Myers calls out Hamels: 'I thought you quit'

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hamels-091102.standard[1].jpgPhillies pitcher Cole Hamels dropped a rather shocking quote after pitching poorly in a loss to the Yankees in Game 3, saying he couldn’t “wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. At year’s end, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”

His comments stunned manager Charlie Manuel, who said he “didn’t understand it”, and apparently didn’t sit well with at least one of his teammates, leading to a confrontation after Game 5 (via Yahoo!):

Phillies pitchers Brett Myers and Cole Hamels had a short but tense confrontation in the team’s clubhouse following Game 5 of the World Series, according to one witness, words that stemmed from Hamels’ recent statement that he was eager for his season to end.
As Myers walked past Hamels near Hamels’ locker he said, mocking, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit.”

According to the report, Hamels responded with a word you can’t print in a family baseball blog, and then was led away by a team official before things could get out of hand.

If Myers is willing to call out Hamels in the locker room, you have to wonder if there are others on the team thinking along the same lines. As if the Phillies don’t have enough problems in trying to take two from the Yankees in the Bronx, now they have a potential clubhouse rift.

On top of everything else, if the Phillies manage to take Game 6 behind Pedro Martinez, Hamels is on schedule to start Game 7. Do Manuel and company really want to put a guy out there in that situation who might not be mentally ready to go?

To Hamels’ credit, he clarified his comments on Monday, essentially admitting he was dumb, and that he had lost sleep over the mini-controversy.

“I went to Charlie just to talk to him because that’s who I am, and I think he understands that,” Hamels said. “I just wanted to tell him my true thoughts – that I’ll never ever quit. I want to play this game until somebody takes it away from me.

He’ll never quit. No matter how badly he wants the season to be over. Stay tuned for a potential Game 7. Things could get interesting.

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Former MLB player Andy Marte also killed in car accident

GOODYEAR , AZ - MARCH 06:  Andy Marte #15 of the Cleveland Indians looks on from the dugout during the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Goodyear Ballpark on March 6, 2009 in Goodyear, Arizona. The Brewers defeated the Indians 17-7.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Compounding the tragic news of Yordano Ventura‘s passing is a report that fellow Dominican and former MLB infielder Andy Marte was also killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic early Sunday morning. The report was confirmed by Marte’s agency, J.M.G. Baseball, as well as Marte’s former MLB clubs. No further details have been released so far.

Marte, 33, appeared for the Braves, Indians and Diamondbacks from 2005 through 2014. He was ranked in the top 10 MLB prospects by MLB.com in 2005 and held a career .218/.276/.358 batting line, 21 home runs and a .634 OPS over seven seasons in the majors. He signed with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization after the 2014 season, slashing .312 with 42 home runs in 206 games.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marte’s family and teammates during this terrible time.

Yordano Ventura and Jose Fernandez were two of the most promising arms in MLB

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 3: Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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Baseball lost two incredible pitchers in the last four months, both to horrible and unforeseen tragedies. Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura were among the most talented and promising pitchers in MLB, two young arms that drew both accolades and criticism for their performance on the mound.

Ventura signed with the Royals in 2008, blazing through several tiers of their farm system before he was called up to replace an injured Danny Duffy in late 2013. He secured his rotation spot the following spring and finished a solid 2014 campaign with a 14-10 record, 3.20 ERA and 2.4 fWAR in 32 starts for the club. During the Royals’ World Series run later that year, Ventura dedicated his performance in Game 6 to Cardinals’ prospect Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic just two days earlier.

In four years with the Royals, Ventura pitched to a 38-31 record, 3.89 ERA and 6.5 fWAR. While his command and overall production rate waned, bottoming out in 2016 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.85 SO/BB rate, his dynamic pitch repertoire still kept him front and center in the Royals’ pitching staff. He brandished an electric fastball that, at its lowest point, hovered around 96.6 m.p.h. and, at its best, topped out around 102.6 m.p.h.

Like Ventura, Fernandez made an instant impression in the major league circuit. He earned Rookie of the Year distinctions in 2013 after delivering a 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA and 4.1 fWAR with the Marlins. Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in his sophomore year, he recovered to take on a full workload in 2016 and stunned the league with a 16-8 record, 2.89 ERA, career-high 253 strikeouts and 6.1 fWAR.

Ventura developed a reputation for brushing back hitters, which escalated in some cases to volatile bench-clearing brawls. In 2015, he was ejected for three altercations in three consecutive games and served a seven-game suspension. Halfway through the 2016 season, he earned another eight-game suspension after plunking the Orioles’ Manny Machado in the back with a 99 m.p.h. heater. Some speculated that his aggressive behavior on the mound was excused — or, at least, made more palatable — by his talent and track record, while others called for a more heavy-handed approach from the league.

Fernandez, too, found himself at the center of speculation after reports emerged that painted the 24-year-old as a “clubhouse difficulty,” citing attitude problems that damaged relationships between the pitcher and Marlins players and staff. On the field, he was occasionally chastised for failing to adhere to some of baseball’s unwritten rules, most notably when he showed his elation after hitting his first career home run off of the Braves’ Mike Minor in 2013.

It’s impossible to predict where Fernandez and Ventura’s careers would have taken them. We mourn them not for their actions on the mound or their potential as star pitchers, however, but for their inherent value as people who were loved and respected by their families and teams. Major League Baseball will be worse off for their loss.