Cole Hamels gives Phillies fans a big going-away present

25 Comments

That was probably it for Cole Hamels in a Phillies uniform. Just a nice little no-hitter in his 294th start for the team. A fond memory for fans who will have few others in a dreadful 2015 season.

Some suggested going in that this was the Phillies’ biggest game of the year. The one that determined just how big of a haul they might get in a Hamels trade with the left-hander coming off two of the worst starts of his career. It was an extreme exaggeration; suitors know Hamels’ track record and were only really concerned about whether he was healthy. Even in the lousy outings, there seemed little reason to doubt it.

So, no, Hamels’ performance didn’t do a whole lot for the Phillies, who are well on their way to claiming the first pick in the 2016 MLB draft. But it was a grand send-off, assuming that Hamels doesn’t return to the mound before Friday’s deadline. The only bummer is that the start came in Chicago, not Philadelphia.

Hamels, who struck out 13 in the first career no-no, improved to 6-7 with a 3.64 ERA for the season. He’s just 23-30 since the Phillies started to bottom out in 2013. Even when the Phillies have scored runs these last three years, they haven’t done it with Hamels on the mound. Hamels has turned in 63 quality starts in 83 tries since the beginning of 2013 (only Clayton Kershaw (68), Felix Hernandez (64) and James Shields (64) have more). He actually has more starts in which he’s allowed one or no runs (28) than he does wins during that span.

In a week’s time, Hamels figures to find himself in a Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees or Rangers uniform. Or maybe he’ll join the Cubs team he no-hit today. He’ll depart Philadelphia as one of the franchise’s top five pitchers, and at least now, those last couple of years he spent with the team won’t totally be remembered for all of the doom and gloom.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
7 Comments

Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.