Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maybe those unwritten rules should be written down somewhere

Is there any endeavor in life that has more unwritten rules than baseball?

If you're at bat you better not look back to see where the catcher is set up. You better not crowd the plate like you own it. If you hit a homer, just put your head down and trot around the bases.

If you're on the mound and you see the batter look back - you hit him. If he's crowding the plate - pitch him high and tight to move him back. If he shows you up after knocking a dinger - someone's getting hit.

On Saturday night in Washington, the Nationals' young phenom, Bryce Harper, took one for the team from Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. Why? Because Mr. Hamels decided that Mr. Harper needed hitting because he was a rookie and he was on fire.


What unwritten rule did Mr. Harper violate?
"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. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything because that's the way baseball is," Hamels said.
So, let me get this straight, Mr. Hamels. You're upset because you think Bryce Harper is working the umpires to get better calls? You're upset because umpires called a very tight strike zone when you got to the Show? No shit, Cole. The microscopic strike zone is one of the reasons for the deluge of home runs in the 90's. Well, that and tiny ballparks, short fences and steroids.

Cole Hamels stepped over the line - and compounded it by admitting he plunked Mr. Harper intentionally. What Mr. Hamels did on Saturday night would be more correctly referred to as an assault. There was no good excuse for what happened and Mr. Hamels earned his suspension.

At least Mr. Harper showed some class after he was hit in the back. He tossed his bat, put his head down and took his base.

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