5/7 To plunk or not to plunk
Manager Dale Sveum didn’t see Cole Hamels hit the Nationals’ Bryce Harper with a pitch on Sunday, but he did hear about the Phillies pitcher’s comments. Hamels plunked Harper in the back with a pitch in the first inning. Said Hamels: “I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it. They can say whatever they want.”
On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended Hamels for five games.
“I didn’t see it but, obviously, I’ve heard the quotes,” Sveum said Monday. “Interesting quotes. I don’t have any more comment on that. They were just interesting quotes, that’s for sure.”
Pitcher James Russell was watching a replay in the clubhouse on Monday. Is there ever a time when it’s necessary to hit a guy with a pitch?
“There’s absolutely times when it’s necessary,” Russell said. “I don’t think you need to go out and tell people, ‘Hey, I did it on purpose,’ and brag about it. That’s kind of stupid and immature. It’s part of the game. You’re supposed to just do it and keep your mouth shut about it, not go tell everybody about it.”
— Carrie Muskat