According to a retweet by the official Nationals blogger, Hamels said tonight that "I was trying to hit him. I'm not going to deny it."
(Backstory: The first pitch - in the first inning - Hamels threw with Bryce Harper in the batter's box hit Harper in the kidneys.)
Here's the article: http://content.usatoday.com/communities ... 6dHs-uJfp4
and here's the quote:
I was trying to hit him. I'm not going to deny it. It's something I grew up watching. That's what happened. I'm just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything. That's the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It's that old-school prestigious way of baseball.
"I'm not going to injure a guy. They're probably not going to like me for it but I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't trying to do it. I think they understood the message and they threw it right back. That's the way, and I respect it.
They can say whatever they want.
Kinda hard not to like the candor, and maybe even like the guy for it. But it was a stupid thing to say, unless he thinks he can game it out so that his suspension doesn't cause him to miss a start (the way Ubaldo pulled it off earlier this year).
And as admirable as his candor may be, how fucking stupid is the tradition? Seriously. I mean, you're throwing a rock at flesh, at 90+ mph. That's idiocy.
Don't get me wrong. I know pitchers have to throw inside and keep batters from hanging over the plate. And sometimes you'll hit the guy that's diving in. And sometimes a pitch will get away. Shit's gonna happen. But throwing at someone because he's getting too much attention? Fuck all that. Maybe Hamels just wanted to be the first one to do it.
One more thing. For as long as I live, I'll never understand why bats don't get awfully slippery after a pitcher throws at a batter. I don't imagine it'd take too many Louisville Sluggers spinning toward a pitcher's kneecaps before the message was sent. Again, don't get me wrong. I think this would be just as stupid as throwing at a batter. But so long as beanings are an accepted part of the game, I don't understand why direct retaliation isn't. (I know, you're pitcher is supposed to hit a batter on the other team... But he's not the one that threw the damned ball. Why should he take the bruise (or broken bone)?)