Cole Hamels was suspended 5 games and an undisclosed amount of money by Major League Baseball this afternoon. But, for what? I mean, I know he hit Nats superstar Bryce Harper last night in the lower back/arse Sunday night but wasn't Hamels also pegged by Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmerman? So I assume Zimmerman is going to be fined, right? Wait, no? Why not? What did Zimmerman do that was different than what Hamels did? The answer is nothing, yet because Hamels was honest and admitted to doing what pitchers do dozens of times a year he gets fined. I think its ridiculous. Even Bryce Harper basically laughed it off after the game. Almost like he knew it was coming and knows its part of the game. Here's a 19-year-old kid who gets it yet MLB doesn't?
Let me ask you this...If MLB did nothing what do you think would happen? Do you honestly think pitchers everywhere would go rogue and start throwing at every star player who comes to the plate to send a message? Wait, they already do that! Can you imagine if MLB fined Pedro Martinez every time he hit the Yankee hitters, especially Derek Jeter? Pedro would have been broke. Don't get me wrong, I use to scream at my TV every time Pedro hit one of the Yankees over the years, but I never thought MLB should intervene. I mean, although Pedro never stood in front of a mic and admitted he was throwing at Jeets or Posada, everyone knew he was. But that was the game. That's what made the rivalry so intense. It was the game within the game.
Look, I don't condone throwing at players heads or at the knees (which is where Zimmerman was trying to hit Hamels), but a little "message" to the backside of a player never hurt anyone.. This is good 'ole fashion baseball. What Hamels did has been going on for decades. In fact, I was listening to Mike Francesa this afternoon and he told a great story. He said the great Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale would approach hitters on opposing teams before a game and ask where they wanted to get hit. I mean there are stories after stories of great players in this game who knew they were going to be hit following a big home run or in retaliation of one of their players being hit. It was and IS part of the game.
So I guess Cole Hamels really learned his lesson MLB. I mean after all, he's being suspended five games which means...he will NOT even miss one start! That's right, it looks like Hamels next scheduled start will now be Sunday instead of Saturday. So the "suspension" is even more absurd. I do believe there are definitely times when MLB should step in and suspend players, especially when it impacts the integrity of the game. I'm talking about drug use, bar fights, gambling on baseball, etc. But MLB, please, do me a favor, keep your noses out of the game within a game.
--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
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