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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Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.