It seems the name Cole Hamels and the word ‘drama’ have slowly become best friends. Controversy follows him wherever he goes. From sounding off about the Mets being “choak artists” to his African baby adoption aspirations, we never run out of things to talk about. Yesterday, at Phillies practice in Clearwater, many wondered why Cole was not on the field. As it turns out, Hamels had left practice early on Saturday and was absent all day Sunday. Ruben Amaro Jr. told me, “Cole had some personal issues to take care of. But don’t worry, he’ll be back tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow is today and we shall see if he is there. I will give an update on that later.
I also spoke with Charlie Manuel about Chase Utley. Asking if Utley would be ready for Opening Day, Manuel responded, “Yeah, he’ll be ready.” So there you go; straight from the horses mouth. Utley followed the same routine on Sunday as he did on Saturday, still not taking swings during BP, but I understand he has been swinging inside the complex in the cages. Utley was left out of the frontwards / backwards around the bases drills, but did everything else. Good thing too, because Shane Victorino and batting coach, Milt Thompson got into it during the run which ended in Victorino nearly knocking Thompson to the ground by sticking his foot in the path of Thompson’s feet. Everyone had a nice laugh over it. Boys will be boys.
I also listened to Charlie respond to a fan who thanked him for being a “good guy.” Manuel, it seems, does not like the term. In his thick southern drawl, Manuel said, “Hey, don’t start with me with that ‘good guy’ stuff; I don’t like that stuff. I’m serious, if they was giving out awards for some ‘good guy’ thing, well, I don’t want no part of that.” Apparently, he’d prefer to be known as a winner. Mission accomplished.
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