Cole Hamels earned a five-game suspension — essentially pushing his next start back one day — for admittedly throwing at Washington Nationals rookie star Bryce Harper during the Phillies’ win on Sunday night. According to Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, Hamels got off light.
During the Tigers’ radio pregame show before Monday’s game at Seattle, Leyland said that Hamels deserved “a 15-game suspension, at least.”
“I know (Hamels is) a very good pitcher, a very talented guy,” Leyland said, “but when you come out and admit it like that — that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else — and you come out and admit that … I think five games is way too light.
Leyland added that he believes a suspension like the one Hamels received undermines the use of umpire warnings during games, because the league does not go far enough to follow-up with punishments in these cases.
“It becomes a joke,” Leyland said. “Let’s tell it like it is, and I know I’ll probably get some phone calls but I don’t care.”
Hamels beaned Harper in the back in the first inning Sunday night. Harper went on to single, double and steal home in the game, a 9-3 Phillies win. Hamels, who was himself hit by Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann in the third inning, later told reporters that he threw at Harper on purpose.