Cole Hamels Beans Bryce Harper: Why Jordan Zimmermann Should Also Be Suspended

Ben RingelContributor IIIMay 13, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 1: Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 1, 2012 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Let me just start out by quoting Jim Leyland.  When asked about Hamels' suspension, the Detroit Tigers manager said, "I think five games is way too light... Personally, if I was making that vote, it would be a 15-game suspension — at least."  


Jim Leyland's own player, Delmon Young, was arrested in New York for committing a hate crime. Young was only suspended 7 games for committing a HATE CRIME, yet Leyland believes that Cole Hamels should be suspended more than twice as long for hitting a guy right above his butt with a baseball.  

That's stupid.  You don't see Leyland arguing that his player should be suspended for longer.  

Anyway, yes I think Cole Hamels was wrong and dumb to hit Bryce Harper and to then own up to it. Even if you did it on purpose (which I still think was unwarranted and uncool, not "old school"), just say the pitch got away from you.  You can tell your teammates you did it on purpose, you can tell your friends you did it on purpose, but telling the media you did it on purpose is just stupid.

As anyone who was watching the game knows, Jordan Zimmermann then hit Cole Hamels with a pitch when it was Hamels' turn to bat.  

Jordan Zimmermann, however, was not suspended.  He was not fined.  He was not badmouthed by Jim Leyland.


I don't care that Zimmermann didn't admit that he hit Hamels on purpose after the game; he hit him on purpose.  The announcers even predicted retribution before the pitch was thrown.  When there is overwhelming evidence and motive, criminals in this country can be convicted even without "admitting" they committed a crime.

So, both players did the same thing.  Both players hit another player with a pitch on purpose.  And yet only one was punished.

That's stupid.

You can say that it's okay because he did it as payback, but is that really okay?  If someone steals my laptop from my house, isn't it still a crime for me to go to their house and steal one of their possessions?  If I suddenly got a Dexter-esque urge to go out and kill murderers, would I not be a murderer as well?

I'm not complaining at all about the fact that Cole Hamels was suspended, but to not punish Zimmermann in any way is totally irrational.  Both pitchers did the exact same thing, and MLB made a completely arbitrary ruling against Cole Hamels.  

Two wrongs don't make a right, and Zimmermann's vigilante justice should not have gone unpunished.