Jim Leyland on Cole Hamels: “I Think 5 Games Is Too Light”
Truthfully, I'm totally ambivalent about how whatever totally understandable but impossibly provable w(h)ine fermented with sour grapes, "I'm Still Salty About Getting Beat Out Of The Gig By Charlie Manuel" sentiments Jim Leyland might have spilled into his comments to CSN Washington. I know Leyland about as well as he says he knows Cole Hamels. Don't know how he feels about it.
All that said, biased or not, Leyland said he thought the five-game ban the league office tagged Hamels with wasn't steep enough.
Said Leyland: "When you come out and admit [hitting Harper on purpose] like that - that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that - and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light, in my personal opinion. And I would expect that if that was my pitcher, if my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that, 'I did it on purpose.'
"I felt the way I read it, and I don't know if the kid meant it this way, but it was almost like a braggadocious thing. That's not enough. There's no way."
What's most refreshing here? That some sorry scribes elsewhere in the baseball world are stuck with a guy who's as tough to transcribe as Manuel. Almost makes you wonder if the Phils did some pre-interview focus group with the fans. Guess the whole Sylvester The Cat stuttering thing is endearing all over. Not as much as Leylandisms like "braggadocious," though. Wish Manuel had one of those...
Leyland elaborated: "It upsets me because if you watch Major League Baseball, a lot of times one of your guys hits [a batter], one of their guys hits [a batter], the umpires are very quick to warn both benches about a situation like that," he said, "and a lot of times there's nothing going on at all, but they just want to stop something before it starts. ... This is a great time ... to show that we mean business, and I think this suspension is way, way too light."
Interesting to see how Bud Selig feels, and whether he's about to up the ante on bans like these in the future.