In the past, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels has had a tendency to leave games without speaking to reporters, usually after a loss where he pitched a great game, yet got no run support. He did it on June 1 after a loss to the New York Mets and did it again on Saturday after the Phillies had their five-game win streak broken in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
In most of these instances, Hamels has every right to be upset. The Phillies’ offense has been notoriously stingy when it comes to scoring runs when he in on the mound going as far back as last season. It’s a problem that would get any pitcher angry because they like nothing less than to see a quality performance go to waste.
But is Hamels walking out after a game and refusing to talk to the media the right way to go? Because the clear implication is that he’s upset with his teammates or manager and doesn’t want to say anything disparaging about them to the press. At least that is the conclusion the fans are going to come to.
The game against the Cardinals might be different, as there was a lot for Hamels to be upset about. The home plate umpire’s strike zone was inconsistent all afternoon and despite the fact the Phillies’ bullpen had been pitching very well as of late and Hamels had already thrown 107 pitches, manager Ryne Sandberg sent him out to pitch the eighth inning anyway.
By the time all was said and done, Hamels lasted only a third of an inning, had thrown 120 pitches and given up the go-ahead run on a Matt Holliday double that scored Matt Carpenter, whom Hamels had just walked.
I probably wouldn’t want to talk to reporters either.
But the real issue is that this is becoming a pattern with Hamels. Justified or not, this isn’t the kind of behavior you want from a member of your ball club who is making as much as Hamels does. He comes off as a petulant child who just wants to take his ball and go home, not an adult who can handle when he has a bad game or things don’t go his way.
There is no doubt that Hamels is a great pitcher who will certainly go down as one of the greatest to ever wear a Phillies uniform. Most consider him the face of the franchise and a clear part of the team’s future, regardless of what happens this year. Maybe Hamels should make more of an effort to act like it.