According to a report by ESPN, the MLB is suspending Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels for five games as punishment for plunking Nationals rookie left-fielder Bryce Harper in the back. He will also be fined, according to Jeff Skversky of WPVI-TV.
In the first inning of Sunday’s 9-3 win over Washington, Hamels hit Harper in the small of the back. After the game, Hamels admitted that he was trying to hit Harper as his old-school way of welcoming the promising young rookie into the major leagues. While it may have been harmless left alone, Hamels’ comments were extremely foolish and this is a mistake the 28-year old will have to learn from.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was rightfully upset, saying, “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken (bleep) act in my 30 years in baseball”. Harper is the future of the Nats franchise and him being injured would be a huge blow to what looks like a promising young team.
This is really a setback for a struggling Phils squad, seeing their top pitcher (4-1, 2.45 ERA, 44 Ks) missing a start.
Barring an appeal, Hamels will begin serving his suspension tonight against the New York Mets.