't survive very long if they are unwilling to pitch inside. There are pitchers who don't mind hitting batters, there are those who would prefer not to. But, unless someone admits it, it is pretty darn hard to prove intent. It is pretty likely nobody will be willing to admit intent from now on. None of this will make baseball safer. Just like the warning rule does not make baseball safer. Personally, I would probably prefer to face a pitcher like Hamel who has good control and if he hits you it will likely be in the lower body or legs, rather than some young hard thrower who has to pitch inside to be effective but does not have very good control.

#28 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:38 PM

Ok, fair enough - Throw at Harper because he's playing on a rival team and people think he's full of himself. I understand it, but I think it was a little premature to hit him in that situation. So, does anyone think that's end of it? Does Harper get hit again on the 21st when the two teams play next?

#29 twinsnorth49

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:44 PM

Doubt it but there might be a little more plate for the pitcher to work with.

#30 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Harper did not seem the least bit intimidated by Hamels, so I imagine he's not going to be backing up his stance for anyone anytime soon.