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Monday, May 07, 2012

Cole Hamels on Bryce Harper: ‘I was trying to hit him’

“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. It’s something I grew up watching. That’s what happened. I’m just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything. That’s the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It’s that old-school prestigious way of baseball.

“I’m not going to injure a guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it but I’m not going to lie and 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. They can say whatever they want.”

Guapo Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:40 AM | 168 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, phillies

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 07, 2012 at 06:16 AM (#4125174)
Enjoy your vacation, Cole.
   2. Dale H. Posted: May 07, 2012 at 07:14 AM (#4125178)
Bryce Harper on Cole Hamels: "I was trying not to get hit by him, same as in old baseball."
   3. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 07, 2012 at 07:19 AM (#4125180)
"I’m just trying to continue the old baseball, where I hit a kid and later have him embarrass me by stealing home on my sorry @$s."
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 07, 2012 at 07:24 AM (#4125182)
And Harper took Hamels' admission with a chuckle, according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore: "He's a great guy, great pitcher, knows how to pitch. He's an all-star. It's all good."
   5. base ball chick Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4125186)
not sure why harper got hit - it's not like he was either killing phillies pitching or showing anyone up

i guess it is some kind of penis waving ritual i don't get
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4125190)
In the eighth inning last night, Harper hit a little flare just out of the shortstop's reach. He must have realized that Juan Pierre was in left field and that Pierre can't throw at all, because Harper was thinking two from the time he left the batter's box. Sure enough, Pierre sailed the throw way over the second baseman's head, and Harper was in easily.

That was pretty cool.
   7. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4125193)
not sure why harper got hit - it's not like he was either killing phillies pitching or showing anyone up


Not sure why you'd need a reason to hit that little bastard, personally.
   8. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4125198)
i guess it is some kind of penis waving ritual i don't get

If it makes you feel better, it's a penis waving ritual I don't get either. Must be because I am comfortable with the size of mine...

Not sure why you'd need a reason to hit that little bastard, personally.

Sam, if everyone had this attitude, you would never leave the hospital.
   9. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4125199)
In the eighth inning last night, Harper hit a little flare just out of the shortstop's reach. He must have realized that Juan Pierre was in left field and that Pierre can't throw at all, because Harper was thinking two from the time he left the batter's box. Sure enough, Pierre sailed the throw way over the second baseman's head, and Harper was in easily.

That was pretty cool.


I flipped to the game just in time to see that. I just started laughing. Despite his obvious cockiness, its going to be next to impossible for a real baseball fan not to like him.
   10. Xander Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4125200)
1. I can't stand broadcasters who go out of their way to act obtuse when a pitcher obviously throws at a hitter. We all know it's intentional. Your job is to call it like you see it. This isn't war; you're not putting anyone at risk by covering for a guy (on the other end of the spectrum is a guy like Darren Sutton who thinks every HBP is intentional). Jerry Remy is guilty of this a lot. In that infamous game where the Devil Rays threw at Brian Daubach every time he came to the plate, Remy wasn't "convinced" anything was intentional until the 7th inning.

2. If there was any doubt how Harper's National teammates would handle his lightning-rod personality, this game put an end to it. Throwing at Cole Hamels, as opposed to Hunter Pence, was a shot in the air from Nationals' pitchers.
   11. adenzeno Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4125203)
I was prepared to not like him due to his apparent cockiness, but having seen him play- I am thoroughly impressed with how he plays the game. Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, Hal McRae seem to have been his role models. I just hope he keeps it up. Too bad Jim Bowden is not still managing the Nats- he would have traded him for Jason Varitek or Johnny Gomes to give them some Veteran Prescence...
   12. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4125208)
i guess it is some kind of penis waving ritual i don't get

Yes.


If it makes you feel better, it's a penis waving ritual I don't get either. Must be because I am comfortable with the size of mine...

This, too. ;-)




   13. JE (Jason) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4125217)
How funny was it last night to compare the arms OCCUPYing left field? (With Werth sidelined, Harper appears headed for right.)
   14. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: May 07, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4125220)
I think they understood the message...


Yeah, that you're a jerk.
   15. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 07, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4125229)
I don't get this either. Since when is it "old baseball" to hit a rookie just because?
   16. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: May 07, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4125230)
What I take from this is that Hamels is a much bigger d-bag than Harper.
   17. spike Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4125241)
Not sure why you'd need a reason to hit that little bastard, personally.

There's a lot of folks one might feel this way about. I am not sure why pitchers feel entitled to act on an impulse that ordinary folks manage to contain.
   18. toratoratora Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4125242)
I was prepared to not like him due to his apparent cockiness, but having seen him play- I am thoroughly impressed with how he plays the game. Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, Hal McRae seem to have been his role models. I just hope he keeps it up.


Agreed. I wanted to dislike the kid. Heck, I was halfway predetermined I didn't like the kid from the news reports I had read. Instead, I love the way he plays the game with aggressiveness, fire and passion (Mystique and Aura's 2nd cousins, twice removed).
Stealing home, taking extra bases, cannon for an arm, all hustle, hell, right now he even says the right things (Points at his comments re Hamels)-color me 1/2way to falling for the kid
   19. John Northey Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4125243)
Funny how we are seeing a few really good young players with that Rose mentality (play 100% at all times). Here in Toronto with Lawrie and in Washington with Harper. Love that type of player even though they drive you nuts at times as you fear them getting hurt doing something crazy to try to get an out or an extra base.
   20. Guapo Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4125244)
I'm interested to see how the suspensions play out here. Hamels has to be suspended, right? I don't think anyone's ever admitted intentionally plunking someone and avoided a suspension.

But what about Zimmermann? What's interesting is that if Hamels had kept his mouth shut, presumably both he and Zimmermann would have floated under the radar. But now that Hamels has admitted what was afoot, it goes a long way toward forcing MLB to recognize what was already pretty obvious- that Zimmermann threw at Hamels. So will he get a vacation as well?
   21. SOLockwood Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4125248)
2. If there was any doubt how Harper's National teammates would handle his lightning-rod personality, this game put an end to it. Throwing at Cole Hamels, as opposed to Hunter Pence, was a shot in the air from Nationals' pitchers.


I don't understand what you mean by this. Are you saying the Nationals like Harper, or don't?
   22. Russ Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4125249)
Here in Toronto with Lawrie and in Washington with Harper.


McCutchen in Pittsburgh is the same.... so much fun to watch guys who love to play.
   23. Russ Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4125250)


I don't understand what you mean by this. Are you saying the Nationals like Harper, or don't?


I assumed that throwing at a guy who can throw back at you is more ballsy and carries more weight than throwing at some random hitter.
   24. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4125252)
I am not sure why pitchers feel entitled to act on an impulse that ordinary folks manage to contain.


The fact that you don't seem to have ever played the game of baseball doesn't mean Cole Hamels has not.
   25. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4125253)
I'm thinking that Hamels threw at Harper to stir up his own listless team. The Phillies sleepwalked (I guess it's not sleptwalked -- does double past tense make it present?) on Saturday. 2 out, none on, good time to plunk, if that's your mindset.

Regardless of what you think about Hamels throwing at Harper, he took his own getting hit in stride so at least he adhered to the "code".

So far, I'm liking Harper, the player.
   26. spike Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4125257)
The fact that you don't seem to have ever played the game of baseball doesn't mean Cole Hamels has not.

That you find the idea of threatening those who disagree with you acceptable is hardly a shock.
   27. The Original SJ Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4125262)
Honestly, how can you link to the USA Today article on this subject when it was former Primate and long time baseball chatterer Matt Gelb who got the scoop?

Not linking to Skip Bayless, Rick Reilly or Peter Gammons is one thing, but this is Gelb, who was in here talking baseball when he was in high school!
   28. Guapo Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4125269)
Plot thickens:

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo responded to Cole Hamels’ admission he drilled Bryce Harper on purpose last night in harsh terms, saying MLB should suspend Hamels and calling out Hamels as “fake tough.”

“Players take care of themselves,” Rizzo said after [Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post] called him this morning. “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball.

“Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”

Rizzo said player safety should take precedence and Hamels should miss at least one start.

“With all the bounty [stuff] going on in professional football, the commissioner better act with a purpose on this thing,” Rizzo said. “Players have a way of monitoring themselves. We’re not here to hit people and hurt people.

“He thinks he’s sending a message to us of being a tough guy. He’s sending the polar opposite message. He says he’s being honest; well, I’m being honest. It was a gutless chicken [bleep] [bleeping] act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school...”

“This goes beyond rivalry and all that stuff,” Rizzo said. “This points to, you take the youngest guy in baseball. He’s never done a thing. And then Hamels patted himself on the back. Harper’s old school. Hitting him on the back, that ain’t old school. That’s [bleeping] chicken [bleep].”
   29. ColonelTom Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4125270)
I flipped to the game just in time to see that. I just started laughing. Despite his obvious cockiness, its going to be next to impossible for a real baseball fan not to like him.


Agreed. You have to love that instead of complaining, glaring at Hamels, or charging the mound, he stole home. The kid's a throwback in the best possible way.

Is there an MLB OF with a worse arm than Pierre?
   30. Bob Tufts Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4125274)
I will now pull rank, having played the game and say that Hamels proved himself the far bigger ##### than Harper is. Just get the guy out regularly and all the perceived insults to the integrity of your lawn...err...I mean game...will be resolved. When a player is hitting .250 or lower, all the hustle and grit in the world comes off as phony and that player will have to change their attitude.
   31. Boxkutter Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4125276)
If it makes you feel better, it's a penis waving ritual I don't get either. Must be because I am comfortable with the size of mine...


Same here. Unfortunately, most women aren't.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4125278)
Agreed. You have to love that instead of complaining, glaring at Hamels, or charging the mound, he stole home. The kid's a throwback in the best possible way.\

Concur. I'm really starting to like Harper.
   33. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4125280)
I am very much enjoying the emergence of Phillies-Nats as a real rivalry.

Also, Harper has just been an absolute thrill, and hopefully will get more people to the park. I've enjoyed the hell out of having him here, and I think I've been to the only three games where he hasn't gotten a hit!
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4125281)
Is there an MLB OF with a worse arm than Pierre?


Now that Damon is back in the big leagues, yes. But he's probably the only one.

   35. ColonelTom Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4125284)
"He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with."


What the hell does that mean, coming from an executive who's lobbying for MLB to suspend someone for a purpose pitch? What's Rizzo going to do, trade us a bad player?

The players handled it on the field, and the Commissioner's Office will suspend Hamels for a start, which he deserves. It should have ended on the field with Zimmermann's hitting Hamels. Instead, Rizzo's comments will likely turn this from something that's basically over into an ongoing beanball war. Way to go, champ.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4125286)
When a player is hitting .250 or lower, all the hustle and grit in the world comes off as phony and that player will have to change their attitude.


I don't get this. You can't play hard unless you've reached a certain production threshold?
   37. McCoy Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4125292)
Yep, below that threshold you can just coast.
   38. zack Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4125294)
Also, Harper has just been an absolute thrill, and hopefully will get more people to the park. I've enjoyed the hell out of having him here, and I think I've been to the only three games where he hasn't gotten a hit!


I went on Friday just to watch Strasburg pitch and Harper hit, and the first ####### gave up 2 home runs and the second ####### didn't put a ball in play, ####### it!
   39. Bob Tufts Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4125297)
Perhaps I should restate - it is difficult to act like you are G-d's gift to baseball if you are only hitting at a replacement player level.
   40. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4125298)
There's a reason the categories "people who support Bryce Harper" and "people who need their children taken away from them" show so much overlap, I think.
   41. spike Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4125300)
The fact that Mike Rizzo doesn't seem to have ever played the game of baseball doesn't mean Cole Hamels has not.
   42. Kurt Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4125301)
Taking Joe C's advice, I see.
   43. ColonelTom Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4125304)
“I was trying to hit him."


Hamels' unexpected candor made me think of this.
   44. zack Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4125306)
Sam he's just 19 and hasn't even played the Braves yet. Isn't it a bit early to be visibly quaking?
   45. Swedish Chef Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4125307)
it is difficult to act like you are G-d's gift to baseball if you are only hitting at a replacement player level.

Frenchy is clever, he doesn't pull that card now, he bribes the fans with pizza and $100 bills instead.
   46. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4125320)
But now that Hamels has admitted what was afoot, it goes a long way toward forcing MLB to recognize what was already pretty obvious- that Zimmermann threw at Hamels. So will he get a vacation as well?

Not sure MLB ihas been 100% consistent or that there have been that many cases on point, but I think In the absence of a similar confession, Zimmerman skates on any suspension. Which makes Hamels' "honesty" kind of puzzling. He could have conveyed pretty much the same message by saying "In the Big Leagues you pitch inside and sometimes it gets away. The kid better get used to it". Not that he really needed to say anything. Still, shouldn't a veteran pitcher have been aware of MLB's record of fines and suspensions of pitchers who admit to intentionally hitting batters? Maybe it's just an old school ploy to get a midseason vacation.
   47. ColonelTom Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4125321)
If Zimmermann does face punishment, he can probably thank his GM for forcing MLB's hand.
   48. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4125324)
The fact that Mike Rizzo doesn't seem to have ever played the game of baseball doesn't mean Cole Hamels has not.


Oh yes. Mike Rizzo. An unbiased source for this event, I'm sure.
   49. Esoteric Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4125333)
If Zimmermann does face punishment, he can probably thank his GM for forcing MLB's hand.
Zimmermann is probably covered. He plausibly dissembled about his HBP, saying "no, I didn't want to hit Hamels at all, he was bunting and would have given away an out, which as a pitcher you take any time you can get it...I just cut my fastball poorly and it got away from me." Furthermore, it hit Hamels in the knee, just barely, near a place where pitchers often put the ball for opposing bunters anyway.

I mean don't get me wrong: Zimmermann totally wanted to hit Hamels there. But unlike Hamels he didn't do it in a stupid fashion. Hamels may get a suspension (I honestly don't really care whether he does or not, as a Nats fan - I actually sort of agree with Hamels about the whole thing being delightfully old-school...especially when Harper responded by taking his base politely and then STEALING HOME ON HIM), but Zimmermann should skate.

Also: happy to see that Sam Hutcheson is covering himself with glory in this thread. We're coming for your Braves, Sam. They're going to be a puddle of sick by the time the Nats are through with them, even if the Nats are reduced via injury to running out AAA fielders for our batting lineup by the time the two teams meet. How's that young superstar pitcher Jair Jurrjens looking?
   50. ColonelTom Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4125335)
Ubaldo Jimenez got 5 games for plunking Troy Tulowitzki - Jimenez didn't admit it, but given the context, it was crystal clear to everyone that it was intentional. Hamels should get 5 as well and perhaps an additional fine for the postgame comment.
   51. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4125337)
Wow. This NL East is getting brutal!
   52. Morty Causa Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4125350)
To my mind, throwing at a batter is indefensible. It's criminal behavior. Cheering someone who throws at a batter is like laughing and cheering with the drunken rowdy cowpokes in an old western who shoot at the feet of the dude from back east to make him dance.
   53. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4125353)
To my mind, throwing at a batter is indefensible. It's criminal behavior


Yeah, and I'm sure people should go to jail for cross checking or something. Good ####### lord.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4125358)
To my mind, throwing at a batter is indefensible. It's criminal behavior. Cheering someone who throws at a batter is like laughing and cheering with the drunken rowdy cowpokes in an old western who shoot at the feet of the dude from back east to make him dance.

That's just silly.

Headhunting should be strongly discouraged, but plunking a guy in the ribs, or the ass is no big deal.
   55. Morty Causa Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4125359)
Had this not happened in the context of a game, he would go to jail. Indeed, if I were a DA I'd aqccept Harper's complaint and charge Hamels with assault and battery. Hell, I might charge him on my own.
   56. Hack Wilson Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4125362)
In Florida if a batter is reasonably certain that a pithcher is going to throw at his head can he take out his concealed gun and shoot the pitcher?
   57. Morty Causa Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4125364)
Headhunting should be strongly discouraged, but plunking a guy in the ribs, or the ass is no big deal.


Wrong. It's exactly as I describe. It's like someone shooting at you just for fun, no intent to harm. It's like a bully at school melvining and nooging the nerd.
   58. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4125366)
Headhunting should be strongly discouraged, but plunking a guy in the ribs, or the ass is no big deal.

Spoken like somebody who has never taken a 90+ mph baseball to the ribs.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4125369)
Spoken like somebody who has never taken a 90+ mph baseball to the ribs.

Well, only because I never played against anyone throwing 90. I took plenty of 75-85 MPH fastballs in the ribs, arms, legs, etc., and never once ####### or charged the mound. Hell, I tried to get hit sometimes (a la Hunt, Baylor and Biggio); a baserunner is a baserunner.

I've also taken a thrown bat, and a one-hop liner to the face, so I'm pretty sure I have a good idea what it feels like.

Getting hit by the pitch is an inherent risk in baseball, though in reality, a very tiny one. You're talking one death in the history of MLB (none post helmet) and a tiny, tiny number of life altering injuries (Piersall, and...?).
   60. Bob Tufts Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4125370)
Headhunting should be strongly discouraged, but plunking a guy in the ribs, or the ass is no big deal.


If your control is that good, you should be able to "send a message" by getting the batter out on a regular basis.

What's the next level of justifiable offense going to be? Plunking players because you don't like the team mascot and find their antics an affront to the unwritten rules of the game?
   61. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4125371)
Had this not happened in the context of a game, he would go to jail.


Yes, and if up were down we'd all be falling! OH! MY! GOD!
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4125372)
Wrong. It's exactly as I describe. It's like someone shooting at you just for fun, no intent to harm.

Comparing a thrown baseball to a bullet is laughable. The danger involved is off by orders of magnitude; being hit by a bullet in the head is thousands and thousands of time more likely to kill or do serious harm than a baseball.

If you think a bean ball is assault, then you have to be in favor of outright bans on tackle football, hockey, rugby, boxing, MMA, etc., etc.
   63. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4125373)
Had this not happened in the context of a game, he would go to jail.

Yes, and if up were down we'd all be falling! OH! MY! GOD!


There is nothing magical about a baseball field, which turns criminal behaviour into lawful behaviour.
   64. Morty Causa Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4125374)
Being intentional hit is really not part of the deal.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4125376)
If your control is that good, you should be able to "send a message" by getting the batter out on a regular basis.

What's the next level of justifiable offense going to be? Plunking players because you don't like the team mascot and find their antics an affront to the unwritten rules of the game?


Oh, I think in this case Hamels was totally out of line in hitting Harper. I'm just saying guys are going to pitch inside, with a purpose, and guys are going to get hit. As long as the pitchers keep those pitches below the letters, I don't see it as a big deal.

Any other treatment of the issue, and you're saying pitchers can't ever pitch inside.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4125377)
There is nothing magical about a baseball field, which turns criminal behaviour into lawful behaviour.

Yes, there is, otherwise every boxer, martial arts practicioner, football, rugby and hockey player would be in jail.
   67. Morty Causa Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4125378)
In fact, I go along with Frank Robinson who said many years ago when he was managing that it shouldn't be a question of intent. (Frank may no longer hold to that.) It should be simply a question of safety. If a pitcher can't control a 90+ pitch, he needs to sit it out until he can.
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4125379)
If your control is that good, you should be able to "send a message" by getting the batter out on a regular basis.


Serious questions Bob. Did you ever throw at anyone, either by choice or upon request of your skipper/teammates? If so, did you hit him/them and where? Do you think there is any context where throwing at a guy (sign stealing/retaliation for yoru guys getting hit/punishment for coming in spikes high on your second baseman, etc.) is acceptable? How does your attitude on these things compare to fellow pitchers/position players, and do differences of opinion on the subject of intentional plunkings come up in the clubhouse?

Since the rest of us are just projecting here, I'd love to hear what someone who played at the big league level has to say on these things.

   69. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4125380)
In Florida if a batter is reasonably certain that a pithcher is going to throw at his head can he take out his concealed gun and shoot the pitcher?

*pours gasoline*

Only if the pitcher is black.

*lights match, drops it*
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4125381)
In fact, I go along with Frank Robinson who said many years ago when he was managing that it shouldn't be a question of intent. (Frank may no longer hold to that.) It should be simply a question of safety. If a pitcher can't control a 90+ pitch, he needs to sit it out until he can.

But almost no pitcher can control the pitch every single time. If you're trying to make a pitch 4 inches off the inside corner, sometimes it's going to be 12 inches inside, and the batter's getting hit if he doesn't move.

If pitchers could control a 90+ MPH pitch to that level of accuracy and precision, no one would ever get a hit.
   71. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4125382)
I am trying to decide who is being a bigger tool Cole Hamels or Sam H. I am going with Cole because because trying to physically hurt people (yes throwing at people is trying to hurt them) is worse than just being an internet thread moron.

I guess Cole is to be applauded for honesty, but sometimes you are much better off not saying anything.

Bob - thanks for your input on this, always cool to have your thoughts.

Morty - I guess I disagree, but I do see what you are getting at. I think it is a bit less black and white though.
   72. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4125383)
If you think a bean ball is assault, then you have to be in favor of outright bans on tackle football, hockey, rugby, boxing, MMA, etc., etc.

There's a difference between actions that are part of the game, which can lead to hurting/injuring somebody, and actions outside of the game, which do the same.

Nobody here thinks every time a pitch gets away from a pitcher, it should be assault. Intent matters. Similarly, tackle football football can be done reasonably, but a lot of behaviour that does go on should clearly be curtailed (e.g. bountygate behaviour, intentional late tackles, horse collars, intentionally hard tackles with outlawed techniques like leading with the helmet... you know, strangely enough pretty much all the stuff they have been trying to cut down on).
   73. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4125386)
Nobody here thinks every time a pitch gets away from a pitcher, it should be assault. Intent matters.


The problem here is that, with few exceptions (such as cases when the dumbass pitcher admits it) it's damn near impossible to tell the difference between a fastball that got away and a fastball that was thrown with actual malice. In fact, it's that inability to tell the difference that leads to (and will continue to lead to), the esclation of these things, regardless what steps MLB might take.

   74. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4125388)
The problem here is that, with few exceptions (such as cases when the dumbass pitcher admits it) it's damn near impossible to tell the difference between a fastball that got away and a fastball that was thrown with actual malice. In fact, it's that inability to tell the difference that leads to (and will continue to lead to), the esclation of these things, regardless what steps MLB might take.

Oh, completely agreed. And pitchers should get the benefit of the doubt. But when there is no reasonable doubt, e.g. this case, then why shouldn't it be treated as assault? If pitcher's thought there might be the possibility of some actual consequences, wouldn't that cut down on them doing it. And wouldn't it send a clear message that it is in fact not acceptable, and change many pitcher's cavalier attitude towards it?
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4125390)
There's a difference between actions that are part of the game, which can lead to hurting/injuring somebody, and actions outside of the game, which do the same.

Nobody here thinks every time a pitch gets away from a pitcher, it should be assault. Intent matters. Similarly, tackle football football can be done reasonably, but a lot of behaviour that does go on should clearly be curtailed (e.g. bountygate behaviour, intentional late tackles, horse collars, intentionally hard tackles with outlawed techniques like leading with the helmet... you know, strangely enough pretty much all the stuff they have been trying to cut down on).


I'm sorry, I don't see the difference.

Every time a lineman or a LB has a QB in his sight, he has much more intent to injure than the avg. pitcher who tries to put one in a guy's ribs. Boxers and MMA guys are trying to knock each other out. If that's not intent, what is?


The problem here is that, with few exceptions (such as cases when the dumbass pitcher admits it) it's damn near impossible to tell the difference between a fastball that got away and a fastball that was thrown with actual malice. In fact, it's that inability to tell the difference that leads to (and will continue to lead to), the esclation of these things, regardless what steps MLB might take.


Exactly. Even with most pitches thrown "at a batter", the pitcher is usually equally happy if the guy hits the dirt, and avoids the ball.
   76. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4125392)
Headhunting should be strongly discouraged, but plunking a guy in the ribs, or the ass is no big deal.


It's assault. Players only consent to physical contact that the rules of the game allow and baseball players consent to getting hit by pitches by accident. Hamels's assault was no more justified than if he'd gone up to Harper in the on-deck circle and punched him in the face. That would have "welcomed" him to the big leagues, too.

There was some other thread on this, but the Dale Hackbart/Boobie Clark NFL spearing case is probably the best precedent.
   77. phredbird Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4125393)
if we had to draw a line where one end is sam and the other end is morty, i'd be somewhere over the center of the line in sam's favor ... pitchers have to be able to throw a purpose pitch to get back some of the plate. that said, throwing at the head is inexcusable. i know that's not what hamels did, i'm just saying what i think is the limit.

but i think it's a little douchey of hamels to be just throwing at harper on some sort of veteran/rookie dynamic and then crowing about what he did ... harper's reaction in the quote is pretty cool. this is an impressive rookie. he knows he's going to get plenty of opportunities to do some payback on the basepaths.
   78. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4125394)
Every time a lineman or a LB has a QB in his sight, he has much more intent to injure than the avg. pitcher who tries to put one in a guy's ribs

It's not the intent to injure that matters; it's the intent to create physical contact outside the scope of the sport. The assault lies in the physical contact, not the injury.
   79. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4125395)
Look at Harper's reaction to this, that is probably all you need to know. "Great guy" makes it sound like these guys know each other (I don't know if this is true or not) -- as a hazing ritual, it sounds more like an inside joke than a malicious missile.
   80. Xander Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4125401)
It's not the intent to injure that matters; it's the intent to create physical contact outside the scope of the sport.
Is a practice which has been ritualized for decades "outside the scope of the sport?" I would say it's not.
   81. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4125404)
Is a practice which has been ritualized for decades "outside the scope of the sport?" I would say it's not.

Not that it would matter anyway, but there is in fact no ritual by which a pitcher automatically throws at a rookie in the rookie's first AB against a team. It was a gutless assault by Hamels, one that makes baseball look silly.
   82. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4125406)
it's the intent to create physical contact outside the scope of the sport

The legal standard (which will vary depending on where you are at) is typically set such that all contact or interaction that falls within the ordinary "custom of the game" is contact that the participants consent to. Whether the specific act is permitted by the rules of the game is substantially irrelevant. Otherwise, every reach-in foul in every basketball game would be a battery as its impermissible contact generally and the rules of the game specifically prohibit it. But the "custom of the game" assumes that such contact will occur and it is therefore not actionable nor criminal.

In baseball, intentionally thrown balls to the body- whether you agree with them or not- are quite clearly within the custom of the (major league) game. Head shots could be a legal issue in a proper circumstance, and repeated pitches at a hitter might cross the line, but a single thrown pitch in the back allows virtually no chance at a criminal or civil sanction.

(EDITS)
   83. nick swisher hygiene Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4125408)
Nobody on this thread invoking "assault" actually believes the argument; they're just trolling.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4125412)
if we had to draw a line where one end is sam and the other end is morty, i'd be somewhere over the center of the line in sam's favor ... pitchers have to be able to throw a purpose pitch to get back some of the plate. that said, throwing at the head is inexcusable. i know that's not what hamels did, i'm just saying what i think is the limit.

but i think it's a little douchey of hamels to be just throwing at harper on some sort of veteran/rookie dynamic and then crowing about what he did ... harper's reaction in the quote is pretty cool. this is an impressive rookie. he knows he's going to get plenty of opportunities to do some payback on the basepaths.


I think I agree with this 100%.
   85. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4125414)

In baseball, intentionally thrown balls to the body- whether you agree with them or not- are quite clearly within the custom of the (major league) game. Head shots could be a legal issue in a proper circumstance, and repeated pitches at a hitter might cross the line, but a single thrown pitch in the back allows virtually no chance at a criminal or civil sanction.


When you step into the batters' box, you don't consent to the pitcher intentionally throwing the ball at you. Occasionally it happens, but there's no reasonable claim to make that it's become a legally-recognized custom of the game. It's like intentional spearing in football; players sometimes do it, but it isn't a custom for legal purposes.
   86. Esoteric Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4125415)
Nobody on this thread invoking "assault" actually believes the argument; they're just trolling.
Yeah, I fall into this camp. We're not talking about headhunting here, for cryin' out loud. And remember: I'm a NATS fan.
   87. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4125422)
if we had to draw a line where one end is sam and the other end is morty


How far away is Morty? Can I throw at him?
   88. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4125423)
When you step into the batters' box, you don't consent to the pitcher intentionally throwing the ball at you.


Yes you do.
   89. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4125425)
Honestly, how can you link to the USA Today article on this subject when it was former Primate and long time baseball chatterer Matt Gelb who got the scoop?

Not linking to Skip Bayless, Rick Reilly or Peter Gammons is one thing, but this is Gelb, who was in here talking baseball when he was in high school!

The hilarious thing is that I was chatting with Gelb during the last inning of the Orioles game, and didn't realize it.
   90. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4125426)
I don't get the Harper hate. At all. Is it because he's really, really good and got a large signing bonus? Is it because he sorta-kinda came off as brash in a pretty innocuous interview with a leading men's magazine? Is it the eye-black thing from, what, two years ago? Since he's arrived, he's hustled a lot, kept quiet and done a little bit of everything on the field.

Also, while hitting a rookie for being a rookie sounds and smells "old school," it's not a practice I recall ever hearing anything about.
   91. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4125430)
When you step into the batters' box, you don't consent to the pitcher intentionally throwing the ball at you.

If Harper tried to sue, or the local DA tried to prosecute Hamels (neither of which seems like a legitimate concern) I suspect Cole's attorney could bring up thousands of witnesses to testify to the contrary.

In MLB, guys get thrown at. In MLB, position players expect their pitchers to throw at guys to retaliate if they get hit (and get pissy when the pitchers don't.) Intentional throws at an opposing batter happen all the time and such is well known within the industry.

   92. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4125434)
I don't get the Harper hate. At all.


Hippie.
   93. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4125437)
It's not the intent to injure that matters; it's the intent to create physical contact outside the scope of the sport. The assault lies in the physical contact, not the injury.


It wasn't outside the scope of the sport, Hamels was charged with an HBP and an earned run. If he had drilled Harper as he sat in the dugout between innings I could understand the hissy fit you guys are throwing. You're acting like this is the first time a pitcher has intended to hit someone.
   94. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4125439)
It wasn't outside the scope of the sport, Hamels was charged with an HBP and an earned run. If he had drilled Harper as he sat in the dugout between innings I could understand the hissy fit you guys are throwing


Late 90s, some asshat from the Cubs system threw at guy in the on deck circle (in college before being drafted.) That guy deserved some serious comeuppance, including legal fees. That's not this.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4125445)
Late 90s, some asshat from the Cubs system threw at guy in the on deck circle (in college before being drafted.) That guy deserved some serious comeuppance, including legal fees. That's not this.


Wichita State's Ben Christensen hit Evansville's Anthony Molina.

   96. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4125447)
It wasn't outside the scope of the sport, Hamels was charged with an HBP and an earned run.

He was charged with an earned run for a HBP? That's news to me.

That aside, the fact that there was a penalty applied does not somehow automatically make it within the "scope of the sport". If harper had in return walked out to the mound, and taken Hamels' kneecaps out with his bat, he would have been ejected. That doesn't make it part of the scope of the sport either.
   97. phredbird Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4125449)
if we had to draw a line where one end is sam and the other end is morty, i'd be somewhere over the center of the line in sam's favor ... pitchers have to be able to throw a purpose pitch to get back some of the plate. that said, throwing at the head is inexcusable. i know that's not what hamels did, i'm just saying what i think is the limit.

but i think it's a little douchey of hamels to be just throwing at harper on some sort of veteran/rookie dynamic and then crowing about what he did ... harper's reaction in the quote is pretty cool. this is an impressive rookie. he knows he's going to get plenty of opportunities to do some payback on the basepaths.

I think I agree with this 100%.


oh cr@p. i'm doing something wrong ... :p
   98. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4125452)
The first rule of plunking a batter is: You do not talk about plunking a batter
   99. mex4173 Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4125454)
So what's mostdangerous: trampolines, beanballs or unusually grown children?
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4125455)
oh cr@p. i'm doing something wrong ... :p

Hey, any day you can agree with me, and Sam H, that's quite a day.
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