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JOHNSON: Hey Cole Hamels, next time… LIE!

Hopefully the next time the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels decides to plunk someone on purpose, he’ll lie.

Hamels earned a five-game suspension for admitting his intention was to indeed hit Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper on Sunday night.

The 28-year old Hamels was not suspended for hitting Harper in the small of the back but for gloating about it after the game.

Hitting batters, brushing guys back, sending a message, all are acceptable in baseball as long as you don’t intentional try and hurt someone and as long as you don’t fess up about it to the media.

A poll conducted by MLB.com showed that players accept the fact that pitchers must work inside and, occasionally, will hit batters to send a message. But, with today’s soft, squishy, everyone’s a winner, don’t say anything negative about anyone world, Hamels did the one thing he couldn’t do… admit his guilt.

In baseball, hitting a player is just part of the game. A great part of the game. In hockey, you can fight it out. Probably not the best route. Football is built for physical retribution and there are ways to set a guy straight in basketball as well.

Plunking a guy is baseball’s way. Hamels paid the price as he was himself hit with a pitch in his next at bat. As long as the intent is not to hurt a player, I’m good with the unwritten rule but come on Cole. Tell your teammates, coaches, or even the bat boy but don’t tell the media and the world.

One simple sentence and you could be pitching in five days:

“It slipped.”