Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has been hit with a fine in an undisclosed amount for his comments about Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels following L’Affaire Old School the other day.
If you don’t recall — and that would be understandable given how little attention we’ve devoted to this since Sunday — the comments included calling Hamels “classless,” “gutless,” “chickens**t” and “fake tough.”
I bet what really brought the fine, however, was the comment about how Hamels “doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.” Which could be construed as a threat. Well, that and the fact that I really don’t think baseball wants its top executives out there talking smack on general principles.
Rizzo has commented on the fine:
“I think I’ve said probably enough about Cole Hamels. I’m going to stand by my statement and just move on.”
This ends the matter in official channels. Whether it’s truly over as an on-the-field matter won’t be answered until May 21, when the Nationals come to Philadelphia. Which should be all kinds of fun.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.