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Indians’ announcer won’t back down from comments

Published 1:24am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton isn’t backing down from his criticism of Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman for a high-and-tight pitch to Cleveland’s Nick Swisher and his on-air suggestion that there should be retaliation during the intrastate series.

Chapman threw two up-and-in fastballs to Swisher during the ninth inning of Cincinnati’s 4-2 win Monday. The first went over the batter’s head, the second was near it. Chapman and Swisher exchanged glares.

After the second pitch, Hamilton — in his 24th season calling Indians games — said on air the pitch was intentionally aimed at his head.

“What you’d love to see Swisher do here is knock it right off the temple of Chapman and see how much fun it is to have a ball coming at your head,” Hamilton said. “That is bush league.”

Later, Hamilton predicted the Indians would retaliate during the series, which moves to Cleveland for two games on Wednesday and Thursday.

“You just can’t be throwing at people’s heads,” Hamilton said. “The first one may have gotten away, the second one did not. And there are three more games to go with the Reds. This isn’t over yet.

“I’ll guarantee you one thing: (manager Terry) Francona will make sure that this is settled on the field.”

Francona brushed it off before the second game of their series on Tuesday.

“I didn’t really think about it a whole lot then and I didn’t today,” Francona said. “I think when something like that happens, when a guy throws that hard, it gives you pause to think for a second. You could get killed.”

Asked if there would be retaliation by the Indians, Francona said, “Naw, you just play the game.”

Hamilton declined to talk about his comments on Tuesday, saying, “I don’t want to be the story here. What’s said is said.”

As for saying he’d like to see Chapman hit in the head by a line drive, Hamilton said, “I’m not going to go over this. That sure wasn’t the intent to mean it that way.”

Reds manager Dusty Baker also declined to say much about the Indians’ reaction to Chapman’s pitch or what happens next.

“It’s taken care of by me — not for public consumption,” Baker said Tuesday.

Last year, Baker and Derek Lowe had an exchange after the Indians starter got hit by a pitch from Mat Latos during a game in Cincinnati. Lowe gestured toward Baker, who shook his finger back at him.

Lowe hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch in the bottom of the inning, and both benches were warned. Baker later acknowledged having Latos throw inside to Lowe in response for Lowe hitting Joey Votto during a game in 2009.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

 

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