Two people who baseball fans may consider "old school" have come out against Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who invoked the game’s traditions in explaining why he hit Nationals phenom Bryce Harper with a pitch.
On Tuesday, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. became the latest to criticize the left-hander, who is now serving a five-game suspension that will last through Saturday.
Ripken took issue with Hamels’ statement about trying to "continue old baseball" with the intentional plunking in the highly touted rookie’s first at-bat against him Sunday night.
"Usually there’s a spark for why you do it. Somebody bunts when you’re up eight runs, or you’re stealing third base when you’re up 10 or 11 runs in the seventh inning," Ripken said on MLB Network Radio.
"There are real reasons on how you play the game, and embarrass the game. That’s old school. But just to come up and drill somebody for no reason, I don’t remember that being old school."
The comments from Ripken, who holds baseball’s all-time record for consecutive games played, followed similar sentiments by Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose playing days go back to 1963.
The 67-year-old said before Monday’s game in Seattle that Hamels should have been suspended for at least 15 games, according to The Detroit News.
"If my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that ‘I did it on purpose.’ (Five games) is not enough. There’s no way."
The drama continued later in the inning when the 19-year-old stole home on Hamels’ pickoff throw to first base. Hamels was then hit by a pitch from Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann in the third inning.