We can’t know what Cole Hamels is thinking. Right now, it’s probably that mountain of dishes he left in the sink this morning. Hope Heidi doesn’t see those! Damn it. She will, though. She sees everything.
But when it comes to his contract, we can’t know a whole lot about what’s happening inside Cole’s head, unless he tells us what’s up. But even then, history has taught us–everybody, really–that what is said in the midst of baseball negotiations is a very, very far away thing from what is done.
Cole has been playing in Philly for about a decade, which he recently admitted was “kind of nice.” This is reflected in his announced desire to focus on playing ball this season and not on his seemingly impending long term extension with the Phillies. As opposed to all those athletes you know of who have told the press that they fully intend to let the intricacies of an influential contractual negotiation distract, frustrate, and and infuriate them throughout the season, in a way that inadvertently and purposefully changes their actions on the field.
Does Cole want to stay? ESPN says that yes, he does. Cole, however, says things like
“I’ve just been very fortunate to be a part of it. And it’s also something where I don’t know any better.”
“It’s a great organization to play for and I’d love to be a part of it.”
“That’s ultimately the big picture, to stay healthy, go out, play and help your team. That’s kind of where I’m at right now, to go out there and do it.”
Speaking of the past, not ruling out the Phillies entirely, and repeating a personal mantra are hardly guarantees, promises, or desires. I’m sure Cole isn’t against playing for the Phillies. Even from an objective standpoint, they’re a hot place to be right now. And I obviously want him to stay. And I want him to want to stay. There’s no novelty in having only two aces. I mean, what are we? Some kind of regular, two-aced rotation with a weak offense? You better believe we’re not yet. And we don’t want to be.
But it might be a bit of a stretch to say that Cole “…expects to finish his career in red pinstripes.” I think he expects to get paid. And he deserves to and he will be.
Hopefully it’s by the Phanatic, wearing a business suit and handing him a briefcase that he thinks is full of money but actually contains a confetti bomb. And he opens it at a press conference and it explodes everywhere and the Phanatic sticks his tongue out and Cole laughs and Ruben laughs and the press laughs and we win the World Series so many times.