PN Interview

The Phillies Nation Interview: Cole Hamels

Ace. National League Championship Series most valuable player. World Series most valuable player. Center City resident. Cali kid. Entrepreneur. Celebrity. There isn’t much Cole Hamels isn’t, so we at Phillies Nation wanted to find out what else Hamels was about.

We asked Cole some questions, and he answered them. Here is the interview, and be sure to check out www.colehamels.com for more about our ace left-hander.

***

PN: Okay, no baiting: Seriously, how do you feel about the New York Mets?

Hamels: The Mets are a good organization with really talented players and finally, a new stadium. It makes the game better when you have two really good teams playing each other with great fans watching. Philly fans are the best. I can’t wait for this year’s games against them. Baseball needs rivalries.

PN: Chipper Jones recently said the back and forth between Phils and Mets players (citing you) was childish. What’s your take?

Hamels: Chipper Jones is a great baseball player. I have a lot of respect for him, and he can say anything he wants.

PN: So you want to win 20 games. And a Cy Young. And pitch a no-hitter. Those are the three things left, right? Which is most likely this season?

Hamels: I would like to win 20 games. With that Cy Youngs come and no-hitters just happen.

PN: Were you even a little nervous pitching the clinching game of the World Series?

Hamels: I wasn’t nervous to pitch game five because I still knew that we had three games to win the World Series. It makes it easier to put games in that perspective even though I wanted to win it when I pitched.

PN: Do you have individual pitching goals for 2009? Working on any individual pitches more than others? Working on any new pitches?

Hamels: Most of my new goals always start with me being able to pitch every possible start and to amass 200-plus innings. You can’t affect your wins because it has to be the team that … scores the runs, but if I can keep my ERA below 3.50 you’re doing something right.

PN: Some of your critiques have said the curveball isn’t as strong. Do you think that’s true? How confident are you in your curve?

Hamels: My curveball sucks. I’m still trying to prefect it. I think it might take my entire career to figure it out, but I will always keep trying.

PN: Jamie Moyer has always had success against the Marlins and teams that are usually younger and more aggressive. Is that true for you? Does it seem hitters have a harder time beating you when they barely see you, or are younger (such as the Rays)?

Hamels: I believe it is true that you will have success more often than not against a team that hasn’t seen you, vs. teams that have. With slowing down the game — a.k.a. the change up — you will be able to have success against aggressive hitters.

PN: Tell us about the Cole Hamels Foundation.

Hamels: First it’s the Hamels Foundation, because my wife is the biggest part of it. The foundation is dedicated to instilling a community-based approach in education based on providing assistance to inner-city schools in the United States, including but not limited to providing stimulating learning environments, educational programs, as well as provisions. As kindred spirits our global commitment extends to the awareness and elimination of HIV/AIDS through women’s empowerment and education in Malawi, one of the poorest and most impoverished nations. Critical intervention with orphaned children to break the cycle of disease and poverty in which they have been too long trapped is our primary intent. I hope that helps explain it.

PN: Pat Burrell was partial to the Irish Pub, but where will you hang out now that you’re living in Center City?

Hamels: Whoever has the coldest and best-tasting beer!

Here are some questions the Nation posed to Cole, and his answers:

Out of all the games you pitched in the 2008 regular season, is there one that stands out or that you really cherish?
— Manny

Hamels: The one game that stands out the most is the game against Atlanta where I gave up 9 runs in the 4th inning. I didn’t act myself and therefore wasn’t able to get out of the inning, almost causing us to lose (we scored nine in the bottom of the fourth). I look at failure as your best way to judge yourself, and how you prepared and performed.

One of the challenges of being the ace is that you tend to face off against the other team’s strongest pitcher, as well. Is that going to hurt your goal to make 20 wins?
— Kieran

Hamels: I think when you’re able to pitch against the best the other team has to offer you really find out how good you are. You cant let your guard down, making you play better. I like the challenge, and when I win 20 it will be worth it!

***

Thanks to Cole for taking the time to answer our questions.

35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. JohnKruksLoveChild

    March 4, 2009 at 10:19 am

    So sweet you landed this interview, was wondering when it was going to get posted ! Considering how many interviews he gets pelted with, really cool that he took the time for this. Great pitcher and a stand-up guy, baseball needs more players like this !

  2. Phan in TN

    March 4, 2009 at 10:20 am

    nice interview there. very nice

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  4. MA Phanatic

    March 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I think this is the year Hamels gets his 20 wins. He has pitched well enough to past few years, but he seems to get little run support often when pitching. I think this is the year for him. Oh and a no-hitter would be sweeeet.

  5. Manny

    March 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    This is great! It’s awesome that he answered my question, thanks for that Tim. Really interesting person: despite all his success in 08, the game vs the Braves is the one that stands out the most for him. You can tell he’s a perfectionist and very down to earth.

    I also liked this part: “My curveball sucks. I’m still trying to prefect it. I think it might take my entire career to figure it out, but I will always keep trying.”

  6. Kevin

    March 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Good job guys. Excellent interview. I’ll throw up a link on my site right away for this!

  7. Mark

    March 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

    They guy was the MVP of the WS and the first question you ask is about the METS?!?!? Get over it man. The city just won its first championship in 20 years, why focus on the Mets still? Rollins in spring training then Utley mentions them at the Parade get over it… Obessed much?

  8. Brian Michael

    March 4, 2009 at 11:00 am

    The questions weren’t asked in this order, mr. jumps to conclusions.

  9. Chutley

    March 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Tim did you get to talk with him or was it done by email or what?

  10. Manny

    March 4, 2009 at 11:09 am

    If Hamels actually articulated that whole paragraph on the Hamels Foundation, then he’s one eloquent young man.

  11. Georgie

    March 4, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I love that our ace is not only a fantastic pitcher but also cares about humanity and helping those who can really use it, props to both he and his wife for their compassion and generosity.

    Also impressive that he says his curveball “sucks”, and his most memorable game was the one outing where he sucked, admitted it, and wants to improve on it. Great interview, PN, can’t wait for the season to start.

  12. Chuck P

    March 4, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Good insight into the mindset of our ace…

  13. Albert

    March 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I love this guy, class act. I think when his career is all said and done, we will look back on him with the likes of Schmidt and Carlton. Keep it up Cole, hope you stick it to those “choke artists” this year!

  14. NEPA

    March 4, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Great interview. I have a tough time believing his most memorable game isn’t the opening game or clinching game of the WS, but if it really is that Braves game then this guy is a serious perfectionist.

    Hopefully he keeps working on that Curve, but as long as he’s got that Change he’ll be a force.

  15. Tim Malcolm

    March 4, 2009 at 11:30 am

    The Mets question was my first, because we presented the Qs just after the whole “choke artists” thing. And I like getting stupid fodder questions out of the way first in interviews.

  16. Manny

    March 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    NEPA, remember the question asks for REGULAR SEASON games only… so all postseason games are not an option.

  17. NEPA

    March 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Oh, my bad Manny. Didn’t see that, that’s a lot more realistic then.

  18. Chuck P

    March 4, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Manny (Ramirez, that is) got 2 years, $45 million to stay with LAD.

    He’s arguably the best hitter in baseball… but that is going to end badly. He didn’t get what he wanted, nor what he deserved. There are less deserving players out there making more money and he’s eventually going to realize that and revert into the Manny we saw at the tail end of his BOS years. I love watching him hit and would be ecstatic if he was playing LF in Philadelphia, but with a pretty good indication that he’s not getting what he wants (he lost a ton of money by listening to Bor-AS$), it’s a huge risk.

  19. James Kay

    March 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Very insightful interview. I thought all left handed pitchers were supposed to be spaced out. Hammel’s baseball head is firmly screwed on. It will have to be in ’09 since he will probably have a bulls eye drawn on his back by the rest of the major league teams. He may even eventually approach the level of a Whitey Ford given his style of stuff. As a comment for the Hammels Foundation question and answer, I advise Cole to go find a new wife and start making more of his own kids and problems.

  20. Manny

    March 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

    That Braves game was the one where he tried to throw the ball to second base and it ended up in center field… I have that moment ingrained in my mind.

  21. Mark

    March 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    What a guy.

  22. ryan

    March 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    i love the fact that what stands out the most to him is his worst starts. instead of relishing in his success, which most guys his age that have had his level of accomplishment most certainly would, he focuses on his mistakes and on how to eliminate them. all the great ones have that

  23. nick

    March 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    great interview guys Kid Cole is the man and WFC!!! I post the link to this post on phillysportspride

  24. Ryan S

    March 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Great Interview, Tim.

    Have you ever thought about interviewing one of the younger prospects (Mayberry, Carrasco, Happ, etc.)? I’d love to get to know them better.

  25. Jay Ballz

    March 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Good get, Phillies Nation. Keep up the good work!

  26. vendor71

    March 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Mayberry might be a nice get right now…He hit another bomb down here today against Canada. I think he wants to sit at the adults table.

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  28. Joe

    March 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Cole Hamels sounds like his b alls haven’t dropped yet. He sounds like my 10 year old girl cousin.

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  30. Class Act?

    March 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Saw Cole yesterday while waiting in line to buy a burrito. He refused to sign an autograph. I’m not saying he’s the second coming of Ty Cobb, but class act? He did sign a bunch of autographs at the game on Saturday and I understand the general rule of thumb about talking to someone like that while they’re eating (even though he was just standing there at the time), but I wouldn’t say he’s exceptionally classy. (Side note: I have met Jimmy Rollins, Brad Lidge, Larry Anderson, Hugh Douglas, Ron Hextall, Gary Maddox, Matt Geiger, etc… over the years. Now those guys are cool).

  31. Geoff

    March 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    People in general dont like to be bothered while theyre eating…so thats no surprise. When I see thosej guys in a non-autograph setting I never ask for their autograph, I think its rude. Some guys are cool and will still do it but when theyre out and about and you run into them at the mall or at a club or something I usually wont ask for an autograph, Ill just say whats up and say good game or something to that effect. They tend to appreciate it more than when someone ambushes them while theyre trying to eat….

    anyways, thats just my experience. Ron Hextall is mad cool though (all time favorite Flyer for me. That guy was Phialdelphia through and through). Biggest dickhead athlete Ive ever met was Eric Lindros. Rich Tocchet was really cool, I ran into him a few times. Once was at a car dealership back when he had a huge mullet.

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