Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels was fined and suspended by Major League Baseball yesterday for intentionally throwing at Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper. Pitchers throw at batters all the time and escape discipline, but Hamels actually admitted that he did it on purpose.
Though the fine is stiff, over $450,000, according to Forbes, the suspension is light–just five games, which means that Hamels will miss only one scheduled start. He was set to pitch on Saturday against the San Diego Padres, but he will have to wait until Sunday to be reinstated. Essentially, the suspension doesn’t hurt the Phillies at all.
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, one of the most respected voices in the game, weighed in with his thoughts on the suspension. He described the punishment as “way, way too light.”
“If I was I was making that vote it would be a 15-game suspension, at least,” said Leyland during a Monday night radio interview. “I certainly don’t have any qualms with Cole Hamels. I don’t know the man. I know he’s a very good pitcher, a very talented guy, but when you come out and admit it like that — that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that — and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light.”