Cole Hamels hit Bryce Harper with the first pitch he threw him on Sunday Night, then later admitted that he had done so intentionally. He claims that it was an old school baseball act, and that he was just trying to send a message. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Mike Rizzo disagrees. And he does so vehemently.
"Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with."
It's pretty surprising to hear the GM of a team use that kind of verbiage to talk about another player, but then again, Hamels was throwing intentionally at Bryce Harper, one of the most important players in the Nationals organization. Rizzo continues.
"This goes beyond rivalry and all that stuff," Rizzo said. "This points to, you take the youngest guiy in baseball. He’s never done a thing. And then Hamels patted himself on the back. Harper’s old school. Hitting him on the back, that ain’t old school. That’s [bleeoping] chicken [bleep]."
He also mentions that Bryce Harper plays old school, and that his response was a throwback to the way the game used to be played, not Hamels instigating act. In fact, I'm not really sure what message Hamels was trying to send to Harper by hitting him. Wouldn't a better message have been striking Harper out (like Stephen Strasburg did to Matt Kemp in Los Angeles last weekend)? Maybe he didn't think he could.