Thumbs up for Bryce Harper, Thumbs down for Cole Hamels

I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t like Cole Hamels throwing at Bryce Harper.

I played the game for a long time, and I know how it’s played. I know the unwritten codes, the baseball laws, the brotherhood that you can only become part of and come to understand between the white lines at any level.

But I still think Hamels’ decision to plunk Harper in between the numbers in the young superstar’s Sunday Night Baseball debut was horseshit.

“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. Exactly why is that? Because you didn’t like the way he wore his eye black? What the Hell were you doing at age 17 and 18, Cole?

You haven’t made a habit of throwing at other rookies you’ve faced, let alone in their first at-bat facing you. So why did you take it upon yourself to do it to Harper? Because he’s really good and he knows it? Because it’s going to be his league here in about two or three years?

There really isn’t a good reason, and you wanting to knock him down a peg doesn’t suffice.

Props to Nats GM Mike Rizzo standing up for his boy, I loved that. Props to Jordan Zimmerman for retaliating against the source himself. Props to Harper for stealing a plate and telling Hamels to shove it in 90 quick feet from third to home and then later singling him to left field.

If Hamels was still paying attention late in the 9-3 drubbing when Harper turned a bloop into a double; that’s how the game is played. For as much crap as people give the 19-year old, Harper gets it. Hamels does not.