NL East Notes: Harper, Hamels, Rizzo, Brown

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels created a stir last night by admitting he hit Nationals rookie Bryce Harper intentionally. Though Harper didn’t publicly express frustration at being hit, GM Mike Rizzo fired back at Hamels this morning. The details and other NL East-related notes…

  • Rizzo called Hamels' act the most "classless, gutless" thing he's seen in his career, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. “Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school,” Rizzo said. “He’s fake tough." I’d recommend reading Kilgore’s entire piece for the details.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports points out that Hamels won't be signing with the Nationals next offseason and writes that Rizzo will be lucky if he is not reprimanded for his comments.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com notes that there's "nothing doing" with respect to an extension for Hamels (Twitter link).
  • Morosi expects Harper to stay in the Major Leagues for good, since he's played too well to be sent down to the minor leagues (video link).
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Rizzo's comments were an overreaction to legitimate old school play from Hamels (video link).
  • Bill Ladson of MLB.com suggests the Nationals may make a trade instead of relying on Xavier Nady and Roger Bernadina in left field (Twitter link).
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America hasn't given up on Phillies prospect Domonic Brown despite his struggles. Brown could still hit for a high average with 20 homers per season to go along with plus speed and arm strength, Callis writes.


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121 Comments on "NL East Notes: Harper, Hamels, Rizzo, Brown"


3 years 3 months ago

The Cole Hamels situation is being so overblown. Its not like he was head hunting. 

NickinIthaca
3 years 3 months ago

 I’m glad this was the first comment on here.  I will now stop reading because at least I know that someone knows what they are talking about.  The big deal isn’t that he hit him – it’s that he admitted to doing it on purpose.  If you watched the pitch you can see him deliberately take something off of it, and without a doubt, deliberately hit him square in the back.  It’s baseball.  It needed to happen to the kid, and not only did Hamels man up and do it, but he also manned up and admitted it.  I’m sure he’ll serve his suspension, and I’m sure he’s earned a little more credit with the rest of the players in the league.  Regardless of what Rizzo says.

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

Wow, I don’t think you hear a GM call players “gutless” too much.  Seems a little classless to me.  I think it’s safe to say Hamels won’t be signing with the Nats.

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

Way to repost what Morosi said above.

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

That’s hilarious.  I clicked on the Kilgore article link, glanced at it, and then posted.  If only I had Morosi’s salary…

Did you read the article?  I haven’t seen that many bleeps from a GM in a long time.  Hamels may be suspended, but I certainly agree with Morosi that something is going to happen to Rizzo, too. 

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

I agree. Intentionally hit batters are an every occurrence. You dont see a GM flip out every time a player is hit. Whether Cole said he did it or not doesnt change the action. Believe it or not some people are honest people and don’t lie simply to make life easier.

stl_cards16
3 years 3 months ago

So it was admirable for the player to be honest but wrong for the GM? I’m starting to see how this works.

Guest
3 years 3 months ago

 It’s one of their many double standards. Kind of like that one where they talk like they’re in first place when they are actually in last place.

stl_cards16
3 years 3 months ago

If it was a “legitimate old school play” then Hamels wouldn’t of ran to the media to talk about what he did.  Old school players let their actions do the talking.  They wouldn’t of had to go tell people that they are “old school”. 

Muggi
3 years 3 months ago

 ? He was asked if he hit him on purpose. It’s not like Hamels help a press conference or something.

stl_cards16
3 years 3 months ago

And he had to be arrogant and tell everyone how old school he is. If it’s because he is old school, how many other rookies has he hit this year?  Players get hit all the time on purpose.  You don’t talk about it, you take care of it on the field. 

I suspect Hamels won’t be too liked in his own locker room if he continues this act.  Guys don’t like getting plunked because your pitcher likes to run his mouth.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

Chase Utley lead MLB in hit by pitches on more than one occasion.

It’s going to take more than a few HBP to break the Phillies club house chemistry.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 Utley also stands right on top of the plate and hangs over the strikezone.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

He’s been thrown at intentionally by Mike Pelfrey and Jonathan Sanchez on multiple occasions.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 Which is completely unacceptable, especially considering it is a well-known fact that Utley is a fragile, injury-prone player. I would be outraged if a MLB star asset like Utley ended up on the DL thanks to a malicious bean from any opposing team.

Muggi
3 years 3 months ago

…Hamels got plunked, as he should have. Yet another reason the DH sucks.

It was taken care of on the field. It appears the only thing you’re upset about was a reporter asked Hamels if he did it on purpose, and he didn’t lie about it.

3 years 3 months ago

I didn’t realize Hamels did all this last night, there is only so much baseball “Lefty” can watch in one day. Another thing maybe Hamels should have done since he’s “New School” was twitter what he had done instead of going to the media. Yeah, I plunked him (Harper), I plunked him rotten! Cole “Austin Powers” Hamels.

PS I wonder if Cole would have plunked Bryce if his father was in the stands? Bryce is a solid dude, but his father is even bigger. I saw him sitting in the stands with his wife  and Vin Scully pointed out that he was an iron worker or something. Let me tell you he looked the part. I always saw Cole as a prima donna though.

Muggi
3 years 3 months ago

 This post in incredibly confusing. Bryce Harper’s Dad is going to come out of the stands? What is this Little League?

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 I think Lefty is wondering if Cole Hamels would have picked on a teenager in front of his parents. It’s a matter of respect and decency. You don’t go out of your way to bully a kid when you’re a grown man.

Muggi
3 years 3 months ago

 uh…if Harper is going to play in the bigs, he doesn’t get protection. He’s good enough to play with the adults, he’s going to get treated like one.

So are catchers supposed to avoid contact if he’s charging the plate? He’s just a kid, after all…

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

I think the difference between blocking the plate and intentionally pegging a batter are perfectly clear. 

Muggi
3 years 3 months ago

Well you just said he should be treated differently since he’s a teenager…what else should or shouldn’t he be expected to put up with that other MLB players have to?

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 Your point is well taken. He should be treated the same as other Major League players. Maybe I should rephrase my complaint. You’re comparing the intentional HBP (something that no MLB player should have to put up with) with blocking the plate (something that is not targeted, and which is generally accepted). At least with plate blocking, the level of contact is optional for both baserunner and catcher, whereas with beaming, only one player is given an option.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

(something that no MLB player should have to put up with)

HBP have been a part of the game since the start. It’s not going away.

Harper had no problem with getting hit by Hamels and made him pay for it by stealing home.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 Perhaps you would feel differently if another of your stars ended up on the DL thanks to a HBP. I’m sure you resent Jayson Werth now that he’s left Philly for a more lucrative contract, but remember several years ago when he missed two years with a wrist injury from a HBP? It wasn’t intentional, but it illustrates the risks of beanball. It’s wrong to intentionally risk taking another player out of the game when it can be avoided. An inside pitch would have served the same purpose without that kind of risk. And to say that Harper had no problem with getting hit is ridiculous. There is a clear difference between being diplomatic in his post-game response and not caring about getting pegged. He was trying to show his maturity, which has been in question is the past, and that is precisely what he did.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

There’s nothing wrong with hitting a player on purpose as long as you do it in the right spot.

He threw it right where you’re supposed to throw it.

Zimmerman threw a ball right at Cole Hamels’s shin… if that hits his leg it does serious damage.

That’s good old school baseball. I’m with Cole, we need to go back to this.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 This is really getting ridiculous. Aiming at the spine, ribs, heart, or anything in that region is certainly not ideal. Nor is the shin. Both pitchers were in the wrong.

Phadreus
3 years 3 months ago

That’s like saying there is nothingwrong with driving drunk as long as you dont kill anyone.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

 What?
They’re
not
even
close
to
the
same.

johnsilver
3 years 3 months ago

Pitchers hit in the NL, let them fend for themselves.. About the only way many of them can get on base is via HBP…

HobokenMetsFan
3 years 3 months ago

spot on. ive got no problem with this kind of play in the NL. Over in the sally league, however……..

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

From MLB.com:
 “That’s baseball,” Hamels said. “I’m kind of happy that’s the way it
works, because that’s the way it should. I don’t think the umpires
should interfere with it. Let baseball be baseball. I grew up playing
the game hard and watching it. That’s the way it was. I’d hate for them
to change it, which has kind of happened in recent years. Just let it
play out and then we get back to playing. That’s just the way it is, and
I’m not going to argue with it.”

“It’s impressive,” Hamels said of Harper. “He’s got a lot of talent.
He’s going to be a really good ballplayer. He’s got a lot of energy. To
be able to steal home and stretch a single into a double on one of the
hits, if he keeps continuing to do that, he’s really going to make a
really good name for himself.”

Where does he gloat about being old school? It was an old school play.

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

Rizzo is just upset his team is getting the injury bug like the phils had starting the season. Classless would be sending that message by going for Harpers head.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 Not for nothing, the ball hit pretty high on his back. Not far from the head at all.

Lastings
3 years 3 months ago

Yeah, Harper’s anatomy (along with his baseball skills) is not human . His head is directly above his “wallet.” Please, Hamels didn’t go anywhere near his head.

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

Do you even know what your talking about? The ball barely made it to the bottom of the 4 on his back, about a kidney shot. Do you know where the head is located on the body?

hoagiebuchanan
3 years 3 months ago

 All for nothing.

FacelessGeneralManager
3 years 3 months ago

the Nats had the same amount of injuries to start the season. The phillies injuries may be just a little more than the Nats at the beginning but now, its not even close. Almost a third of the guys who should be on the team are hurt, just look at the Nats disabled list, its insane.

brett
3 years 3 months ago

Its simply Rizzo standing up for his player. people are making way more of this than need be. As to Doc. The franchise has all the ability to turn into the Yankees type of long success. They have a great foundation. Sutcliffe said it best. They are the Rays with the exception that they have the payroll to go out and get any piece they need. I know you Philly fans are mad because the Nats are #1 and your last. You lost the 3 and 4 hitters. Nats have missed significant time from their 3,4,5 and now 6 hitter and are still in 1st. 

hoagiebuchanan
3 years 3 months ago

Are you saying the Nationals are better then the Phillies because they are in first place on May the 7th?

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

A whole 4.5 wins ahead.

imachainsaw
3 years 3 months ago

i think the nationals are better than the phillies because they have a better team

brett
3 years 3 months ago

No but I do think that too much is being made regarding the Phillies injuries. And the Nats can very much play with the Phillies. 

Cosmo3
3 years 3 months ago

Com’on man, you can read the writing on the wall as well as anyone, even if you’re in denial. We’re at the turning point in the NL East. The Phillies’ dynasty is beginning to crumble, and the Nats are rising stars. Doesn’t matter what the standings say or what time of year it is–Nats have the better team now and in the foreseeable future. 

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

I think they’re better… at least long term.

Lastings
3 years 3 months ago

You mess with Rizzo’s prospects and you will pay! Ask Rob Dibble what happened when he had an opinion on Stephen Strasburg. I don’t think he is even alive anymore…

Gilster44
3 years 3 months ago

The end is near for the Phillies, it’s decline time in Philly !!!

3 years 3 months ago

Really?  What purpose did beaning a 19 year old serve?  I agree with “Lefty” Hamels really played the party of a prima donna by making that statement.  Was he supposed to be “tougher” because he admitted to beaning a kid.  No respect for Hamels only disdain

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

He stood behind his actions instead of lying to the media about it like Zimmerman did.

The whole thing is getting blown out of proportion.

Lastings
3 years 3 months ago

“If Cole Hamels wants a dog fight, he met a junkyard dog in Mike Rizzo”

Best quote I have read in a long time…

schellis
3 years 3 months ago

I’m somewhat surprised that the league hasn’t suspended Hamels for admitting he intentionally threw at a player, especially when that player is a potential high profile hitter like Harper.  Not like he’s throwing at Willy Harris of the Reds after all. Usually the league doesn’t stand for that sort of thing any more.

I don’t have a problem with Rizzo firing back either, though it does look rather unprofessional.   

Of course they could throw at a offensive player of the Phillies but with Howard and Utley already down the options are limited when it comes to face of the Franchise type players.   I suppose one could target Rollins or Victorino but it just doesn’t feel the same.

ThePunisher91
3 years 3 months ago

The Phillies comments are the signs of a dying breed. It will only be a matter time before they are obsolete.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 3 months ago

If you think this team is going back to a low or modest payroll anytime soon you better stick with your Marvel comics.

ThePunisher91
3 years 3 months ago

Ha. Typical wealthy elitists. Thinking money is the answer to all problems.

Gjf29
3 years 3 months ago

The phillies still had well over a third of the stadium as the road team, and that is even though they weren’t allowed to buy tickets for the first month. I was there for the series. You lost credibility for speaking when you said the hamels pitch almost hit harpers head.

beisbolista
3 years 3 months ago

 I didn’t say it almost hit Harper’s head. I said it wasn’t far from his head at all. Less than a foot. If Hamels had erred a bit or lost his grip, it absolutely could have hit him in the head. That’s why you don’t throw a 93 mph object at another person.

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

Youre not impressed because its your stadium getting invaded. If you ever get the chance try to be part of the 8K visitors and it will feel like you never left your home park. So philly transplants are all over the country then? They have the largest away game attendance jumps in the NL.

Guest
3 years 3 months ago

 Look around next time. Most of those Phillies fans you saw are DC college students.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 3 months ago

The only reason why DC has any sort of economy is its sucked the tax dollars out of the country for all those gov’t jobs.  Remember this…90% of congress wanted to keep Philadelphia the capital.

Guest
3 years 3 months ago

 I’m not here to argue politics or to support the federal government. I’m as libertarian as they come. But you don’t refute the fact that there are thousands of Philadelphia area transplants in the DC area for education and jobs. And they come out in numbers for Nationals/Phillies games.

Roger Wilco
3 years 3 months ago

Does anyone else think Rizzo was a stand up guy for calling a player out?  Was he really gonna go after Hamels in the offseason anyway?  I doubt it since their focus seems to be acquiring a CF.

3 years 3 months ago

FillyPhan- I don’t necessarily agree with you but that was hilarious. Well done.

FillyPhan
3 years 3 months ago

*Tips hat*

3 years 3 months ago

Sorry. That was to the Oompa Loompa comment. Classic.

Lastings
3 years 3 months ago

It must be said, as much as I dislike Harper and the Nationals, you got to respect the guy for taking the hit without making a big deal out of it. He plays hard, and stays quiet. How long that will last will remain to be seen. I just don’t wish the Nationals well…

schellis
3 years 3 months ago

There are kids his age still in high school. 

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

Why, yes, there are

Wudlander3000
3 years 3 months ago

Well, I don’t think that one should make such a big story out of this. Intentional HBP happen all the time, I am convinced. Hamels is the only one who admits it.

Of course it is no class act, but at least a fun story. Suspend Hamels one game and forget it.

A intentional HBP is less wicked than intentionaly sliding into basemen.

CommissionerBart
3 years 3 months ago

Funny we’re talking about the Phills and Harper here…..Harper’s hustle and extra effort reminds me of Rose’s determination….though Harper has power and perhaps more speed.

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

Hmmm.  He likes to bet, too…though it’s on his own talent

Prozac_for_Mets_Fans
3 years 3 months ago

Are there any theories as to WHY Hamels hit Harper? I’ve seen/heard nothing on the subject.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

There’s so much hype surrounding this kid and his antics can rub people the wrong way. I don’t know why Hamels personally had a grudge against him but I’m sure Harper was going to get drilled eventually.

I remember the guys from MLB Network/ESPN saying it was a matter of time.

Prozac_for_Mets_Fans
3 years 3 months ago

If Hamels doesn’t like the “hype” around Harper, maybe he should throw at the sports writers and ESPN analysts rather than Harper.  Similarly, if he’s upset about being squeezed, than he should throw at the umpire(s), not Harper.

***Something*** caused Hamels to select Harper to hit with a pitch. He had an entire roster to choose from, and he choose Harper for a reason. I, for one, would be interested to hear the background, because based on the (i) Hamels may have been “rubbed the wrong way” by the attention given Harper, and the (ii) Hamels is upset above being squeezed, years ago, when he was a rookie; Cole sounds exceptionally petty and jealous. Hitting people is part of the game, like it or not, but those two explanations simply don’t constitute reasons to hit anyone, especially when that person has nothing to do with the actual complaint.

If Hamels was as “old school” as he’d like to think, he should’ve engaged the relevant parties (umpires and/or analysts), like Ty Cobb or Pete Rose might have done, rather than pluncking someone who has nothing to do withhis complaint. Maybe Cole was just feeling overshadowed by Harper, because everyone’s talking about Bryce rather than Hamels and his impending contract. I don’t know, but you don’t get a gold star for hitting someone who doesn’t have anyhting to do with your complaint(s), even if you’re honest later to reporters about it.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 3 months ago

He had an entire roster to choose from, and he choose Harper for a reason.

Who else is worth hitting on that team right now?

I honestly don’t know why he hit Harper. I’m sure it’ll be far from the last time somebody hits him on purpose.