Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hamels' charmed life drilled by line drive

By all accounts, Cole Hamels is living the life.

The Phillies 6-foot-3 lefty was named World Series MVP last fall and since, then it's been a whirlwind of public appearances.

He also signed a 3-year, $20.5 million deal in January, some three years after marrying former Survivor legend Heidi Strobel, who along with Jenna Morasca, made a splash by taking off their clothes for some Oreos and Peanut Butter. Oh, yeah, that Heidi.

But things have been anything but paradise for Hamels this season. It started in spring training, when elbow soreness and inflammation required a cortisone shot on March 17 and cost him an opening day start.

Then, Hamels was rocked in his first two starts, leaving him with an 11.17 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. Thanks, a lot, fantasy owners grumbled, desperately trying to be patient with Hamels, who logged over 260 pitches in the Phillies' World Series run.

Then, came Thursday's outing in Milwaukee. Hamels was starting to look like Hamels again and fantasy owners were breathing a sigh of relief. Their third-round pick was not turning into a bust. Hamels breezed through the first three innings, striking out 6 of the first 9 batters he faced before giving up a 2-run HR to Milwaukee's Ryan Braun. No biggie.

Then, on the next pitch, Prince Fielders smacked a line drive that hit Hamels' left shoulder. Hamels doubled over and was immediately pulled from the game. All the team is saying is it's a shoulder contusion. As their Phillies announcers aptly put it, "Why don't they just say he was hit in the shoulder and is really sore and is going to ice and it and we'll see what happens."

Essentially, that's what a contusion can be translated as.

Good news for Hamels, is he's playing at home, so maybe he can get Heidi to help him ice it.

For those of you who don't know their story, Heidi and Cole met at a Clearwater Phillies game in 2004. Heidi was throwing out the first pitch and signing autographs, fulfilling her post-Survivor contract of traveling to 30-some baseball parks. The mild-mannered Cole, still a relatively unknown pitching prospect, got in line to get her autograph and asked her out.

Heidi had just moved back to Missouri from L.A. and jokingly told him, "unless you plan on flying to Missouri to take me out."

Two weeks later, Cole flew to Missouri for their first date and less than 3 years later, the couple married on New Year's Eve, 2006.

Their latest endeavor is to adopt an Aids orphan in Africa and possibly build a girls school in Malawi.


Anonymous said...

I would take Scott Podsednik's wife over Heidi. Ding!

Creed Bratton said...

Can you post some photo's on Anna Benson too. Thanks!