Head to Head: Agree or disagree with Cole Hamels Suspension?

Posted: May 8, 2012 by vindanton in Pro Sports

Suspension proves even more that sports is going in the wrong direction 

By: Vin D’Anton

Once again, professional sports in America have embarrassed themselves…and this time it goes against one of the oldest unwritten rules of our Nation’s pastime.

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels has been fined and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for publicly admitting that he intentionally nailed 19-year old Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper on Sunday night. In his first pitch of the game against Harper, Hamels sent a 93 mph fastball to the lower back of the rookie sensation, sparking massive boo’s throughout Nationals Park.

When asked about the pitch after the game, Hamels admitted to hitting Harper intentionally.

“I was trying to hit him,” the lefty said Sunday night. “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.”

Cole Hamels has gotten so much slack for his pretty boy persona and now that he “man’s up” and plays a little baseball he gets knocked for it.

I applaud you Mr. Hamels…no doubt about it.

In an era of sports where we are seeing penalties and suspensions for questionable hits that is adding drastic changes to leagues we love…yes I am talking to you NFL and NHL… Hamels’ act was a breath of fresh air to lovers of old-time baseball.

Every rookie, hell every baseball player has been intentionally hit at some point in their career…and all because the league wants to protect their poster-child and future star Harper, they punish a World Series MVP.

“But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball,” Hamels added.

Harper needed the wake up call. Since being drafted he has shown small signs of arrogance and don’t be shocked if he is the next punk of baseball.

While I applaud his style of play, he showed his arrogance in the minors and in a game against the Dodgers, he unnecessarily threw his helmet off like a jackass while rounding first for a double…attempting to be overdramatic.

Then you have dopey Nats GM Mike Rizzo calling Hamels “classless” and calling out Hamels’ persona…shut up. But perhaps more disappointing than that is the fact that Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel pulled out the whole “that is not what the organization stands for.” That is disappointing to me…especially from an old timer like Manuel and the fact that they play in front of a tough fan base.

Hamels suspension you can argue is even more unjustifiable because Jordan Zimmerman intentionally hit him with a pitch in the third and no punishment was handed down to him.

It is bad enough that the human element of baseball is being taken away with instant replays (and more coming)…so don’t ruin it more by punishing those who play the game they way it was meant to be played.

A fine and suspension for Hamels is just another step in the wrong direction for American sports.

@VinDanton

vindanton@gmail.com

By: Christian Fazzini

Suspension rules need to change for pitchers…start with Hamels

Major League Baseball made the right choice by serving Cole Hamels with a five game suspension for beaming baseball prodigy Bryce Harper.

“I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless, chicken shit act in my 30 years in baseball,” said Rizzo. Rizzo put it perfect; Hamels throwing at Harper for no reason is a chicken shit move. He put Harper in danger, and not to mention, himself, when Zimmerman retaliated by plunking Hamels in the leg when he stepped up to the plate in the following innings.

With all that is going on in the NFL about the bounties scandals, concussions and player suspensions for big hits, to intentionally hit someone, and then say you did it on purpose, is going to get you suspended. Players safety begins to be a priority for the NFL and NHL, and maybe baseball is following suit.

Roger Goodell is heavily criticized for his philosophy of player safety and the amount of player fines and suspensions. Believe me, I do not agree with some of the calls that Goodell has made, but you cannot deny that player safety is a huge aspect in football and Goodell is doing his best to tackle the issue. I completely agree that baseball is nowhere near as violent as football, but it does have violent aspects. Pitchers hitting players, collisions at the plate…players have been seriously hurt because of these events. 

Was baseball trying to protect its prize possession? I would say so. There was absolutely no reason to hit Harper in that situation. Since coming up, he has showed no arrogance what so ever; instead, the 19-year old stud has let his skills do the talking.

Rizzo was also trying to protect his potential superstar. 

“With all the bounty (stuff) going on in professional football, the commissioner better act with a purpose on this thing,” Rizzo said. And Hamels, could you make it more obvious pal? On the first pitch of the at-bat, you pelt Harper right in the back. After retiring the first two batters wouldn’t your mindset be to get out of the inning?

Mike Rizzo…or Phil Collins?

And why on earth would you say anything? 

If Hamels did not say he intentionally was trying to hit Harper, no action would have been taken. Instead, Cole Hamels came right out and said he wanted to hit Harper.

Some of you have argued that Zimmerman also should get a suspension, but Zimmerman went about it the right way, he went about it the “old-school way.” He did not start it first of all, and he protected his teammate telling the 19-year old Harper “hey, we got your back kid.”

But the punishment does not fit the crime. Yeah, Hamels was suspended for five games, but the way the Phillie rotation is, he will not miss a single start.  Baseball needs to change its suspension policy on pitchers because they play less then position players. Hamels deserves to miss at least one start for his “chicken shit” actions on Sunday night.

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