Shortly after his dominant win over Washington in Nationals Park, Phillies star Cole Hamels admitted to intentionally plunking 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper in the first inning.
"That's something I grew up watching, that's kind of what happened. So I'm just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it," Hamels told reporters after the game. "But I think unfortunately the league's protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball."
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo isn't buying that rationale. Neither, apparently, is Major League Baseball.
On Monday, Rizzo ripped Hamels for hitting Harper in the back with the very first pitch of the at-bat.
"I've never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [expletive] act in my 30 years in baseball," Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. "Cole Hamels says he's old school? He's the polar opposite of old school. He's fake tough. He thinks he's going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who's eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he's dealing with."
Former ace Curt Schilling agreed with Rizzo and lashed out at Hamels on ESPN. The outspoken Schilling seemed as annoyed with Hamels for the pitch as he was for the fact that he admitted it to reporters.
"I never threw at a guy for being a rookie. It's just so stupid. It's like throwing at a guy who hit a home run off of you because you made a crappy pitch," he said. "I can see where the kid would rub you the wrong way. Because he's so damn.. but he's so damn good. But what is he accomplishing with the dumb quote."
Harper ended up getting some revenge later in the inning, stealing home plate on a Hamels pick-off throw to first.
Hamels seemed to get the last laugh, however, giving up no additional runs over eight innings.
As is generally the case, however, MLB made certain to have the last word, suspending Hamels for five games for the incident.