Here’s the thing: Cole isn’t having any fun.
Last season on the mound, Hamels, 30, looked tighter than Matt Stairs at a Wing Bowl championship.
Especially when he got into trouble; or got little offense, which happened sometimes. Okay, which happened a lot. Remember through last season the miserable look on Hamels face? Hell, the wife and I saw that from our Xfinity seats.
You know that look — Cole 1, on the left, and Cole 2, on the right. Maybe what bothers Cole Hamels is not in his arm but in his head.
Which got me to thinking that real-men-pitchers — men like Gibson, Roberts, Sphan, and Ryan — never complained of arm fatigue. They’d take the ball, grit their teeth, drop a few hitters in the dirt, and pitch a complete game. Yes, sir, they were real men.
If that’s what you think, think again.
In 1958, at age 31, that’s exactly what Robin Roberts had, arm fatigue, or so they thought. Roberts, a Michigan State alumnus, recognized as one of baseball’s best pitchers, claimed he never had a “sore arm.”
That’s what we called it back in the day, a sore arm. But something was cutting his effectiveness — in other words he was getting hammered.
It seemed Roberts was right. There was nothing wrong with his arm. The Phillies’ trainers taught him how to relax before games and it made a huge difference in his delivery. From then on he was more relaxed than Tim Tebow taking a knee — and he got hammered less.
It’s questionable how Hamels could have arm fatigue when he hasn’t pitched in five months.
There could be something else bothering Cole Hamels: $144 million over six years — the contract he signed before the start of last season. Unfortunately for Roberts, he never had that problem.
It could be that Cole is the kind of guy who wants to prove to belligerent Phillies’ fans that he’s worth it. Every penny of it. And each time he takes the mound, he takes it personal.
You can see it in his face.
He’s got to stop looking like he’s leading the Bataan Death March.
If the Phillies can’t help Hamel’s relax, I know someone who can — Dr. Yong Xu at the Arch Acupuncture Center in Chinatown, Philadelphia.
Dr. Xu, born in China, comes from six generations of Chinese acupuncturists.
By inserting needles in marked lines in the body, called meridians, Dr. Xu can treat the immune system, injured muscles, and treat anxiety, which is what could be bothering Cole Hamels.
Not a sore arm.