By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When he was pitching in the major leagues, Mitch Williams was never known for his control. He does think that Cole Hamels didn’t use his control the right way when he decided to hit Bryce Harper in the back.
“What he did is indefensible. you cannot defend the action Cole took, and I’m a Cole Hamels fan. But you can’t defend that,” Williams said when he joined 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show. Williams, a former Phillie known best for giving up a home run to Joe Carter that ended the 1993 World Series, is now an analyst for the MLB Network.
“It was stupid. The only time you hit somebody is, number one if they show you up in anyway, they put a target on their back. or if you’re protecting one of your players,” Williams said. “Bryce Harper, at this point, in his short week and a half career, has done nothing but play the game hard. So to drill him in his first at-bat, for no reason whatsoever, is ridiculous. It’s ludicrous, honestly.”
And then to come out after the game and say ‘I did it on purpose, I’m taking it old school?’ No, old school is throwing at somebody to protect your player. Bryce Harper has done nothing to the Philadelphia Phillies for Cole Hamels to protect them,” Williams said.
Since the incident, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has said he’s angry about what Hamels did, and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he wishes Hamels had been “less honest” about his intentions. “Zimmerman’s smart enough after the game to say, ‘I didn’t hit him on purpose.’,” Williams said.
All told, Williams thinks Hamels is lucky with how the entire incident ended. “Truth be told, I know Cole, i’ve seen Bryce Harper. If Bryce Harper had charged the mound, There would have been nothing but a uniform left of Cole Hamels,” he said. “What Cole did was set himself up to not only get hurt, and maybe miss six or eight weeks. If he gets hit in the wrist, and breaks a wrist, then he gets injured and hurts the team.”