Hamels suspended five games for Harper beaning


Cole Hamels has been suspended five games by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig for admitting that he threw intentionally at Nationals rookie Bryce Harper Sunday night in Washington (see story). He will not appeal the ban, according to general manager Ruben Amaro.

Hamels hit the 19-year-old Harper in the back with a 93-mile per hour fastball in the first inning of a game the Phillies wound up winning 9-3. Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann in turn hit Hamels with a pitch two innings later but avoided a suspension.

Hamels allowed one run in eight innings to improve to 4-1 and after the game, he admitted to a group of five reporters that he was throwing at Harper.

Its just, Welcome to the big leagues, Hamels said. I was trying to hit him. I mean, Im not going to deny it.

He continued: Im not going to injure a guy, and theyre probably not going to like me for it, but Im not going to lie and say I wasnt trying to do it. I think they understood the messages, and they threw it right back, and I think thats the way it should be done, and I respect it.

In an interview Monday with the Washington Post, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo dared MLB authorities to suspend Hamels.

"I've never seen a more classless, gutless chickenbleep act in my 30 years in baseball," Rizzo said. "With all the bounty incidents in professional football, the commissioner better act with a purpose on this thing."

In reality, the five-game suspension only means that Hamels next start will be pushed back a day. He was scheduled to pitch Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series against the Padres, but that would now be the fifth game of his suspension (the Phils are off on Thursday). So presumably hell now pitch on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Padres series.

Hamels did not speak with reporters in the clubhouse before the Phillies-Mets game Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

Amaro said before the game he was disappointed that Hamels admitted throwing at Harper.

Before the suspension was announced Monday afternoon, manager Charlie Manuel declined to comment when asked if he expected Hamels to be suspended.

Do I expect it? I dont know, he said. I hope not. Its not up to me to judge that. Well see what happens.

Hamels is third in the National League with four wins and leads the NL with 44 strikeouts. Overall, hes 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA.

(More coming...)

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

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