Cole. We need to talk. You have been my man-crush/baseball-boyfriend since 2007. That was your breakout year statistically and also the year that I fell for you. We’ve had some hiccups. We’ve hit some bumps in the road. But, it was never anything that was a threat to our relationship. This time it is different.
No, Cole. Not this time. And don’t flash that smile. Don’t look at me with those… just so dreamy eyes. What happened Sunday night was too much. You drilled Bryce Harper with a 93mph fastball. He turned and it caught him in the small of the back. It was his first at-bat against you. And you plugged him.
You know I hate that part of the game. The part where machismo overrides anything like common sense and pitchers intentionally throw at batters. Why risk injuring a guy just to put a runner on base? It cannot help the ball club win a game. It’s just mean-spirited and childish. But, we expect it from our men sometimes. That’s not why I have to break things off.
Colbert Michael Hamels! Don’t you try to trick me with your impressive physical capabilities. Don’t treat me like you do those hitters. You know exactly what is wrong. Being interviewed after the game, you admitted that you targeted Harper. While I do not espouse the ideology behind throwing at hitters, I do accept it as a part of the game. One of those “unwritten rules”. Another is that pitchers don’t admit they intentionally hit a batter. Because, if a pitcher is believed, or known, to have hit plunked a batter maliciously, that pitcher gets suspended. So, thanks to your hubristic admission of guilt, you have been suspended 5 games.
And for what? Harper hustled from first to third on a single by Jayson Werth in the next at-bat. Then STOLE HOME on you giving Washington a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Whatever message you meant to send, whether on the part of the team or yourself, you are the one who looked foolish.
It doesn’t matter to me that we won the game. I know that you knuckled down and didn’t give up another run through the remainder of your 8 innings. What matters to me is that you got yourself suspended at a time when the Phillies have been unable to get above .500 with you in the rotation. And now you’ll miss a start. It hurt the ball club. And there was no way it could have helped. That is why I have to break things off. All put together it is just too much.
You’ll be fine. We’ll both move on. I don’t want you to stop pitching for the Phillies. I hope you retire with the team. You are a fantastically talented pitcher and, if possible, you seem to still be improving and honing your skills. I will never forget your well deserved LCS and WS MVP awards from ’08. You were the star of the team’s run to the title. You’ll always be in my heart. But it is time for me to move on.
On that note, if you have a suggestion as to who should be my new man-crush/baseball-boyfriend, please leave a comment!