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Leyland thinks Hamels suspension is too light

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Leyland thinks Hamels suspension is too light

At 67 years old and a baseball lifer, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland knows a little something about 'old school baseball.' The three-time manager of the year and former World Series Champion decided to weigh in on the Cole Hamels-Bryce Harper situation and believes strongly a five-game suspension doesn't fit the crime, that Hamels should have been disciplined much more harshly.

Speaking with Tigers play-by-play man Dan Dickerson on his pregame radio show, here is what Leyland had to say:

"I don't know the man," Leyland said of the Phillies pitcher. "I know he's a very good pitcher, a very talented guy, but when you come out and admit hitting Harper on purpose like that - that ball could have missed, hit him in the head or something else like that - and you come out and admit that, I think five games is way too light, in my personal opinion. And I would expect that if that was my pitcher, if my pitcher went out and, almost in a braggadocious way, talked about hitting a guy and that, 'I did it on purpose.'

"I felt the way I read it, and I don't know if the kid meant it this way, but it was almost like a braggadocious thing. That's not enough. There's no way."

"It upsets me because if you watch Major League Baseball, a lot of times one of your guys hits a batter, one of their guys hits a batter, the umpires are very quick to warn both benches about a situation like that," he said, "and a lot of times there's nothing going on at all, but they just want to stop something before it starts. ... This is a great time ... to show that we mean business, and I think this suspension is way, way too light."

It sounds like Leyland wants dramatic changes in baseball and Hamels has exposed what he perceives as a league-wide problem. Quite an interesting take coming from one of baseball's old hands.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.