Posted on May 12th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus
Welcome to CATCH IT!– My observations of the sports world. Basically it’s something to read and comment about in between podcasts.
Honesty is the best policy, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. For Cole Hamels, being honest meant a five game suspension. Granted. that means he doesn’t even miss a start, but he was reprimanded for telling the truth and that’s something to talk about. I’m a little torn on this one. On the one hand I want players to tell us the truth. I want them to speak up. It drives me nuts to hear “no comment.” Too many people in the sports world are afraid to speak their mind. They fear they might say the wrong thing. Hamels had no fear. He told us exactly what he did and why. But, I don’t like pitchers throwing at hitters, period. And to say that it’s “old school” doesn’t really work because even Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson didn’t have to plunk you to be intimidating. They threw brush back pitches to send their message. Hitting a rookie in the back doesn’t teach him anything. I’m guessing that Hamels is never again open with the media because he will be afraid of another suspension. In this case he should have kept his intentions to himself, knowing that MLB would nail him. By the way, memo to MLB: a five game suspension for a starting pitcher means absolutely nothing. You have to go with at least 10 games so he will miss a start.
The funny thing about Josh Beckett‘s comment about having 18 days off a year and deserving time to himself is that I actually agree with him under normal circumstances. Even though playing baseball or covering it is a dream job that many people envy, the season is a grind with little time to clear your mind and enjoy other parts of your life. Yes, there is a long off season, but consider that you are on the road a lot and baseball is your singular focus for six months of the year. Yes, Beckett and all Major Leaguers are paid handsomely, but no matter what the pay, everyone is entitled to a little time off and it’s really nobody’s business what you are doing on the rare day off. This time was the exception. This time off was made possible because of a back injury. I agree with Bobby Valentine about golf not being a sport where you worry about someone getting hurt. But, it seems like a back issue might be irritated by swinging clubs. The timing was wrong and Beckett was too defensive about it. It’s not surprising since the Beckett that I saw once in Oakland left me with a bad impression. I was grabbing a young Jon Lester for an XM Satellite Radio interview and Beckett asked me if Lester was going to be paid for the appearance. I laughed and said no. He said that he should be paid and it wasn’t right. I didn’t reply to that, but I wanted to say that for the millions of dollars being paid to players, it’s really not too much to ask for an interview before the game as a service to the fans. Josh didn’t get it then and apparently he still doesn’t know when and how to express his opinions now.
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Tags: Boston Red Sox, Cole Hamels, Josh Beckett, Major League Baseball, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES