An Air Of Old School

An article by posted on May 10, 2012

I know I am a little late on the issue and that most of you really do not want to read anything about Cole Hamels. That is fine by me. I still think he is a goddamn idiot for announcing to the world that he hit Harper on purpose. He basically went out of his way to say, “Suspend me! Or fine me, that would be ok too.”

Of course, my only quibble here, is the fact that he could not keep his mouth shut. I had no problem with Hamels drilling Harper – in fact, a part of me actually felt like he did the right thing. So hear me out before you jump, aye? If you want a good laugh, go read Mike Rizzo’s hissy fit about the whole scenario, because I am going to take a shot at being serious here.

Hamels drilled a kid who was notorious…frankly, for being a horrible person. If you google Bryce Harper’s name with an expletive or two, you will see him losing it on an occasion or two – and you will also see him admiring a home run he hit and blowing a kiss to the opposing pitcher at that point in time.

“It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid.

“One scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents.”

“He’s just a bad, bad guy,” one front-office official told Baseball Prospectus. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer.”

So there you go. Apparently, Harper had it coming. That was not going to fly in the big leagues. He has kept a low profile since the call up and what I believe was a forced deletion of his twitter, but nevertheless, I do not believe that sense of entitlement would just magically humble itself away.

In addition, Hamels did not go head hunting – he threw at the body to avoid any serious injury and sent a message the way it used to be sent. I never root for any player to be injured – even a rival. First and last time you will see me complimenting Cole Hamels, by the way.

I might be young, but I picked up my knowledge on pitching from some old-school philosophies. If a guy is crowding the plate, you do not try to make a perfect pitch, you go high and in with the fastball first. If he stays there, you bean him. If that ticks you off as a batter, take the pitcher deep. Simple as that.

Someone gets drilled on your team – expect retaliation soon. It worked like that because there was a different air around back then; it was an air of swagger, confidence, and pride. And I really do wish I grew up in the 80′s instead of the 90′s/00′s. It seems like Johnny Bench understands my logic here, too.

Outside of my dreams there, understand that I am not saying baseball players of this day and age are not proud of the game or are not confident. I know they damn well are. But I want to feel the confidence and pride radiating from my team…the interesting thing is – this might a good time to pick that up.

The youth movement has begun with the Mets and the young guns are notorious for having a little pep in their step – a little more swagger in their stride. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but these kids could usher in a new feel to Mets baseball for the next few years.

Nolan Ryan wants to bring back some old pitching knowledge – I welcome it with open arms, and I say bring back the toughness as well. (Let’s avoid the Mets DL jokes, hm?)

So what do you think? Can these Mets be tough? Or are they doomed to fall into the softer culture of today’s game?

About the Author ()

I am currently in my third semester of college in New York City. You can find me at www.facebook.com/SatishRam or @SilverHeatMMO. Feel free to message me - I love talking about the Mets or baseball overall with anybody.

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