Cole Hamels Shouldn’t Be Suspended

Cole Hamels (Philadelphia Phillies) hitting Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals) with a pitch.Yesterday, Cole Hamels intentionally threw a pitch at Bryce Harper (video). While Bryce Harper was on base, he stole home, and Cole Hamels was bit by Jordan Zimmerman when he came up to the plate. Clearly, Hamels lost the battle, but more importantly, it was kept on the field and it was over and done with.

Today, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they would suspend Hamels for five games, basically one start. The length of the of the suspension is not the issue. The issue is the knee-jerk reaction of MLB to hand out suspensions for hitting their current “golden boy.” I’m not against Bryce Harper, in fact, I really hope he blossoms into a superstar and transcends the sport to attract new fans, but getting hit by a pitch, even intentionally, is part of the game.

Bryce Harper seemed to understand that when he trotted to first without a word to Hamels, or anyone else on the Phillies. Hamels seemed to understand it when he trotted to first after getting hit by a pitch. What will come of Zimmerman? Was he also in the wrong for hitting Hamels? It was just as intentional. Where should it end?

I have written many times about this subject in the short history of this blog, and I concede that I will probably have to write about it many more times. Pretty soon, pitchers are going to get so hamstrung that they will throw everything down the middle for fear of a suspension or hitting a batter. It’s ridiculous. I do not applaud Cole Hamels for hitting Harper intentionally, but I do applaud his honesty.



  1. Elizabeth

    This suspension is a joke. Intentional HBPs are as much a part of the game as spitting and rally caps. As long as it isn’t done maliciously (and in this case it certainly was not) there is no reason for anyone to be incensed. It seems to me that the only reason Cole Hamels is being punished is because he was frank enough to admit that the plunking was on purpose. MLB is silly.

  2. mediacrank

    I don’t think he would have been suspended if he hadn’t admitted that he hit Harper intentionally. Besides he isn’t going to miss a turn in the rotation so the suspension is worthless.

  3. Henry

    I hope this continues to be the standard suspension for starters hitting a batter. Cole Hamels won’t even miss a start or have to break his routine. This is almost like a public relations suspension for the benefit of people who do not understand Major League Baseball. Conversely, Hamels should have offered no comment with regard to his intent. Clearly, all the involved parties (Hamels, Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann) were in-the-know and needed no explanation. Mike Rizzo, however, is the one who is really coming across as a gutless jerk and idiot in all of this. He is issuing threats, but he does not have to step into the batter’s box. And he’s a former player.

  4. Pingback: The Brett Lawrie Suspension «

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