Leading into the All-Star Break, Cole Hamels went on the mound in San Francisco and had – by some metrics – the worst start of his career. Was he just feeling off? Were the Giants just hitting him well? Is he exhausted of pitching for this terrible team? Who knows? Well actually, Pete Mackanin knows:
“There’s a lot going on, and it affected him. But I know he’s much better than that. I mean, who knows, he may be pressing knowing the trading deadline is coming around and there are so many little things that players think about that you can’t control.”
One bad start does about as much damage to Hamels’ trade value as one great one would do good for it – very little – but maybe Mackanin is right. If we all stopped talking about an impending Hamels trade, maybe Cole would stop thinking about it. And if he’s not thinking about it, it won’t mess with his pitching. And then he won’t have any more outings this bad, and it won’t be on the minds of people, so he’ll be so much easier to actually trade. It’s the perfect plan.