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Cole Hamels

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April 8, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
A YEAR AGO, Mookie Betts was preparing for his season as a Double A infielder in Portland, Maine. Yesterday, he hit a third-inning home run against Cole Hamels and ran down the few balls hit to him in centerfield. You want to know why the vibe is so different for the Boston Red Sox after a season in which they managed to lose even more games than the Phillies, Mookie is as good a place to start as any. Only 22, Betts was the leadoff hitter in Boston's free-agent-infused Opening Day lineup yesterday, a lineup that has added Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to central figures Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, a lineup that, yesterday at least, included a healthy and mobile Shane Victorino.
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April 8, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
BEFORE HIS FIRST at-bat back at Citizens Bank Park in a different uniform, Shane Victorino got a standing ovation. He tipped his helmet to the Philadelphia faithful, as his former teammates Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz purposely delayed the at-bat for their friend. Before his second at-bat, Victorino made a more meaningful gesture, one that speaks to both his personality and his popularity within the city of Philadelphia. Following the third inning of yesterday's home opener, the Phillies played tribute to late Police Officer Robert Wilson III. Wilson, mortally wounded by armed men attempting a robbery shortly after buying his oldest son a birthday gift, was shown on the video board at the ballpark.
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April 8, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Well, the Boston Red Sox hoped they might win a few games with Cole Hamels on the mound this season, so maybe what took place on opening day at Citizens Bank Park was just one of those cosmic jokes baseball likes to play on its participants. The Red Sox tried to trade for Hamels during the offseason, but the asking price set forth by Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. for the lefthanded starter was apparently too steep. The trade didn't get made, Hamels stayed with the same becalmed ship, and, from the Phillies' point of view, they would still have a chance to look like a major-league team every fifth game.
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April 8, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The pageantry was executed to perfection Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The baseball was not. The sunshine arrived before the gates opened and remained in place the entire day. Game-time temperature was 71 degrees, a welcome respite from a rugged winter. The ceremonial first pitches started with cancer survivor Julie Kramer's strike to Chase Utley (the two first met on The Ellen DeGeneres Show just before Christmas) and ended with another inspirational toss down the middle from Kyle Shanahan, an 8-year-old from Warrington who was born with spina bifida and also has fluid on the brain.
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April 7, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Pat Gillick sat back in his chair and considered the hypothetical dilemma. You can have Cole Hamels on your team for as many as 5 more years, including this season. If you wanted to be able to compete as soon as, say, 2017, would you be in better shape with a 33-year-old Hamels on your roster, atop your rotation, or instead with the possible collection of prospects you might get back for him in a trade? "That's a hard question to answer - and I'm not trying to dodge it," Gillick said.
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April 7, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The conversation has become more lopsided than a first-round women's NCAA tournament game between UConn and whatever poor 16th seed the Huskies happen to draw that year. It's no longer about whether the Phillies should trade Cole Hamels. It's all about when they should trade him, where they should trade him and how much they should get in return. The little hope the Phillies seemed to have when spring training opened six weeks ago dwindled to none as the Grapefruit League games progressed.
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April 6, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
A year ago, David Buchanan was rained out of a chance to pitch in the Phillies' final exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park, a start he was anticipating before departing for triple-A Lehigh Valley. Things have turned around for the 25-year-old righthander since then, to the point that pitching at the Phillies ballpark is now old hat. Instead of being the opening-day starter for the IronPigs, as he was a year ago, Buchanan is firmly in the Phillies rotation, although that may say as much about the team's pitching depth as it does Buchanan.
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April 5, 2015 | BY SHAMUS CLANCY, Daily News Staff Writer clancys@phillynews.com
A LIGHT DRIZZLE and clouds covered Citizens Bank Park yesterday afternoon, much the same way Cole Hamels' future with the organization lies in a murky gray area. An iconic playoff hero of years past, Hamels dominated the rumor mill and Twitter feeds all offseason as a trade chip, as the Phillies have moved further from those deep October runs into full-on rebuilding mode. Hamels yesterday discussed where he saw himself pitching on Opening Day during the winter months when talks swirled of him moving to Boston, Chicago, San Diego or another city.
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April 5, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Few people have been involved in trade rumors more than Cole Hamels, yet on Monday the lefthander will be starting the Phillies' season opener at Citizens Bank Park against the Boston Red Sox. Hamels has seen all the dire projections for the Phillies, picked as the consensus worst team in the NL East, if not the entire National League. During a news conference before Friday's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Phillies returned to Citizens Bank Park, Hamels put on a good face, measuring his words carefully, making sure to project the most positive of images.
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April 4, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The two men spearheading the Phillies' transition from perennial contender to long-term rebuilder face uncertain futures in their current roles. Pat Gillick, 77, is committed through this baseball season but took on the president's role on only a short-term basis. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr., 50, is in the final year of his contract. That makes this an unusual rebuilding project. "Let me put it this way, the general manager, he's been around for a long period of time. I've been around for a long period of time," Gillick said in a recent interview.
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