Everyone needs to relax about Cole Hamels hitting Bryce Harper
Tonight is (most likely “was” by the time this gets posted) the rematch between Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper. Its been all over ESPN: “What to expect tonight?” “what do you think is going to happen?” The answer to these questions is NOTHING. Not a god damn thing is going to happen between these two tonight. Cole Hamels said yesterday that he feels no animosity towards Harper or the situation and Harper made it very clear after the fact that he was not bothered at all by what Hamels did. The only one who deserves to exact any sort of revenge is obviously Harper…which he did moments later by stealing home.
But now that I am so invested into the topic, I’m gonna put in my two cents. I would have done the same thing Cole did. There has been tons of hype around Harper before he even played a single MLB inning. Christ, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated before he could drive. SI even had the sack to call him the “Lebron James” of baseball (this was in 2009. That’s probably an insult now). He also holds the record for the longest home run at Tropicana Field. Needless to say, Bryce Harper has every reason to be an arrogant prick. Hamels wasn’t head hunting or looking to injure the kid. He was just trying to say “Welcome to the big leagues” via a four-seamer to the rib cage. That’s baseball.
Another point to be made is that none of this media attention would have occurred had it not been for the attention around Harper. Before your panties get all in a bunch, I have proof. Yoenis Cespedes is a top rookie field player prospect (title?) for the Oakland Athletics who has been Hit by Pitch three times. THREE!!! Two of which came in the same game. Oh the Calamity! Have you heard about any of them? Cause I didn’t know about them until I started writing this article. Sadly he is on the DL because of these HBP’s….just kidding, but he is really on the DL for a strained left hand. Then there is Mike Trout, a 20-year-old rookie prospect for the Angels who boasts a .315 AVG, .539 SLG and .922 OPS. He is arguably better than Bryce but that’s a different article. He was hit by a pitch in the minor leagues which caused him to leave the game and the Angel’s organization to have a conniption. I know this is somewhat of a weak argument since it is the Minors and speculative, but I’m confident that, had this happened to Bryce Harper, it would have been on ESPN and potentially talked about on Around the Horn and/or Pardon the Interruption.
Pitchers throw at other players constantly on accident and on purpose. Sometimes pitchers throw at batters for past hit-by-pitches which is more wrong than what Hamels did. Those HBP’s have anger behind them and have more potential to be bad. At the same time, it’s all a part of baseball. When you are standing 60 feet 6 inches away from a man who hurls a 90+ MPH object within inches of you, chances are you are going to get hit by it. They are trying to remedy the tackle in the NFL but getting hit with a baseball will forever be apart of the game.
Harper finished the game 1-3 and no HBP’s. So we can now officially put to rest the debate and tension that was never between them. What Cole Hamels did was fine, even according to Bryce. So everyone stop getting their panties in a bunch and focus on more important things in baseball. Like how to fix the Twins. God they suck.
– Joe Leathersich