The Phillies are killing me right now. I want to rant and rave about the bullpen, Charlie Manuel's incompetence, the bullpen, the lack of situational hitting, the bullpen, etc. But there's only so much of that you can write about or read, so today I'm going to take out my frustration on something else that's bugging me: the response to Cole Hamels hitting Bryce Harper.
I wrote the day after it happened about how I was against hitting a guy for no reason. Others, like Cal Ripken, echoed my thoughts. But then people started saying stupid things, which is fine because we need people to say stupid things. It's entertaining. We also need people to call out the stupid things that people say as being stupid. That's where I come in because the "mainstream" "legitimate" media won't do it. Seriously, what's with these guys? Do you have to promise to be a brain-dead
'yes man' without the cajones to ask provocative questions in order to qualify for a press pass? I’m sick of guys spouting off
obviously hypocritical statements and having them published all over the
electronic print media without any question challenging the absurdity of their words.
For instance, in Mike Rizzo’s “fake tough” rant, he had the audacity
to say the Nationals were not out to hurt anybody, inferring that his pitcher
wouldn’t hit someone on purpose because of the associated injury risks. He, and
apparently everybody in the “legitimate media,” was happy to ignore the
blatantly obvious bean ball aimed at Hamels a few innings later. No one thought
about asking Rizzo about this flaming pile of hypocrisy? No, easier just to let
the dog bark than risk getting bitten.
Then, Jim Leyland was able to escape his cloud of cigarette smoke and
force a few breaths of ignorance out to the media. He thinks Hamels should be
suspended at least 15 games in a way to “clean up” the game. 15 games, eh? Clean up the game, eh? Okay, but
then the media asked him why he thinks that a player should get suspended for
10% of the season for doing what’s been done (and accepted…) thousands of times
before but his player (Delmon Young) only got a seven day suspension for being
charged with “aggravated harassment hate crime.” Oh, wait, no they didn’t! Perhaps
they were afraid of second hand chronic bronchitis from the sputum that would be
thrust their way in response. They also refrained from asking Leyland if he
ever promoted longer suspensions for any of his pitchers that were suspended
for hitting batters. The obvious answer would be “no” with a likely explanation
about Hamels being “braggadocios” and “doing it on purpose.” This would allow
a media member to point out that most, if not all, pitcher suspension are for
hitting a batter “on purpose” and why admitting to one’s actions rather than
denying the obvious is worthy of an increased suspension. Of course, nobody
thought of doing this because again, why make waves when you’re riding the
And where is the article pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of the league suspending and fining Hamels for hitting Harper but letting Zimmerman escaped both after hitting Hamels? MLB suspends pitchers all the time for intentionally hitting batters without them admitting they did it. So does the league honestly think Zimmerman's plunking of Hamels was accidental? No, of course not. They know he did it on purpose. The truth is, Hamels was not suspended for hitting Harper. He wasn't suspended for admitting hitting Harper on purpose. No, he was suspended because his actions resulted in negative publicity for the league. Zimmerman's plunking of Hamels is almost universally accepted. Why? Because is was retaliatory and within the "unwritten rules" of baseball. An objective observer would come the conclusion that both acts were essentially the same but the league is far from objective. They are self serving. Therefore, the message sent from the league on this issue is obvious: Major League Baseball does not care about purposely hitting batters with pitchers. In fact, they are happy to ignore and passively condone bean balls as long as it does not result in any negative publicity. So pitchers, go free and bean, just don't start a brawl or be honest about your intentions.
Now, why couldn't somebody getting paid to write about baseball mention any of this? And where can I get my press pass?