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NATIONALS’ GENERAL MANAGER CRITICIZES COLE HAMELS
Wed, 09 May 2012 03:47 AM EDT

Washington GM Mike Rizzo called Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels “fake tough” for deliberately plunking Nationals rookie Bryce Harper and declared he should to be suspended. Football betting lines

“I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken act in my 30 years in baseball,” Rizzo related. “With all of the bounty (stuff) happening in professional football, the commissioner better act with a purpose on this thing.”

Hamels’ first pitch to the 19-year-old Harper, with 2 out in the base of the 1st inning, landed in the small of Harper’s back. After the game, he matter-of-factly recognized that he hit Harper on purpose, saying he was attempting to bring back “old-school” baseball.

“I was attempting to hit him,” the Philadelphia left-hander said after the Phillies’ 9-3 win. “I’m not going to deny it.”

The MLB rewarded Hamels’ candor by suspending him Monday for 5 games.

“That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just making an attempt to continue the old baseball because I suspect a few people are kind of getting away from it,” Hamels said. “I remember when I used to be a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything at all because that’s the way baseball is.

“But I believe unfortunately the league’s protecting some players and making it not that traditional, renowned way of baseball.”

Rizzo wasn’t convinced or entertained by Hamels’ explanation. He was, however, equally candid.

“Cole Hamels asserts he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough,” Rizzo said. “He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s 8 games into the major leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.

“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 truthful, well, I’m being honest. It’s a gutless chicken act,” Rizzo added. “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 added. “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.”

Harper, who took 1first base without any problems after being plunked, evened the score on the basepaths. He advanced to 3rd on a single and stole home on a Hamels pick-off throw to first.

In the 3rd inning, Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann hit Hamels in the left leg with one out and a runner on 1st when the Phillies pitcher squared to bunt. Home plate referee Andy Fletcher then warned both dugouts.

“I wish he’d been a tiny bit more, what do you call it not so honest, or devious, or discreet, that could be the right word,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel announced.

“What I saw was the next time up Hamels came up to bat they definitely retaliated, he got hit on the calf, and he might have got hurt,” said Manuel, who added he hopes Hamels isn’t suspended.


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