Lost in Cole Hamels saying his decision to intentionally hit Bryce Harper was “old school” is that someone who’s actually old school thinks he should have been suspended for longer than five games.
Jim Leyland, who’s 67 years old with 21 years of big-league managing experience and a World Series title, told Jason Beck of MLB.com that “five games is way too light, in my personal opinion.”
Leyland called Hamels “a very good pitcher” and “a very talented guy” but noted “that ball could have missed, hit [Harper] in the head or something else like that.” And the Tigers manager was also bothered by the “braggadocious way” in which Hamels admitted to the plunking being intentional.
It’s a moot point, as Hamels has already decided to serve the five-game suspension and will essentially just have his next start pushed back by one day, but when “old school” is being thrown around as some sort of absolute state of mind it’s interesting to hear from a baseball lifer like Leyland on the subject.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.