Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
"I was trying to hit him. I'm not going to deny it. It's something I grew up watching. That's what happened. I'm just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything. That's the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It's that old-school prestigious way of baseball.
"I'm not going to injure a guy. They're probably not going to like me for it but I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't trying to do it. I think they understood the message and they threw it right back. That's the way, and I respect it. They can say whatever they want."
Harper got "revenge" of a sort when he advanced to third base on a Jayson Werth single and then stole home. The Nationals eventually lost the game 9-3. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, whose quote (via Twitter) of Hamels was in the USA Today article linked above, also tweeted what he thinks will be the likely outcome of this incident:
Can't even find a recent instance of a pitcher admitting he threw at a hitter. Have to think Hamels will be suspended.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 7, 2012
Sounds about right. Hamels said he wasn't "going to injure a guy", but there's no guarantee of that if you intentionally throw a baseball at another human being.