You want old school? Look no further than Jim Leyland. If anyone knows a thing or two about old school, it’s the Tigers 67-year-old manager. When Cole Hamels intentionally hit Bryce Harper with a fastball over the weekend and admitted to it after the game, he said he did it because he was an old school pitcher. The MLB then suspended him five games for the act, and Leyland thinks the punishment should have been harsher.
“I don’t know the man,” Leyland said of Hamels according to MLB.com. “I know he’s a very good pitcher, a very talented guy, but when you come out and admit (hitting Harper intentionally) like that — that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that — and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light, in my personal opinion. And I would expect that if that was my pitcher, if my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that, ‘I did it on purpose.’
“I felt the way I read it, and I don’t know if the kid meant it this way, but it was almost like a braggadocious thing. That’s not enough. There’s no way.”
I’m with Jim. If Hamels truly was old school — and I don’t think hitting a 19-year-old on purpose to welcome him to the league qualifies him — he wouldn’t have felt the need to brag about it after the game. It’s one thing to hit a guy on purpose, but it’s another to do it and make sure everyone knows about it. I certainly don’t like Harper, but the way Hamels handled himself was uncalled for. Harper deserves credit for keeping quiet about it and taking it in stride.
H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
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