There was a time when Cole Hamels didn’t live in a fortress of solitude. Sure, King Cole talks virtually after each of his starts. However, he doesn’t chat much in between outings anymore. Much has changed since he was burned by the media after making comments that were bent out proportion during the 2009 World Series.
But when Hamels was a rookie in 2006, he was a journalist’s dream. Hamels was accessible, intelligent and humorous. Early on he waxed about his future.
“I want to win a World Series and become one of the best pitchers in the game, “Hamels revealed to Metro a month after being called up from the minors. “I want to win a Cy Young Award, throw a no-hitter and be respected.”
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After throwing the first no-hitter against the Cubs in a half-century, Hamels can cross that milestone off his baseball bucket list.
Hamels has yet to place a Cy Young Award on his busy mantel. But the 2009 NLCS and World Series MVP has accomplished more than most pitchers, who have ever played the game. Hamels has enjoyed considerable personal and team success.
“That’s not an easy thing,” Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven said. “I was on bad teams for much of my career. You’re lucky to ever be on a winner. You can’t do it by yourself. It’s a team game.”
Hamels was very fortunate for the first six years of his major league career by winning a World Series, two pennants and five division titles.
But the Phillies have been losers for the last four seasons, counting the current campaign. And the popular line is that Hamels must go for prospects. But the Phillies must get something significant for the Phillies greatest homegrown pitching product since Robin Roberts. If not, how can the great rebuild commence with middling prospects?
“He definitely increased his value,” Cubs manager Joe Madden told the press after Hamels’ no-hitter. “You’re going to get that higher tier prospect for him because of that performance today.”
The Phillies should get that higher tier prospect for Hamels not so much for his game but what he has done for the last two seasons and for a magnificent career.
If the Phillies are offered suspects should they settle?
“I don’t know why they would,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Keep him if you’re not getting enough. He’s a tremendous pitcher.”
That’s the logical view since Hamels can dominate for an entire game against a contender, like the Cubs. Hamels reminded the world of baseball that he can take over a game.
“Cole is special,” Hunter Pence said. “He’s one of the best in the game.”
Pence went on to stress that Hamels should demand a package of tops prospects. Pence is enamored of his former teammate, just like Jimmy Rollins.
J-Roll was recently asked by the Los Angeles Times about Hamels and Rollins went on to say that Hamels is his favorite pitcher to perform behind. Interesting comments since he’s playing short for the Dodgers behind three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the 2015 NL favorite Zach Greinke.
Hamels is a special pitcher, who must attract more than a relatively promising group of young players.
“I don’t know how the Phillies trade Cole Hamels for anything less than a very, very good package,” Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said. “He’s been one of the best pitchers in the game for years and is still one of the best pitchers in the game.”