A year after turning the world on its ear and earning the World Series MVP award, Cole Hamels is struggling to get through 2009. In fact, he's so tired of his own poor pitching performances this season that he told reporters, "I can't wait for it to end" after getting knocked around by the Yankees over the weekend. After his team won Game 5 to send the Series back to New York, Hamels seems to have changed his tune and wants to be able to pitch Game 7, if the Phillies make it that far.
"Who wouldn't want the ball in Game 7?" Hamels said after the Phillies kept their season alive with an 8-6 win over the Yankees on Monday night. "This is the ultimate dream to be able to pitch in the most competitive situation anybody could ever be in -- that would be to be in Game 7 of the World Series. Even though I might not have the best results leading up to it, I've always wanted it."
Kudos to Cole for flip-flopping at the right moment; after all, if Hamels doesn't pitch Thursday, who else would? Joe Blanton on three days' rest? Cliff Lee on two days rest? Steve Carlton on 24 years rest? Cole has a chance to be the ultimate redemption story, bringing his team back to the promised land after a miserable year that will be most remembered for terrible TV commercials, and what better place than a pitchers park like Yankee Stadium?
Teammate Brett Myers, however, doesn't have patience for folks who sometimes speak before thinking. Via Tim Brown at Yahoo, here's the post-game scene from the home team clubhouse:
As Myers walked past Hamels near Hamels' locker he said, mocking, "What are you doing here? I thought you quit."
Hamels, the witness said, responded with an expletive.
Before the situation escalated, Myers was guided away by a team official.
Funny, last time I checked, Brett Myers has contributed far less than Hamels this year for the team. Hamels was still a 4 WAR pitcher while Myers actually finished with a negative WAR. The postseason has been none too kind to Hamels so far, but really: the biggest game one pitches is always his most recent. Just ask A.J. Burnett.
Brett Myers may fancy himself a team leader, but a true leader is typically the kind of guy who says positive things no matter how ridiculous they are, like Jimmy Rollins with his wacky predictions.