Angelo Cataldi: Is Cole Hamels too soft?

Cole Hamels will miss at least two starts in 2014, but it might not hurt the Phillies all that much. Credit: Getty Images
Cole Hamels was shaky during his last start for the Phillies, but will try and put it behind him when he starts Tuesday. Credit: Getty Images

Six years ago, it would have been a ridiculous question. Now it must be asked: Is Cole Hamels a soft player?

Since his heroic performance for the Phillies in the 2008 World Series – for which he was awarded the MVP – Hamels has become an enigma. And the evidence is mounting that the tiger on the mound back then has become a pussycat.

Just consider his many tribulations since the start of training camp this year. First, he said he couldn’t be ready for the season opener because of bicep tendonitis, even though he had a full month to prepare. Then he experienced a setback, which led to more public emoting. Now, apparently, he can’t pitch when the weather turns cold or wet.

Last Tuesday night, Hamels melted in the rain as the Phillies lost to the Mets at an empty Citizens Bank Park. The ace pitcher walked five batters – four in one inning – hit another and threw a wild pitch in a dreadful 6-1 defeat. After the game, Hamels questioned his own ability to adjust to adverse conditions.

“Sometimes when you pitch, you have to battle the elements, and the elements definitely got the best of me today,” said Hamels. “It led to a very poor performance. I’m truly embarrassed.”

Hamels has not shown the same heart since his 2008 brilliance. Remember, the next season – which ended in failure for him and the Phillies at the World Series – he said at one point that he just wanted the season to be over, to end his own personal misery.

Cole Hamels gave Philadelphia a gift that will be cherished forever, a championship. There will be no hope for another, however, until he rediscovers the spirit of a champion.

Flyers Chairman Snider overrates his own team

Flyers chairman Ed Snider gave his team a grade of B last week after they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs, the 39th straight time they have failed to win a Stanley Cup. Sixers owner Joshua Harris proclaimed recently that his 19-63 season was “a huge success.” Have the people running our winter sports franchises lost their minds?

A master at self-delusion, Snider said he was not satisfied with the Flyers rebounding from a 1-7 start to make the post-season. Then he boasted that they had the goalie of the future (Steve Mason), a core of young “Stanley-Cup-type” players and, of course, captain Claude Giroux. Nope, he’s not satisfied at all.

What Snider actually has is an overrated captain and a roster filled with bloated contracts. His GM, Paul Holmgren, has been in the position for eight years, despite negotiating one bad deal after another. They are going nowhere.

Our other winter team is filled with the promise of a new direction, but also the possibility of a spectacular failure. Sam Hinkie, the architect of the reconstruction, has no track record and an aversion to people. Harris himself is a tremendous businessman with no idea how to run a sports franchise – or how to characterize a 19-63 season.

It’s time Harris and Snider both come to grips with reality. They are running franchises in a demanding sports city, charging hundreds of dollars for tickets to their games, and hawking jerseys and hats and anything else that can carry a bloated price tag.

This is Philadelphia, not Podunk. In Philadelphia, you don’t get to pat yourself on the back until you earn it. And the Flyers and Sixers definitely have not earned it.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…