May 22, 2007
WHO KNEW ADAM EATON HAD IT IN HIM?:
Hamels' changeup separating him from the pack (Jerry Crasnick, May 22, 2007, ESPN)
Cole Hamels was a shy kid growing up in San Diego -- skinny, undersized and content to hang in the background with his buddies. The main exception was the pitcher's mound, where he asserted himself at an early age and embraced the showman within.
"I've always wanted to impress people since I was 9 or 10 years old,'' Hamels said. "When you're in Little League, your mom and dad and grandparents are there and you want to show them what you're all about. Then it's scouts -- or girls. I guess that's the masculine thing, to want to impress people. But I've learned to use it in a good way.''
Hamels is now 23 and in his second season with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the list of admirers keeps growing. It consists of teenage girls, their little brothers and dads, scouts and front-office executives, teammates and local newspaper columnists. Even Howard Eskin at WIP radio has a hard time finding fault with him.
The man upstairs is equally impressed -- and we're not talking about Philadelphia general manager Pat Gillick.
"Every night, when Cole Hamels kneels beside his bed and says his prayers, he's interrupted by God, who breaks in and thanks himself for creating Cole Hamels,'' Phillies starter Adam Eaton said, with only a trace of a smile.
If only Red Smith were around to jot that one down. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 22, 2007 8:13 PM