Everyone with an ounce of baseball knowledge knows that the Phillies will likely not compete for a shot at the postseason in 2015. Cole Hamels knows this as well, and expressed his desire to win in an interview with USA TODAY last Wednesday.
However, Hamels took a different approach earlier today and expressed his love for the “City of Brotherly Love.”
“I’ve made my home in Philadelphia since the beginning,” said Hamels. “This is where I’m fully committed.”
Hamels also knows what his job is as long as he’s in a Phillies uniform.
DAVID SWANSON — AP
“My job is to be accountable for what the expectations that are put on me,” said Hamels. “I only have one direction and one position, and that’s to be able to go pitch and go win ballgames. That’s all I can really do.”
Hamels has certainly done that over the course of his nine-year career. In 274 starts, Hamels is 108-83, with a 3.27 ERA and 1,707 strikeouts in 1,801.1 innings pitched.
Those numbers have made Hamels one of the best left-handed pitchers in MLB, and has been the center of trade talks the entire offseason. By now, Hamels should have been traded, but Ruben Amaro Jr. has not found a deal to his liking. Some may argue that the Phillies’ price tag for the former World Series MVP is too high, but the Phillies need to make sure they get the right pieces in return for a deal involving Hamels.
In short, Amaro and the Phillies cannot afford to screw this up.
As long as he’s here, Hamels is fully committed to the Phillies.
“I think you guys have seen how I play, the type of character that I have when I step out onto the field,” said Hamels. “Go out there and be the best that you can, because at some point it’s all going to end. So you at least want to know that you left everything out on the field.”
With his comments from last Wednesday surely fresh in his mind, Hamels said what every athlete would say in his position; he needs to do his job, no matter the team he’s playing for.
“At this given moment, I’m a Phillie,” Hamels said. “All I can do is get ready for the season. No matter the name on my chest, I have a job to do and I have to be accountable for it.”
Hamels is well aware of the Phillies’ plans to rebuild the team in order to become a contender again. He also realizes that there is nothing he can do, but go out there every fifth day and pitch.
“An organization, they have a bigger picture that they have to worry about,” said Hamels. “As a player, we really have to take the straight-and-narrow approach. We have a job to do, people are counting on us. I’m just one piece of the puzzle, and as long as I can go out and do what they expect, then I’m fulfilling my end of the bargain.”
As things stand right now, Hamels is the Phillies’ opening day starter. Until then, he plans to approach this spring training like any other, even though the Phillies are not expected to make a run at the postseason.