Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Unwritten Rules Leave A Lot to Be Desired

   Do you remember imaging you'd hit the home run that won the World Series? Full count, two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, game seven. You get the picture. 
   Well, Imagine being the pitcher who struck that guy out? Imagine winning the game for your team and being named MVP? It is not imaging for Cole Hamels. He did it in 2008. Hamels was a first round pick in 2002 out of high school before starting his first game as a left-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006 at the age of 25. He was won 77 games since then with a very good ERA of 3.38. He throws with velocity and with accuracy. They both were on display on Sunday night. Unfortunately, nobody is talking about his skill with a baseball. They are talking about what he did with it and then said afterwards.
   Cole Hamels threw a fastball that plunked rookie Bryce Harper in the small of the back in the first inning. Harper was playing in his eighth game for the Washington Nationals. Hamels said the pitch was his old-school way of welcoming the 19-year-old phenom to the big leagues. “I was trying to hit him,” the two-time All-Star lefty said Sunday night. “I’m not going to deny it." He went on to say he was just playing "old baseball" and referred to the unwritten rules of how the game was played in the good old days. Needless to say, everybody with any sense thinks Hamels is an idiot. 
   My mind is racing with thoughts and questions? What level of selfishness would cause him to think he represents everyone as the ambassador for who takes shots other players because they are a rookies and show lots of promise? What kind of 'junk' does he have going on inside that he would feel the need to literally take a shot at someone else? Having lived what some people consider a dream life, why the need to resent someone else living their dreams? What was he thinking when he bragged about doing it afterwards? Are these really the unwritten rules of baseball any more? Would the world be better off if we operated less from unwritten rules and more from rules we all agree on? The Apostle Paul puts some words that would be a good place to start on drafting rules for living:
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21
   It was announced that Cole Hamels received a five-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his actions and words, which will amount to just over $400,000 in lost salary. That hurts more than the bruise on the rookies back. But maybe the good that comes from it will help him and everyone. Grace and Peace, Scott


  1. It's a sport. Pitchers throw at batters intentionally all the time and for many different reasons (usually anger/retribution.) He's only in trouble for being honest. So what's worse, to throw at someone intentionally, or to lie about it after the game? "Oh, the ball just got away from me..." I think arrogant to try and infuse this moment of competitive indiscretion with ideals and principles that don't fit it whatsoever. I must not have any sense because I don't think he was an idiot.

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  3. He had zero reason for either anger or retribution against Harper but if, as mavant4 says, those are legitimate reasons to assault somebody with a weapon, then Harper had reason to charge the mound and beat Hamels with the bat. Intentionally throwing at defenseless batters without provokation is cowardly,mean spirited,against the rules, and deserves punishment regardless of the pitcher's honesty.