Baker says plunkings acceptable in his day

Baker says plunkings acceptable in his day

Baker says plunkings acceptable in his day
MILWAUKEE -- The admission from Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels that he intentionally hit Nationals rookie Bryce Harper on Sunday reverberated around the game on Monday.

"I was trying to hit him," Hamels said. "I'm not going to deny it."

Hamels received a five-game suspension from Major League Baseball as a result.

"At least he's honest. I admire him for his honesty," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "But it's really none of my business. Something must have happened along the way for it to happen in the first place."

Baker recalled a much different game when he played in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, when plunking hitters was more frequent, and accepted.

"It used to be more appropriate. It used to be very appropriate," Baker said. "That's probably the thing that's changed the most in baseball. There's very little intimidation allowed. Before when I came in, they'd see if you could hit a fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and then they'd see if they could affect you by knocking you down.

"I remember talking to Willie Mays and those guys. Mays said Don Drysdale used to knock him down every at-bat. I asked Hank [Aaron] one time: 'Hank, why do they keep knocking me down?' Hank said: 'If they knock you down, it's a sign of respect that you can hit.' They didn't try to knock down guys that couldn't hit. Those were out men."