Flashback: I Hate You Cole Hamels, But I also Sort of Love You

Now that the Bryce Harper has joined the Phillies, it gives me another chance to remind you that nothing good has come out of Philly in the last 200 years… Except for this one perfect moment.

Cole Hamels has put me in an awkward position. He’s a Philly – you know, the team whose fans threw batteries at JD Drew for having the class and dignity not to play there and vomit on innocent little girls – so, naturally, as a good-hearted man of integrity and class, I prefer to hate him and his team. Also, I’m a Braves fan – but I don’t think that’s relevant.

One of the more well-behaved Philadelphia sports fans

Recently, however, Hamels has done something that instantly made me think he’s bound for better places than Philly. Here’s the story – Cole Hamels threw a pitch and Bryce Harper. The Nationals retaliated and plunked Hamels. After the game, Hamels said:

”I was trying to hit him,” the two-time All-Star lefty said Sunday night. ”I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.”

That’s what I’m talking about! He did it, he’s not unashamed of it and he didn’t whine about the retaliation. In fact, he said he respected it. Cole Hamels gets it. He gets the game – the history of the game. Hamels goes on to be more awesome than most everyone else talking about the incident:

”That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it,” Hamels said. ”I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is.

”But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball,” Hamels added.

What people should also know is that Bryce Harper is kind of a punk.

I cannot tell you the number of hits that I get daily that deal with searches like: “Bryce

Frontrunner for The Mayor of Philadelphia

Harper’s teammates hate him”, or “Bryce Harper won’t sign autographs”, or “Why is Bryce Harper such a dick?”. Where there is smoke there is certainly fire, and this guy has rubbed a whole host of people the wrong way.

If Cole Hamels wants to man up and:

– preserve the prestigious history of baseball
– make a statement to a rookie about his place in the pecking order
– demonstrate zero tolerance for (potential) boyish disrespect of a man’s house

…then he has earned my respect.

And now that the Bryce Harper has joined the Phillies, it gives me another chance to remind you that nothing good has come out of Philly in the last 200 years.