(PHILADELPHIA) — Welcome to the big league’s, kid. That’s the message Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels was apparently sending to Washington Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper.
Harper, 19, has been heavily hyped ever since he was drafted numer one overall by the Nationals in 2010. Hamels appears to have taken it upon himself to knock Harper back to earth. In Harper’s first at-bat against Hamels on Sunday night, Hamels plunked him in the lower back with a fastball. It looked innocent enough, but that wasn’t the case.
“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels candidly admitted. “I’m not going to deny it.”
“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 anthing because that’s the way baseball is,” Hamels continued to say.
Harper wound up getting the last laugh in the end. He wound up advancing to third base on a single later in the inning and wound up stealing home when Hamels attempted a pickoff throw to first.
Major League Baseball suspended Hamels for five games Monday.
Copyright 2012 ABC New Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire