Phils’ Hamels ‘honest’ beanball heats up rivalry with Nats
Philadelphia, PA, United States (AHN Sports) – Cole Hamels used to be a good interview. That all changed when a quote the Phillies youngest ace uttered during the 2009 World Series was taken out of context.
After that season ended Hamels apparently took classes at Chase Utley University, where he studied a form of English that is often utilized only by spies since little useful information is dispensed.
However, the old Hamels, who was open and provocative, returned in the visitors clubhouse Sunday night at Nationals Park.
After drilling the Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper with a 93 mph fastball, Hamels could have said that the pitch got away from him but he uttered something surprising, the truth.
“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said after the game.
Like most pitches thrown by the potential top free agent in the fall class of ’12, Hamels’ offering was right where he wanted it to be.
The admission is as surprising as the mob admitting to a hit. ‘Yeah, we meant to take that guy out.”
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wishes that Hamels, who has not been available for comment since Sunday night, kept his mouth shut.
“He could have been a little more discreet about it, Manuel said. “He could have been a little less honest.”
If Cole Hamels were a little less honest, major league baseball would not have issued a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for drilling the most prominent rookie in baseball Sunday when he hit Nationals slugger Bryce Harper with a pitcher.
Hamels claimed he was trying to bring back old school baseball. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo called the move gutless and classless in an interview with the Washington Post.
Manuel, who could teach a class on old school baseball believes that the Nationals got back at his team. ‘They got even (when the Nats Jordan Zimmerman hit Hamels),” Manuel said. There was no warning (after Hamels beaned Harper). That’s baseball.”
The Phillies skipper believes the incident could help his team.
“I think that can help bring the team together,” Manuel said.
That could bring the team together, minus Hamels for five games.
But the good news for the Phillies is that Thursday is an off day, so Roy Halladay can pitch Saturday, Hamels spot, on full-rest.
There will be no need for long man Kyle Kendrick to spot start. Figure Hamels to pitch Sunday afternoon against the Padres, so the punishment will be light.
Also, for those, who like to look ahead, the new placement virtually ensures that Hamels will start against the Washington Nationals when the NL East leaders make their 2012 Citizens Bank Park debut.
Count on the sparks to fly since the odds are that Harper will still be with the team since rightfielder Jayson Werth will be out for 12 weeks after suffering a broken left wrist in the Nats loss to the Phillies the previous Sunday.
“It’s getting really interesting,” Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino said. “It’ll be fun when we play the Nationals again.”