Leyland: Hamels should’ve gotten 15 games
Interesting comments from manager Jim Leyland this evening during his pregame show on Cole Hamels, the Phillies pitcher who admitted to hitting Bryce Harper on purpose last night. Major League Baseball announced a five-game suspension for Hamels Monday, but Leyland felt like it should’ve been much more than that, and he said as much on his pregame radio show:
“Personally, if I was I was making that vote, it would be a 15-game suspension, at least. I don’t know Cole Hamels, so I certainly don’t have any qualms with Cole Hamels. I don’t know the man. I know he’s a very good pitcher, a very talented guy, but when you come out and admit it like that – that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that – and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light, in my personal opinion. And I would expect that if that was my pitcher, if my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that ‘I did it on purpose.’
“The way I read it, and I don’t know if the kid meant it this way, but it was almost like a braggadocious thing. That’s not enough. There’s no way. It upsets me because if you watch Major League Baseball, a lot of times one of your guys hits [a batter], one of their guys hits [a batter], the umpires are very quick to warn both benches about a situation like that, and a lot of times there’s nothing going on at all, but they just want to stop something before it starts. Well, this is a case where this is, to me, this is a great time … you know, we’re always talking about our game being cleaned up and doing the right things for our game in all areas of the game … but this is a perfect time to show that we mean business. And I think this suspension is way, way too light.”
Leyland went on to take a poke at the warning system as Dan Dickerson was starting into a follow-up question.
“It becomes a joke. Let’s tell it like it is. I know I’ll probably get some phone calls [from MLB], but I don’t care if I do or not. I don’t know if anyone cares about my opinion. You asked me, so I’m sharing it with you. I think, with what we’re trying to do with baseball and send the right message to everybody, young people, old people, fans, everybody else – and this is a case where in my opinion it looks like to me the union has nowhere to go because this was two of their people involved. This was not just one of their people where they could file a grievance about something. This is two of their people, so that makes it a different thing too, in my opinion. So I think this is way too light and I’m very disappointed in the sentence.”