(above : guy who was the subject of no-hype whatsoever)
Phillies starer Shawn Estes plunked Nats rookie OF Bryce Harper in the first inning of last night’s 9-3 Philadelphia
takeover of Nats Park victory, and while Harper made the highlight reel by stealing home a few minutes later, it’s Hamels’ postgame comments to the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb that will likely raise eyebrows at MLB.
“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. It’s something I grew up watching. That’s what happened. I’m just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything. That’s the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It’s that old-school prestigious way of baseball.”
Hamels is gonna get points for honesty this morning, but his admission is rife with confusing doublespeak (if the strike zone is bigger in 2012, where’s his gripe?) and implications of favoritism (8 days into Harper’s big league career). It really doesn’t sound any better than simply saying, “Harper’s punk reputation preceded him…and I’m jealous.”