Hamels suspended five games for plunking Harper

What’s the price of honesty these days?

Five games, apparently.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels has been suspended five games for intentionally throwing at Bryce Harper last night.

In reality, however, Hamels was suspended not because of his actions, but because he was honest about his actions. If he had denied any wrongdoing, no suspension would have come down.

Major League Baseball did not announce any disciplinary action had been taken against Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann, who hit Hamels in the third inning. Zimmermann denied that he hit Hamels intentionally.

Hamels’ suspension will begin tonight, if he chooses not to appeal.

The interesting part of all this is that while Hamels will have to forfeit salary during his suspension, because of the Phillies’ upcoming off day on Thursday, the lefty might not need to truly miss a start if he chooses not to appeal.

As pointed out by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Roy Halladay will be able to start on normal rest on Saturday, while Hamels could come off his suspension and be able to start on Sunday.

I don’t understand why Major League Baseball doesn’t just make suspensions for starting pitchers eight or nine games, ensuring that the starter has to sit out at least one outing. Five games allows for too many potential loopholes in which the pitcher can head back to the mound without actually missing a start.

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