If you somehow missed it, Cole Hamels reportedly signed a six-year, $144 million contract extension with the Phillies yesterday. This is good.
As I’ve mentioned a few times here, I kind of love Cole Hamels. For one thing, he’s an excellent pitcher — perhaps actually underrated. When you account for his home park, Hamels has been just about as good across his career as Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez, but I feel like his dominance has been buried a little under the Phillies’ frequent acquisitions of more veteran pitchers. Hamels should be considered in the upper echelon of pitchers under 30, up there with the likes of Verlander, Hernandez, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke.
For another, look at him. He’s hilariously silly. And though I revel in collecting and archiving embarrassing photos of the man, the longer I do it, the more I suspect he just doesn’t give a crap what any of us think about his fashion choices and modeling career. At this point, given the popularity of the archive and the frequency with which it has been linked in Philly-based media, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s seen it himself. I’ve been meaning to try to set up an interview to see if he’s a good sport about it.
But though I harbored quiet fantasies of Hamels becoming a Met, it’s probably best he’ll remain a Phillie. Expensive, long-term contracts for starting pitchers rarely work out — though Hamels has youth on his side. Plus now he contributes to the Phillies’ pending payroll jam, for whatever that’s worth.
More than anything, it’s fun for the Mets to have an enemy who works to bring back old-school baseball while wearing capri pants and listening to Lifehouse. I would have enjoyed some short-term schadenfreude if he were traded, knowing that the Phillies were selling parts at the deadline, but I imagine in the long-run I’ll have more fun with a Twi-hard committed to the Mets’ biggest rival.