To the excerpt machine!
But as a writer who covers sports and a lifelong Phillies fan, I wanted to talk baseball, too. At the photo shoot for this story, Heidi was posing for some solo shots while Cole stood off to the side, alone. I wasn’t sure if the guy who seemed ready to strangle me earlier would be in the mood for small talk, especially after a season he’d like to forget. Instead, he couldn’t have been more relaxed. “Our hitting sucked,” he admitted, and if you listened closely, you could hear Phillies fans everywhere reply in unison, “Amen, brother.” Even so, he hoped the team would make bolstering the pitching staff a priority in this off-season — a wish that, with yesterday’s offers to Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo, may go unfulfilled in any meaningful way.
“The energy in the clubhouse changed,” he said. “It used to be all high fives. This season, there weren’t as many high fives. There was a lot of bitterness, pointing fingers — ‘You haven’t played well in a week, why weren’t you in here early?’”
He admitted the Phillies were guilty of putting off the process of rebuilding. “You have to know when to start over,” he said. “Will our fans be happy with that? Probably not. We won’t win 100 games next season. But with another wild card, we can definitely get into the playoffs.”
So, Cole Hamels just basically said what we all knew about the 2013 Phillies– that they couldn’t hit, that doofuses like Delmon Young killed what was once a great clubhouse, and that the front office has no idea what the word “rebuilding” means. I NOD MY HEAD IN AGREEMENT WITH YOU, COLE.