Major League Baseball fined General Manager Mike Rizzo an undisclosed amount for the comments he made Monday morning about Cole Hamels. Rizzo responded to Hamels’ admission he had hit Bryce Harper on purpose Sunday night as a nod to old-school baseball by calling out Hamels in unusually harsh terms.
“Players take care of themselves,” Rizzo told the Post. “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball.
“Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”
Rizzo later added, “He thinks he’s sending a message to us of being a tough guy. He’s sending the polar opposite message. He says he’s being honest; well, I’m being honest. It was a gutless chicken [bleep] [bleeping] act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.”
Rizzo’s fine was the second he had earned from MLB. Last year in New York, he became the first general manager to be fined for yelling at an umpire.
Rizzo called for Hamels to be suspended, and later MLB issued a five-game suspension to Hamels. Rizzo declined comment on the league’s action, but 24 hours later he did not back down from his comments.
“I think I’ve said probably enough about Cole Hamels,” Rizzo said. “I’m going to stand by my statement and just move on from there.”
Monday, Rizzo worried that Harper would not want him to verbally stick up for him. Harper said he appreciated the gesture.
“Rizzo is always going to have everybody in here’s back,” Harper said. “He’s a great guy. He’s a great GM. He does a lot of things for this organization. It’s just really impressive that he’s that kind of guy towards every single guy on our club. He’s got our back on everything that happens. It’s great to have him.”
Harper has continually remained above the fray, even complimenting Hamels. Asked about Hamels’ suspension, Harper replied, “I’m just not even thinking about that right now.”
Harper did say he was not sore or bruised from Hamels’ plunking. “Not at all,” Harper said.
Manager Davey Johnson mostly stayed out of the incident, but did say Hamels’s admission surprised him.
“I don’t make a lot of comments on other people’s comments,” Johnson said. “There’s too much media coverage right now. Hamels making those comments, that’s kind of a rare thing to ever happen. That was a surprising thing. But there’s been a lot of things over the years that have changed.”