Results tagged ‘ Cole Hamels ’

Who Are The Phillies Really?

It is May 8. The Phillies are 30 games into the season, and they are last in the National League East.

They have not been in last place this late in a season since July 8, 2005.

Thirteen times the Phillies had a chance to move to .500. They lost eight times. Six times they had a chance to move over .500. They lost every time. This is a team that boasts Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in its rotation. It has Jonathan Papelbon as its closer. It has Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz in its lineup.

Last place.

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Hamels Suspended Five Games, Fined

The moment Cole Hamels admitted he purposely drilled Bryce Harper with a pitch Sunday everybody knew he would be suspended.

He was.

Major League Baseball on Monday suspended him five games and fined him an undisclosed amount for his bean ball. Hamels did not appeal the suspension and began serving it immediately.

The effect of the suspension on the Phillies is minimal. Hamels, who was unavailable to comment before Monday’s series opener against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, had been scheduled to pitch Saturday against the San Diego Padres. But because the Phillies do not play Thursday, it is a smart bet they will have Roy Halladay pitch Saturday on regular rest and push Hamels’ next start to Sunday.

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Oh, It Is On

And the rivarly between the Phillies and Nationals just kicked up another notch. (From 10 to 11?)

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo absolutely blasted Cole Hamels in an interview with The Washington Post.

Read the story here.

A few highlights:

    • “I’ve never seen a more classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act in my 30 years in baseball.”
    • “He’s fake tough.”
    • “No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.”

Good news for Phillies fans: The pool of teams interested in signing Hamels in the offseason shrunk by one. Bad news for Phillies fans: Expect Hamels to be suspended.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

      • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
      • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
      • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, 2:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Just a reminder: The Phillies and Nationals play a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on May 21-23.

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Turning Things Around?

This has been a welcomed change of pace.

The Phillies had two late-inning rallies the last two nights, which means I finally had something interesting to write about. As boring as most of April was for you, it was just as boring for me. It’s not fun writing different versions of the same story over and over. And it’s certainly not fun having to ask Charlie Manuel and the players different versions of the same questions over and over.  They get tired of the questions. We get tired of asking them. But we know you want to know what’s on their minds, so we ask away.

The Phillies have won five of their last seven games. They are hitting .266/.312/.384 and averaging 4.6 runs per game in that stretch.

They might as well be the ’27 Yankees compared to the start of their season. The Phillies hit .243/.286/.334 and averaged 2.8 runs per game through their 7-10 start. The only stretch I recall that was more painful was that 12-game stretch May 22 – June 4, 2010, when they hit .197/.277/.274 and averaged 1.4 runs per game, getting shutout five times and never scoring more than three runs in any game.

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Baby, You’re (Gonna Be) A Rich Man

So we know Cole Hamels will be signing at least a five-year, $112.5 million contract.

The Giants and Matt Cain agreed to those terms yesterday, and I believe most everybody would agree Hamels is a better pitcher than Cain. Hamels is 74-54 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games in cozy Citizens Bank Park. Cain is 67-72 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games at canyon-esque AT&T Park. Hamels has more strikeouts (1,091 to 1,055), a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.74 to 2.32) and WHIP (1.14 to 1.21) in that span. He is at the top of most pitching categories in the National League since he made his big-league debut. Cain is up there with him, but Hamels is usually just a bit better.

So if Cain got that, Hamels gets what?

I wonder if the Phillies said today, “How about Cliff Lee money?” if Hamels takes it.

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Hamels Isn’t Worried About Free Agency

Cole Hamels looked good in 5 2/3 innings this afternoon at Bright House Field. He will pitch a few innings in an exhibition game next week in Philadelphia before pitching in the home opener April 9 against Miami at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels becomes a free agent after the season. The Phillies and Hamels are not close to an extension, but Hamels isn’t too worried about it. Here is what he said:

Q: Surprised or upset at all a deal might not be struck before Opening Day?
A: No, I haven’t been thinking about it at all. This is something where it’s going to linger until something happens. Fortunately for the way I go out every single day and the approach I take is just to go out and get in good shape, get my workouts in, do everything I can possibly do right on the field, and things will take care of itself.

Q: When news broke Magic Johnson is buying the Dodgers everybody was saying, ‘Oh, that’s good news for Hamels.’ Did you think anything about it?
A: I didn’t know Magic Johnson knew anything about baseball. That’s my reaction. (laughs) I’m kind of glad everything can move on. It’s good to know all Major League teams have a functioning ownernship, and things are more clear for everybody, not just in baseball.

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Madson Injury Won’t Rattle Hamels

Cole Hamels’ head dropped the moment he heard former teammate Ryan Madson needs Tommy John surgery.

“That’s terrible,” he said. “That’s terrible.”

Madson signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Reds in the offseason after he could not find the multiyear deal he wanted. He hoped to have a fantastic season in Cincinnati then get the big money contract next winter.

That will not happen now.

Hamels finds himself in a similar situation as Madson. He is scheduled to become a free agent following the season. If he has a big season and hits the free agent market, there is speculation he could earn more than $120 million. Of course, he also has to remain healthy the entire year to make that happen.

Hamels said today at JetBlue Park that Madson’s injury does not affect his feelings regarding free agency (i.e. he’s not going to have his agent John Boggs call Ruben Amaro Jr. to have him sign a club-friendly deal).

“No, because I think I’ve had some serious injuries with breaking arms and having herniated discs,” Hamels said. “So what? You lose a year, but you kind of gain a year because you don’t have the wear and tear. Hopefully, Madson can look at it like that. If you’ve overcome an injury, I think you can overcome anything. Obviously, I’ve had a few, so I know how to overcome them … Obviously, you can’t help the freak accidents. Sometimes it’s just straight bad luck. But he’s got a good personality. I think he’ll be able to get through it. I don’t think he’ll be with Cincinnati any longer, but he’ll be a nice free agent for some team. Maybe he’ll come back here.”

The bigger question is would Hamels be with him?

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Doc Gets Opening Day, Hamels Gets Home Opener

We asked nicely today, so Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee revealed his rotation to open the 2012 season:

  • April 5 in Pittsburgh: Roy Halladay
  • April 7 in Pittsburgh: Cliff Lee
  • April 8 in Pittsburgh: Vance Worley
  • April 9 vs. Miami: Cole Hamels

Dubee explained.

“Cole has had more experience,” said Dubee, asked why Hamels gets the home opener. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn’t put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.”

It is unclear when Joe Blanton would pitch, but because of two off days between the season opener April 5 and the fifth game of the season April 11, it is likely Halladay pitches April 11.

“I don’t think we’re going to let Doc sit around for seven or eight days,” Dubee said. “That’s too much.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Nats’ Top 3 over Doc, Cliff and Cole? Whatever

The Nationals are trying their best to build a rivalry with the Phillies in the National League East.

It started with their Take Back the Park campaign, designed to make tickets less accessible to Phillies fans for the Phillies-Nationals series May 4-6 at Nationals Park. But then Nationals manager Davey Johnson told The Washington Post the other day he would take Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann and the rest of his rotation over Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels and the rest of the Phillies’ rotation, in part because of their youth and potential.

“Their top three versus our top three, stuff-wise, we match up as good,” Johnson told the Post.

“I guess that’s his opinion,” Rich Dubee said.

Asked what he thought about Johnson’s comments, Lee said, “He should (take them) because that’s his only option. It’s what he’s got to do.”

In other words, whatever.

Lee said he wouldn’t compare Halladay, Hamels and himself to any other pitchers on any team in baseball.

“I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody,” Lee said. “There’s nothing good that’s going to come out of that. I know we’re proven and we’ve shown what we can do, and if we’re healthy we stack up pretty good against anyone. I’m not going to sit here and try to create something out of nothing because to me really that’s nothing.”

Asked about the Take Back the Park campaign, Lee said, “That’s another nothing thing for me. Whatever. They should try to get more fans to come out and support them. They should expect a lot out of their team. It’s normal stuff. He should think his pitchers are better than anyone. He should think all his position players are better than anyone else. He should think he’s got the best bullpen. If he doesn’t, what’s he thinking?”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • March 19: Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL, TBA
  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Lee Relates to Hamels

Cliff Lee is one of the few people in the world who can truly relate to Cole Hamels‘ upcoming free agency.

He spoke about that today, as Hamels’ agent is in town talking to the Phillies about an extension. The sides are not close and an agreement is not expected before the end of spring training, if one happens at all. These talks will be difficult. Why? Because Hamels’ agent would not be doing his job if he were not trying to get Hamels a contract worth more than $100 million, and the Phillies already have tons of money committed over the next several seasons. Looking at things from the outside and not knowing how much money the Phillies have to spend, it would seem difficult to not only meet the demands of Hamels, but Shane Victorino, who becomes a free agent following this season, and Hunter Pence, who becomes a free agent following 2013.

Can they keep all of them? It will be very, very difficult.

The Phillies already have $109.85 million committed to eight players next season: Lee ($25 million), Roy Halladay ($20 million), Ryan Howard ($20 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million), Jimmy Rollins ($11 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million). And that’s not counting club options for Carlos Ruiz, etc. They have $94 million committed to Lee, Halladay, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2014; and $74 million committed to Lee, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2015.

Let’s say Hamels wants $20 million per season from the Phillies. Let’s say Victorino wants $12 million. Let’s say Pence wants $15 million. That’s $47 million for the three (and that’s probably a low figure, if you think about what they could get if they hit the open market). That puts the Phillies’ 2014 payroll at $141 million for just seven players. So what? Well, none of those players are a catcher, second baseman or third baseman. There are bullpen jobs, bench jobs and possibly a starting pitcher or two to find, too. I’m not saying the Phillies will not resign Hamels, but it will not be easy. And it might mean they have to lose talented players elsewhere, something Victorino acknowledged recently.

Stay tuned …

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

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