Rizzo fined by MLB for comments

Rizzo fined by MLB for comments
May 8, 2012, 10:24 pm
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PITTSBURGH -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has been fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for comments he made about Cole Hamels after the Phillies left-hander admitted he hit rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch on purpose.

Because no suspension was involved, MLB did not publicly announce Rizzo's fine, but a source close to the GM confirmed the punishment.

After plunking Harper with a first-pitch fastball Sunday night, Hamels told reporters: "I was trying to hit him, I'm not going to deny it," and referred to his actions as "old-school."

On Monday, Rizzo fired back at Hamels, telling the Washington Post that he'd "never seen a more classless, gutless chicken bleep act in my 30 years in baseball" and referring to the 28-year-old lefty as "fake tough."

MLB wound up suspended Hamels five games on Monday, and then today fined Rizzo for his words.

Asked today if he felt the Hamels punishment was sufficient, Rizzo replied: "I think I've said probably enough about Cole Hamels. I'm going to stand by my statement and just move from there."

This isn't the first time Rizzo has been punished by the commissioner's office. He also was fined last year after arguing with umpires following a game in New York.

Harper, who has impressed the baseball world with his maturity in the wake of the beaning, wouldn't say much about the Hamels suspension but stood up for his GM.

"Rizzo's always going to have every single guy on this team's back," the 19-year-old said. "Rizzo's a great guy, great GM and he does a lot of things for this organization. It's just really impressive that he's that kind of guy toward every single guy on our club and he's got our back on everything that happens. It's great to have."

Nationals manager Davey Johnson seemed more surprised by the fact Hamels admitted the plunking as opposed to the purpose pitch itself.

"Hamels making those comments, that's kind of a rare thing to ever happen," Johnson said. "That was the most surprising thing. But there have been a lot of things that have changed over the years. I mean, guys get hit in the leg and charge the mound. That part of the game has changed considerably. I think it's all about prevention of injuries and whatever. And the game used to be policed more in-house. Now we have rules and umpires are trying to control the game more than the players. We used to handle it in-house."

Asked if the meaning of "old-school" has changed since he played, Johnson replied: "No doubt about it. Old-school, there was never any comment."