“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said, using words and his voice box. “I’m not going to deny it. That’s just — you know what, it’s something that I grew up watching, that’s what happened, so I’m just trying to continue the old baseball — I think some people kind of get away from it. ... Sometimes the league is protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball.”

Those are actual words that emanated from Cole Hamels. But the craziest part? He didn’t actually mean for that to happen!!!!!!

Here’s what he told USA Today in the lead-up to Monday night’s rivalry resumption.

“Yeah, I accidentally stirred the pot,” Hamels told USA TODAY Sports. “It was unintentional. But that’s just the way it happens sometimes. ... It was more of a thing where I wanted to see what the kid was made of. Then it was like, ‘OK, he showed me.’ He showed me more than I could ever possibly have known. Obviously it kind of backfired in what I was intending.”

Okay, that’s all fine, but I’m having trouble reconciling “I was trying to hit him” with “it was unintentional.” BECAUSE THE WORLD WENT CRAZY WHEN YOU SAID IT WAS ON PURPOSE.

Unless Hamels means he intentionally hit Harper, but then unintentionally caused a to-do. Which is a pretty charitable interpretation of his words.

This year was meant for Boz more than anyone else. He writes: “Some days are so perfect that you almost can’t believe your eyes as they transpire before you, even if you hoped they’d come for so long that it almost seemed like forever. On a warm gorgeous weekend, against a first-place Orioles team, that’s what happened on these three jam-packed days.”

Mike Wise says Orioles fans who scream “Oh!” during the National Anthem are “cretins who continue to ruin the song.”

Tim Hightower: “I’m a Redskin, man,” he said. “They say, Home is where the heart is.”

Stephen Strasburg, on his new batting prowess:

“I feel a lot stronger,” Strasburg said. “It doesn’t feel like I have a log in my hands..”

First home run curtain calls from Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, side by side. Via @RecordsANDRadio.

The Nats are at Philly at 7 on MASN. The Orioles host the Red Sox at 7 on MASN2. All TV/Radio listings are here.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post doesn’t like the Caps conventional wisdom: “This was the right way not to make the conference final, scoring 13 goals against the Rangers? As opposed to all those wrong ways the Caps had failed to get past the second round under Bruce Boudreau, when they played with personality and were perhaps the league’s most entertaining team?”

Semin and Ovechkin celebrate a world championship.

An amazing Mike Rizzo baseball card from 1983.

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