Is there anything more emasculating than being caught by network television cameras driving a mini-van? Kind of takes a little bit of the cool-factor out of your new multi-million dollar condo when you look like a soccer mom leaving it. But Cole Hamels swears he didn't mind when cameras anxious to chronicle his trip to the doctor's office in Philadelphia caught him yesterday. The mini-van is his wife's, and apparently there is a sticker on the back that says, "Woof."
"It's my wife's transportation," Hamels said. "I told her, I'm driving this mini van and I'm so embarassed right now. But at the same time, it gets me from point A to point B. Cars were cool in high school. You wanted to have the cool car. Now I'm like, whatever. If it gets me from here, that's all that matters."
As for the elbow problem that sent him to the doctor? Hamels said it's all good. While he acknowledged that pitching coach Rich Dubee might be correct in his labelling of an Opening Day start a "long shot," Hamels insisted there is no reason for concern about a more significant injury down the road.
"I think that's the main focus is be ready by Oepning Day," Hamels said. "Initially I want to pitch Opening Day but if it doesn't fall that way, I know we have a guy who definitely wants to win that first game. And I think he's definitley qualified to do so. So if that bumps me to a different day, I'll just go on there and pitch then. My ultimate goal is to pitch 34 starts, and I'd like to be as healthy as I possibly can to pitch all those. Being able to pitch the first one and not feel good the next couple is not going to benefit the team."
Oh, and Hamels hates MRI machines.
"I did not want to go in the MRI machine beacuse it is the most painful experience I think anybody has ever had to do," he said. "I'm not claustrophobic, but when you have to lay on your shoulder for a half an hour and it falls asleep, it's not fun. I tried to talk him out of going there because I knew I did not have anything serious, but I think it's always best to do everything fully just so there is no ifs ands or buts."