The second man in the Phillies rotation has been around the block for a while. A 6 year veteran, a World Series MVP, and a pair of appearances in the fall classic sent a message to the “future” of the MLB in Washington Nationals’ golden boy Bryce Harper.
Harper has rapidly become the biggest thing to happen to Major League Baseball in the early going of the 2012 campaign. Harper has had the hype around him since he was on the cover of Sports Illistrated at the age of 16 as the next big thing. G.E.D . at 16, JuCo by 17, first round draft pick at age 18, majors by 19.
Since his call up over a week ago, its been the Harper Show. Doubles, RBI’s, showing off that cannon the kid calls a right arm from left field, it seems that Bryce is all Sports Center wants to talk about when it comes to baseball these days.
Well on Sunday, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball shining with their new prized gem in Harper going up against one of the best pitchers in the game in Hamels. Bottom of the first right off the bat (pun intended) Harper gets up to the plate for his at bat. The left-hander sends a purpose ball his way that pegs him around the belt buckle.
After that, a quick first to third base running by the speedy Harper, and next, to quote the best baseball movie of all time, “the Jet stole home! I can’t believe it the Jet stole home!” Harper steals home, the ultimate ‘show up’ right in Hamels and the national TV’s face to prove his point.
Post game Hamels probably still fuming about getting shown up by the Kid, goes on in his post game to say how he pegged him purposefully. That’s a no fly zone in professional sports now a days, especially with the Bounty Gate in the NFL. Purposely harming players is not a good situation for anyone involved. But baseball is a game of respect, you hit me, I hit you, its settled message sent sometimes fights break out.
Bud Selig sent a message to his players that this will not stand due to a five game ban to Hamels. Was it warranted? I think en light of the recent other sports being tarnished by allegations from the Saints scandal rubbing off in this. Five games is necessary, meaning Cole will miss one start but I find that punishment is necessary. If he just said the fastball ran inside and he didn’t mean to, it would not have been a big deal. But admitting that he was at fault really was the straw that broke the camel’s back and suspension needed to be awarded.