The underlying subplot (well, maybe the plot) of this Phillies season is what will become of Cole Hamels, who will be a free agent at the end of the season and is expected to earn himself one of the (if not the) largest contracts ever given to a pitcher.
The top of that list looks like this:
CC Sabathia: $161 million
Johan Santana: $137 million
Matt Cain: $127 million
CC Sabthia (restructured deal): $122 million
Mike Hampton: $121 million
Cliff Lee: $120 million
As of now, Cole projects to fall somewhere in the $140-$150 million range, with Ken Rosenthal saying he could receive as much as $175 million.
Of course, those numbers could fluctuate wildly depending on the rest of Hamels’ season, his health and other determining factors. As such, we’d like to introduce to you the Cole Hamels Millions Meter, a way to track his future-contract projections. Millions can be added for feats such as shutout streaks, double-digit strikeout games and sweet fist pumps. But, of course, millions can also be subtracted for rough patches (which he’s in right now), blown leads, injuries and passive-aggressive comments.
Since Cole has struggled of late, our first meter reading will start on the low end of the scale, at $140 million.
And what a better way to kick things off than with a detailed account of Hamels' bulging sock routine, which he pulled off (out?) backstage at Shane Victorino’s fashion show last night.
We’ll let an anonymous reader provide more details on what we mentioned earlier:
I saw your recent post on Cole and his "bulge". I'd like to add just a little insight to the story. I was there [backstage]. It seems that Cole thought it would be funny to put a sock UPDATE: water bottle down his pants for the desired effect. He actually pranced around the backstage area beforehand getting laughs, showing off and was pretty proud of himself for “making a funny.” So although you do see what everyone else sees, it is on purpose and also not quite what it seems.
Good Christ. Perhaps the only thing more unmanly than wearing red manpris is “prancing around” in said manpris with a sock stuffed down your crotch.
Unfortunately, this reminds me a lot of my a-bit-too-skinny-to-do-something-like-this friend Ryan from college. For some unknown reason, every time it snowed, he would get drunk and run around his apartment wearing tight thermal pants (you know, the kind you wear under a snowsuit) while carrying a BB gun and yelling things like “I’m fucking crazy!” Yeah, it was pretty weird. I’m not sure if he stuffed his bulge though (I never really cared to look and I don’t recall him tea-bagging me), but I immediately thought of him when I read the above email. Something about skinny white guy in too-tight pants doing an uncomfortable thing. And while that doesn’t say much about Hamels, being secure enough as the most sought-after player in baseball to run around in pseudo public with a sock stuffed inside your red clam diggers says a lot about a man. I’m not sure what, but it says something. Something about not being fake tough. And I think that's good.
Cole Hamels Millions Meter: $142 million.