Even if you completely disregard what came back in return, the general consensus in this town was that it was Cole Hamels’ time to go. He’s in his prime, sure, but by the time the team is competitive again he’ll be on a down-swing, and right now he can bring back some good young talent to help benefit the Phillies in their rebuild. It’s hard saying goodbye, but sometimes it’s necessary.
The Dallas Morning News, recapping the deal that sends Hollywood down to Cowboy-country, grabbed the hot takes from some local writers. Most of them are on the same page. Bob Brookover said it was time for Hamels to go, Nick Kayal lamented the fact that we didn’t treat Hamels better when he was here, and David Murphy pointed out that Hamels’ value was at an all-time high. All reasonable and realistic takes on the issue. So, let’s look at Marcus Hayes’ take, which of course the Dallas Morning News quoted for its headline:
“HAMELS HAD TO GO, because Papelbon went . . . right?
One must determine the other, correct?
If the Phillies are serious about rebuilding, then they had to move Cole Hamels for surefire prospects . . . didn’t they?
Hamels is the rarest of birds; a franchise cornerstone in his absolute prime, capable of excellence and leadership and impeccable professionalism …
There was no concrete argument to be made for trading Hamels to the Rangers for some prospects.
He was under the Phillies control for the next four seasons, including a team option for 2019.”
Firstly, hey Marcus, always nice to hear from you. Second: No one in the entire world is making the argument that Hamels being traded is related in any way to the Papelbon deal. Thirdly: Yes, it’s nice that Hamels was a franchise centerpiece, but as this point his value to the franchise is in being dealt. Being the centerpiece of a 100-loss franchise doesn’t mean shit.
But Hayes continued, because no one told him to stop:
“He preferred to play the next few seasons with a team more likely than the Phillies to win a World Series, but, frankly, his finest hours came in 2007 and 2008, with Phillies teams that were unlikely to win a World Series.
He expressed no any real displeasure with his circumstance. He has been neither lax in his preparation nor distracted in his performances.”
WHAT? The only reason for dropping 2007 and 2008 here that I can possible imagine is to compare the 2015 Phillies to those teams. The 2015 Phillies are related to the 2008 Phillies in one way only: They play in the same park. The teams could not be more different when it comes to management, skill, or attitude. That argument makes no sense. And “he expressed no any real displeasure with his circumstance.” That doesn’t make any sense grammatically, and yes, he has. He hasn’t thrown a Papelbon-level hissy-fit about it, but over the past two years has said that he’d rather play for a team that he can help win. He got what he wanted, the Phillies got value in return. It’s how it all works. The next time the whole town agrees on something though, Marcus, I look forward to reading your contrarian nonsense.