Phillies 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.