Bits and Pieces is your weekly More Than a Fan source for all the interesting stories out of the National League East. Whether you want pictures, videos, or just the half news/half bad jokes column you’ve come to expect from me, this is the place to be.
Every installment of Bits and Pieces will be led off by the current National League East standings next to my preseason predictions. We’ll be chronicling my idiocy all season.
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Hamels and Harper Dust Up
“I was trying to hit him,” Cole Hamels said after the game. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.”
Hamels went on to get suspended five games for beaning Bryce Harper, and I have to believe the punishment is largely because of the quote you just ready. I’ve debated these situations and suspensions with many friends and twitter followers, and I’m perfectly fine with being in the minority. I think that beaning batters is perfectly fine as long as there’s no head-hunting.
Hitting a precocious star like Harper in the wallet to make a point is fine. Bud Selig sitting Hamels down for a start isn’t the worst price to pay for that point, but I don’t like that guys are getting suspended for something that’s been part of the game since the first episode of Ken Burns’ Baseball.
Werth Worrying About
Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth broke his wrist sliding to catch a Placido Polanco fly ball in the sixth inning of Sunday night’s loss to the Phillies. Latest news is that Werth will be out up to 12 weeks.
Admittedly, there are mixed emotions about how valuable Werth is to the Nationals considering how many people can’t stand his enormous contract, but the Nats are on the hook for the $13 million they owe him this year regardless of injury status, and he doesn’t become a free agent until 2018. Nationals fans should be hoping for healthy seasons for Werth so he’ll have some trade value. If this keeps up, Washington is going to be paying a beat up DH for the next five years.
Bryce Harper can fill the spot in the outfield for a while, but those are big shoes to fill for a 19 year old. Washington is in first place right now, but it’s likely that you’ll be reading about a change at the top in next week’s Bits and Pieces.
Freeman Gets Honor
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been named National League Player of the Week. In the seven games between April 30th and May 6th, Freeman hit .367 with three home runs, 10 RBI, 1.13 OPS, six runs scored, and 23 total bases.
This was Freeman’s second National League Player of the Week award having been honored April 16th to 22nd. Freeman’s hot streak bolsters a solid Braves lineup that will look to capitalize on Werth’s injury to take over the top spot in the National League East.
Miami moved from last in the division to second to last. Look out, National League, my prediction is one place close to coming true!