On Sunday night, the Phillies topped the Nats 9-3, sending #NATITUDE weekend out with a whimper. (It didn't help Washington that Jayson Werth is out for a few months with a broken wrist.) But the real story from Sunday's game was Cole Hamels plunking Bryce Harper.
Hamels said after the game that he was "trying to hit" Harper, in an "old-school" baseball move. Not everyone agrees with his decision to throw it back, particularly Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, who called Hamels decision to plunk Harper "classless, gutless" and some other things not fit for print.
“Players take care of themselves,” Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post Monday. “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball."
No, Rizzo's not talking about chicken salad. And he doesn't think that Hamels "old-school" mentality is tough either. In fact, Rizzo thinks that Hamels is "fake tough."
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“Cole Hamels says 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 rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”
Rizzo then did something odd, comparing Hamels beaning to the bounty issues going on in the NFL. Of course, he failed to mention the whole part about Jordan Zimmerman throwing at Hamels legs in retaliation, which is a far more dangerous act then plunking Harper in his backfat.
Regardless though, Rizzo wants you to know that the Nats are not scared. Or Natimidated or whatever.
“He thinks he’s sending a message to us of being a tough guy," Rizzo told Kilgore. "He’s sending the polar opposite message. He says he’s being honest; well, I’m being honest. It was a gutless chicken [bleep] [bleeping] act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.”
Look, I get where Rizzo's coming from here. He doesn't want his future superstar having 93 mph fastballs directed at his body. And what Hamels did was probably (definitely?) unnecessary. And he'll almost certainly get punishment from the commish's office for his decision to plunk Harper.
But if Rizzo's going to call him "gutless" he probably ought to make sure that his own pitcher isn't firing back later in the game.