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Monday, March 03, 2008

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Memo to Cole Hamels: stay healthy for a full season and then we'll talk.
Until then, shut up and be happy that you got a raise.

I think Hamels has every right to gripe. He's the Phillies Ace and they are not even paying him No Hit Nunez money. Boo to the Phillies. In the grand scheme of things, what's a couple of hundred thousand dollars? Nothing. Pay him the money.

I want to repost ae's post from the last thread here beacuse I think it's a very sensible take on this issue:

"I agree that the Phillies' insistence on following slot is hurting them as a team. but I don't think their actions with Hamels this year or with Howard last year are in any way out of the ordinary for a baseball team to operate.

breaking slot gives you a tangible, measurable benefit - better young players. paying a second-year player more money doesn't give you any benefit at all except some theoretical good will on the player's part. but I don't see that getting you anywhere as a team. I don't think there's any reason to believe that Howard would have gone easy on the franchise in arbitration if only the Phillies had given him $950k or $999k last year instead of $900.

Posted by: ae | Monday, March 03, 2008 at 08:11 AM

Great. Just great.

Granted, it's way too early to predict with even an iota of certainty how this will impact his future with the club, but it's starting to look like another young (and very good) player is living on borrowed time within the organization.

"He's the Phillies Ace and they are not even paying him No Hit Nunez money."

LF, you can't look at it this way, it's all about service time.

You can gripe about "the system", but that system also rewarded Hamels with $2M dollars out of high school. So basically, before the guy had ever thrown a professional pitch, the Phillies provided him financial security for the rest of his life.

The trade off for that is a few years of indentured servitude, collectively bargained by a union not exactly known for being soft.

If he has a problem he should talk to Tom Glavine and Donlad Fehr, not the Phillies.

i think he is being a whiny bitch and disrespecting both the team and the system that the players union wanted put in place. he is getting more money then all his comparables, including Wang last year (so no argument can be made about the time difference) from the yankees, who we all know have more money than bonds has had steroids.

Does anyone know how much Cole received as a signing bonus for benig a #1 draft pick? I assume it was at least $1MM.

* benig = being

Maybe they would have offered him that extra $250K if they didn't have to spend that money on a team of chiropractors and doctors employed just to cater to Hamels needs.

UD, $2M according to Cot's.

kdon, I understand your point, however, his past earnings including signing bonus, should have nothing to do with what he deserves to get paid now. The Phillies are worried about pinching nickels to avoid big future bucks. We need a happy contented Hamels, not an angry head case Hamels.

Or maybe we need a pissed off Hamels, who feels he needs to prove himself every day.

Unless he is going to pull a Derrick Bell ("Operation Shut Down") and cost himself millions of dollars, this won't even begin to effect the Phillies for 4 years.

Is this the same guy complaining that wore a long sleeve t-shirt in 85 degree weather in his first playoff game and lost?

I read where Shane Victorino signed a split contract for 2008. What's a split contract?

Let's boo him out of town...that always works!!!!

Hamels can always quote what his stable mate Eaton Crap said recently: "everyone is not worth what they're getting paid."

LF,

It means he gets paid less if he is sent to the minors. I think it's somewhere around 280K, as opposed to the 460K he gets in the majors.

It's pretty common for players of his service time. Hamels has one too.

Cole is about to see what happens when a Philly-based player ticks off the entire fan base. Perhaps he should ask Pat Burrell for some pointers on how to perform with the "home town degree of difficulty." He'd be best served to shut up and pitch.

Oh, and clean up those damn grass clippings!!

Alby, ae, clout - I'm on board with the unwillingness to pay draft picks over slot. I understand that Workman is looking good. (My fear is that in 3 years the Braves will draft him and two years later, he'll destroy us.) Maybe, if Sampson shows some stuff, they'll change how they view paying over slot.

By the way, I know others have, but I want to thank Billy Mac for the on-going eyewitness accounts. Very nice side benefit of the beerleaguer experience. (Gosh, I sound like a HS cheerleading coach.)

In re: Cole
Part of me wants to say, "Shut up and pitch."
Another part of me looks at how the FO has handled communication and relationships with players (at least as far as what's been reported) and wonder if they are not partially at fault.

'course, apart from morale, if Hamels is distressed about his pay, it won't come back to bite them any time soon. But they may have to be ready to trade him away for a Gomez-Guerra type package the year before he walks.

(Of course, given Phils' history, it might be more of a Sanchez-Monasterios type package.)

I don't understand all the vitriol against Hamels in this thread. You may or may not agree that $500,000 is a fair salary, but why these comments?

Willard says: "Cole is about to see what happens when a Philly-based player ticks off the entire fan base." Why are you ticked off?

Tony says: "i think he is being a whiny bitch." Very articulate.

Crazy Jon: "stay healthy for a full season and then we'll talk. Until then, shut up and be happy that you got a raise." Jon, he had a better season than any of the "healthy" Phillies starters, or those of other teams for that matter.

kdon wrote: "Or maybe we need a pissed off Hamels, who feels he needs to prove himself every day." Oh, the happy Hamels pitched poorly?

Why the anger at Hamels? I don't understand it.


And we wonder why ticket prices go up every year and teams sell naming rights for everything under the sun (ex. Wrigley Field!)... the past few years has begun to set a precident for player getting greedy earlier and earlier in their careers. Where's the breaking point?

Thanks for re-posting that, clout. Good stuff, ae.

Hamels is immature; I think we've all learned that by now. Given his history, and the nature of most players, he'll likely sign a long-term deal, should one be offered (no telling with this ownership!). 2012 is a long time to wait for that security -- for any pitcher, and definitely one who has already had injury issues.

Why the anger against Cole Hamels?

Because he should shut his mouth and pitch. He's getting paid fairly for both his service time and his performance. There is NO way to argue the money he is making is a low blow.

Yet, there's arrogant Cole Hamels making a story out of it when everyone should be focused on winning the World Series. The guy hasn't been healthy for an entire season and he's bitching about an extra $250K he thinks he deserved. I suppose the $3M+ he's made so far just ain't enough to live on.

I have no sympathy for Cole Hamels. Shut up and pitch. Maybe we should have paid him based on yesterday's performance. How much would he have made then?

Next topic... looks like Lohse is willing to settle for 1 year and just a few million dollars! I think it's time to "buy low"

After Eaton's thrilling start, Gaze, I agree.

Phils leading B game 1-0 in the 4th. Moyer still pitching. Cervenak with Homerun. Golson with single.

Moyer with 4 shutout innings.

Okay. It's time to ask the question: did Golson get PtB Lasik Surgery over the Winter? Cripes, I know he's facing minor leaguers and journeymen. But that's what he was seeing when he amassed 173 Ks last year. So what gives? Coincidence, or is it real?

Blackley in for Phils. Just picked off runner - nice move.

So wait, what's the deal with these B games?

1-0 after 5. Blackley out for his second inning. Fastball 84-86 and lots of sinkers.

My first instinct -- as it always is -- was to blame management for Hamels' anger. Upon further consideration, his anger (if any) should be directed at a system which gives players no bargaining power within the first 3 years of their career. Of course, as kdon points out, this same system allowed Hamels to get a $2M signing bonus before he ever played a minor league game, & it will eventually allow him to sign an enormous contract, where he will very likely get paid $18 to $20M per year well past the time when he is still a top pitcher.

By the way, if Hamels is ever going to become the ace pitcher that everyone thinks he can become, he's going to need to learn to pitch in day games. His change up is a lot easier to pick up in daylight & it shows up in his day-night splits. I suspect his day game problems have at least something to do with why he always pitches so poorly in spring training.

- Hammels making an extra $250K is not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things for the Phillies payroll. I am always the first one to rip the Front Office, but Cole seems to have a lot to complain about for a player who is about to begin his second full year. It's not like Ryno bitchd like a little girl after spending many more years in the minors, winning lots of hardware, and playing every day. He just shut up and let his performance speak volumes until he got his due. My advice: Hey Cole, shut up and take a page out of that book!

- According to yesterday's thread, it was stated that the Phillies were 23'rd in MLB profits last year, but were 11'th in attendance. Maybe they should save a few bucks on idiotic give-a-way's, and use that money to sign some quality players, either as free agents or minor league prospects. Those lame bobble heads and all of the other crap they hand out become less and less meaningful, and how many fans really line-up at the windows to get their hands on that crap?

- Are they really going to allow Eaton to be starter #5? I swear that I will refuse to even watch or listen to any game he participates in this year. The damage he does to just the bullpen is beyond the imagination. Lohse is still available, and although I know he is not the second coming, I thought he did a nice enough job last year to get an invite back for a reasonable price. Write off Eaton now and be done with it...

We should have paid Hamels the extra 200K or so. Paying Howard an extra 600K last year bought us some good will with him, which translated into him signing a LT contract with us similar to Utley's... oh wait.

As it's been said above, shut the F up and pitch. You're already a millionaire and will be making many more in the future. This is the system. You play baseball. You're not owed anything.

And as I've said about Howard, we have Hamels for many more years no matter what. Probably for most of his prime. If he wants to be a bitter that entire time, fine. But he still needs to go out and be successful every fifth day if he wants to get paid.

Mr. Mack-
I'm guilty! I'm a fan of the bobble head nights, but not much else. My American Red Cross Cole Hamels Bobble head is on my desk right next to me and I bought tickets for Jimmy Rollins MVP Bobble Head night this year... the ones they need to do away with are all those lame hat nights and cheesy visors and magnets and posters.

LF - the anger at hamels is a result of the perception that he is being greedy and demanding and not willing to put the team first. I am also remembering his staunch unwillingness to even consider pitching out of the bullpen if the team found itself with a case of extreme need in the playoffs. That combined with his demand of a chiropractor, his disrespect by saying something of this nature to the media as opposed to the people in charge and his seeming disregard for the process with which all young players must pass, regardless of talent. Furthermore, he left a better offer with incentives on the table by choosing to be greedy and expressing a false sense of entitlement. I do not feel he is mature enough to handle his amazingly high level of talent and be a team player, my opinion, like it or not. And lastly, I'm sorry *sarcasm* if my previous post lacked my usual eloquence as it is difficult to read and post during brief breaks between lecture hours while trying to sit through med school classes and felt like posting my initial guttural reaction.

Hey BAP -

I think maybe it has to do with his Playmate wife keeping him up a little late at night. Rumor has it that he performs better at night than during the day.

I have to say agree with ae and Clout. If you wanna bash the management for being cheap, do it for not signing talented prospects about slot and getting them into our system. We lose those guys to other teams by not paying above slot.

Howard and Hamels are already in our control through 2011 and 2012 respectively. There has been absolutely NO evidence that what you pay them in these circumstances has any impact on getting a long-term deal done. Until I see some of this evidence , I'll stick to my belief that these situations will have no effect on actual on-field results. Good point that Hamels already has 2 mill in the bank from when he was 18 years old and had never pitched a pro inning. This is the way the system works: the team pays them cheaply, the players complain about it for a few days, and everyone moves on. Once real baseball gets played, this is a non-story.

3 scoreless for Blackley. Phils win 7 inning B game 1-0. Only 3 hits for the Phils.

An example of treating a player well today not paying off in the future is Randy Wolf. The Phillies treated him fairly, he rehabbed his arm on the Phillies dime, but then took his services elsewhere. Two years in a row he rejected the Phillies (better) offers and chose to play in S. California. My guess is no matter how we pay Hamels, he is likely to want to go home to S. California when he has the chance as well.

Andy: Golson has not even been facing good minor leaguers. Tha last 2 guys he got hits off were 30-something journeymen. Let's see him get a hit off a major league pitcher or top prospect before we get excited, not that ST stats have any value.

blackley has looked good so far, we don't hear much about him though

Lake Fred: I think the lack of love for Hamels is because Pedro Feliz and J.D. Durbin are so gushingly loved on this board that there isn't enough love left for Cole.

Howard was noticeable miffed last year but at least took the high road.

Cole let his emotions get the best of him which hopefully could be attributed to the age gap between him and Ryan.

We all feel we are underpaid but are not better off by making it public.

I believe it could also be the slap of not being the opening day starter and then not getting a little extra coin in this process that got the best of him.

We have much more to be critical of then our high maintenance, greatest left-handed weapon since the original LEFTY himself.

I don't feel I'm underpaid.

if, as Olney reported today, Lohse is really willing to sign for 1 year in the $4-10M range, it would be borderline criminal for the Phillies not to sign him, no matter what their salary cap looks like at the moment.

Tony: Blackley is a lefthanded finesse pitcher, of whom there are approximately 1, 873 in the minor leagues. His fastball tops out around 88-89 and he throws a curve, but he lives or dies with a great changeup. He must place his pitches precisely (a la Moyer) to win. If he can master command of his pitches he will be a successful major league pitcher. This happens with about 2% of all finesse lefties.

clout: I don't disagree with you about Golson but, regardless of how weak the opposition may be, I'd rather see him hitting well than not hitting well. And he has hit a couple of homeruns, which makes me think (hope?) that maybe he's starting to develop some of that power he was supposed to have.

BTW, I loved Golson's comment in today's paper, where he said that his problem last year was that he was trying too hard not to strike out. He struck out 173 times last year.

Phils lineup for 105

Vic cf
Bruntlett ss
Utley 2b
Howard dh
Burrell lf
Jenkins rf
Feliz 3b
Helms 1b
Jaramillo c
Savery p

Clout - thanks, but i meant in respect to the 5th starter competition, he usually gets left out of the discussion in favor of benson and the durbins, i can see why because they have ML experience, but blackley is a rule 5 so he has to go back (maybe) if we don't take him north

60 posts on this, and the union was only mentioned twice?!? Someone's union rep didn't do their job. No doubt Cole's going to get a phone call from Tom Glavine tomorrow. It's a closed shop union, people. You might have won National Teacher of the Year in your second year of teaching. But, at least in Pennsylvania, you're still making whatever "the grid" tells you you're going to make. Cole's just a little confused. If it's a question of money, he should go out and do all the things he said he would do this year. Then he can get some money making commercials with Jared at Subway.

If keeping Hamels in the future is a top priority (and that's a big if), you can understand why the FO took a hard line on Howard. They know Hamels is going to want $15 million per year down the line. If the Phils want him, they better start getting prepared now for it. You can bet some other team - the Angels would be my best guess - is planning to hoard money for a Zitoesque contract.

Tony, I understand your argument. About being articulate, I catch the same kind of grief from my college freshman daughter when I use phrases like "I ain't gonna go to no store." She can't understand how I can use big words like "articulate" and be so "inartulculate" myself.

Jack, I agree with you. In a few days this will be a non-story and will not affect anything.

Right now, Hamels ought to think about off the field endorsement money he can make. As Tony characterized him as a "whiny bitch", he's pissing away endorsement money probably equal to or more than the amount he's complaining about, just to make a point. In that regard, I agree with CJ, that "he should shut his mouth and pitch."

Frankly, this isn't new. What's new is that Philadelphia fans now have a core of young players who actually deserve the higher salaries earlier in their careers. Other markets have experienced this in the past because their young players were better. We're experiencing this now because our farm system finally is producing top-flight talent that has a right -- at least numbers-wise -- to bitch about its pay. Take this as part of the game, unless we want the Phils to go back to avoiding drafting players who have the ego to go with their skills.

IMO real problem is baseball's salary/compensation system in general, and not Cole Hamels' petulence.

Put yourself in Cole's situation - you are one of the brighter stars in your profession and you're making 1/16th the amount of someone that doesn't even belong on the team, much less the rotation (Eaton). You would be pissed off too. And if you say you wouldn't be, you are a liar.

To those of you who are saying "shut up and pitch, your time will come" - what happens if he blows out his shoulder permanently next year, while a guy like Adam Eaton pitches another 3 or 4 years and makes a couple more gazillion dollars. Cole would then be SOL.

I'm not trying to excuse Cole's comments, as he comes off sounding very petulent and childish here, especially in light of the fact that he can't do ANYTHING about his contract.

I know many don't agree with what I'm about to say, but here it is- to all these athletes bitching about their contracts, shut the hell up! Prince Fielder, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, all tremendous stars, but the bottomline is you must put in your time before getting paid like the big boys. Like it or not that's the way baseball economics work. These organizations spend all this time preparing these players for the majors and then they want paid instantly, well let the organization see the dividends first and then after a handful of seasons you'll see your money.

Cole Hamels pitches really well for the Phils in August and September last year - he should get paid based on that performance, which he did.

clout: You gave me a good laugh. FYI, I don't love Pedro Feliz and J.D. Durbin. In fact, I never even think about them. They are not even showing up on my radar screen. They'll have to produce over and over for the Phillies before they'll get any love from me!

In 2002, Barry Zito was an All-Star. He won the Cy Young over Pedro Martinez (at the end of his prime), and ended up 13th in the American League MVP race.

Barry Zito made a salary of $295,000 that year.

He might have been playing his guitar and - "cough, cough" - enjoying his inner peace, but I do not remember him complaining to the media about his salary.

Zito was 24 years old and in his second season in the league, FYI.

I think the bottom line with Cole is that he's complaining in the wrong way. Pick up your phone and call your union rep. Find out why one of the most powerful unions in the world negotiated a deal in which players are tied to teams and "substandard" rates for the first 5 years of their pro career. Then, when his union rep tells him it's so they older players can amass huge paydays and he needs to wait his turn, that's when he can go to the media and bitch about the raw deal the union is giving him.

Someone on another site (I think it was baseballthinkfactory) was suggesting that the complaints about salaries from non-arbitration eligible players might be a planned action by the MLBPA to start setting up a trade-off for drug testing. Maybe the MLBPA says that they'll accept additional drug testing in exchange for having one year taken off of arbitration eligibility & free agency eligibility.

Every system has its elements of unfairness but, all in all, a system which is based on service time makes a lot more economic sense than the one they have in football, where first round picks get long-term contracts with absurdly high signing bonuses, even though no more than 1 or 2 of them will turn into stars and about half will be complete busts. Somehow, I doubt that Cole Hamels will be complaining when he's a 35-year old back-of-the-rotation starter, and in the 7th year of a contract that pays him $20M per year.

Bad news about Davey Lopes. Hope all ends up well.

Davey Lopes - surgery for prostate cancer later this month - that's why he's not in Clearwater.

On second reconsideration, I don't think that Hamels is necessary a "narcissist" nor did the Phils try to get by with paying Hamels at a below-market rate either.

Just frustrated at a system where the rules favor the owners the first few years (which I would be concerned about too since an injury could significantly impact his future earnings). Hamels just hasn't realized that you need to filter some of your thoughts/feelings on a number of issues. Maybe he never will.

One thing I do think is BS largely though is that giving Hamels another 100-200k would have ultimately mattered this year. Hamels will easily forget this "slight" if the Phils give him a long-term extension deal next year that he finds favorable.

I just don't understand though why the Phils wouldn't spend an extra 100k to keep their staff ace happy and quiet. No like the $3M difference with Howard. If Hamels had got a raise to $600k and still complained, he would have looked pretty selfish given that he was being paid above market rate given his peers and the Phils would have bumped up his salary by a 1/3.

It just seems sometimes that the Phils miss the subtleties of things in regards to PR perception.

1-2-3 inning for Savery. He was working inside and broke Wilson and Sanchez's bats resulting in infield pop up and weak grounder.

That is tough news for Lopes. Prostrate cancer surgery has improved drastically over even the past 10-15 years but still a bunch of really life-altering side effects.

Hopefully he has a speedy recovery and is able to rejoin the Phils quickly.

Glad to see Savery have a strong first inning. Maybe he just had a bad day the last time out.

2 on, nobody and Utley grounds into a double play. Howard follows it up with a K looking.
End up with no runs.
Doesn't matter if it's spring training, these opportunities need to be converted.

Fans who take the approach that "I don't care how much they spend, as long as they win" often over look the fact that those extra dollars don't come out of the owners pocket, but the fans. I'd rather not pay another $100 for season tickets just so Cole Hamels can get an extra couple hundred thousand.

I frequently hear people on the radio making the salary argument that "if these guys get injured, their careers could be over." All that means is that guys like Cole Hamels and Lito Sheppard would have to get real jobs like the rest of us! Boo-hoo!

Gaze:

Didn't you hear that ticket prices went up this year?

Stop being jealous of what the players make.

Is this Josh Outman or Josh Walkman on the mound ?

Outman has been right around the plate. Ump has small strike zone. Savery and Outman were both fine today.

Sure seems like Ryno is swinging a good bat this spring. He's hit off lefties... he's using the whole field...

Good sign.

I hear you, Billy Mac. I'm always frustrated by relievers giving up walks. Thanks for the real-time, in-person update. You really can't beat it.

I can't speak to today but, in general, Outman's problem is getting the ball over the plate. Based on his excellent ERA & strikeout numbers at all 3 levels of Single A, he seems to be a very good prospect. But, until he can learn to throw strikes, I wouldn't count on him to be of much help at the major league level.

Jason: RE your Hamels comments, Amen to that. I had the same reaction. This is the most recent in a series of remarks and "tells" that individually, we might be able to write off; but that collectively, seemingly start to reveal a disturbing pattern.

Last year, I recall an allusion to the team as "they" which Mitch Williams went ballistic over.

Wanted to post my quick gut reaction without the filter of other comments. Now, I'm going back to see what other Beerleaguers have to say.

Granted its the Pirates, but I think two of our talented young left-handers going 5 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits (against most of the regular players) is a good sign.

Segovia pitching now.

I came here to tell Cole to worry less about his contract and more about his grass clippings. But Williard Preacher beat me to it.

Who do we have as our 1B coach until Lopes recovers? Another guy picked off today (Bruntlett)....we can't keep giving away outs.

Jerry Martin, who is the Phillies base running coordinator.

Wow, I am a silent reader here - all I can say is you guys sure complain about everything. Lighten up a bit, I know Philadelpha is no where near the perfect organization - but it could be a lot worse. Tong Longmire and Jeff Grotewold, along with Kevin Sefcik and Joe Milette are no longer our future to look forward too.... It's not a perfect team - but we are on the right track.....

Our city hasn't won anything in 25 years.....100 major sports seasons of no championships. I was 4 when we last won a title and now closing in on 30. I agree that it could be worse but I will continue to nitpick until I see a champion.

Hey guys. I'm a Mets fan. Just curious if any of you knew what the Phillies rotation would be and who would probably start vs the Mets on April 8th? I was looking at the schedules and I have no idea who would start for the Mets because they have multiple off-days so they may skip a 5th starter. I don't think the Phillies have any off days before the 8th.

It looks like it will shape up to be Hammels, Kendrick and Moyer.

Even though it will be the 8th game of the season? Wouldn't Hamels be in games 2 and 7?

"what happens if he blows out his shoulder permanently next year, while a guy like Adam Eaton pitches another 3 or 4 years and makes a couple more gazillion dollars. Cole would then be SOL."

Wayne, if SOL means making over $3M before you turn 24 for throwing a baseball, I guess you're right.

I don't particularly care how much players make. It's obvious that there are far more deserving people out there who do much much more important things, but I accept the tradeoffs of the capitalist system (grudgingly), so I realize how the system works.

However, it's the public complaining about respect that is a problem, not Hamels's desire to maximize his earning power. I think there is basically an unspoke rule between players and fans that allows fans to accept ridiculous salaries so long as players shut up and leave the negotiating to their agents.

Forgot about the opener being in March. I guess that means Kendrick, Moyer and Eaton for the Mets series.

Hamels may be way out of line but I hope the fans don't get on him about it. That's not condusive to winning games. And that's what it's all about

I got to agree that the problem isn't Hamels or the Front Office, but the system itself.

And I'm surprised that nobody mentioned that Carrasco wants to be the fifth starter in the Phillies rotation...

typhoon: His desires don't match up at all with reality. As shaky as they are, we have enough starters to at least start the season while Carrasco can get some more minor league seasoning. I'd imagine September is most likely if he comes up this year... we'd have to be in a hell of a mess for him to get a call any earlier.

The system may be at fault, but then Hamels should complain about the system, and not say it was a "low blow" by the team.

I don't think fans will get on him about it, I'm sure it will blow over well before the team comes north. Unless of course he continues to harp on it.

It won't blow over if he continues to pitch like he did yesterday.

Carrasco may want to be the 5th starter, but he won't be. Neither will either of the Durbins, as Chad is better suited for relief & JD is better suited for . . . . well, I'm not really sure what he's suited for.

Barring a miraculous recovery from Benson, I think it's basically a two-horse race between Eaton and Blackley, with Happ possibly being a longshot candidate.

Typhoon, I thought that was intereseting. Unless Carlos continues his current performance for the entire month, I don't see it happening--at least not out of the gate. Good to see he's got the drive and desire though. I wouldn't be surprised to see him by August or late-July.

Just got my ticket to see the Phils play the Indians this Saturday! It's at the Indians' park in WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA.. sounds a little redundant, doesn't it?

Now I hate the Phillies' owners "small market" mindset as much as anyone, but situations like Hamels's is the price that the MLB players pay for not having a salary cap. If MLB had a salary cap and a max contract structure like the NBA, then younger players would be able to get better contracts. The top stars in the NBA are hardly hurting for money (Max contract is 6/126 I think), and the top young stars get solid compensation (3/12 or something in that neighborhood). I would definitely be in favor of a system like the NBA's, but the top players in the MLB would hate it (see Rodriguez, Alex) as would the agents (see Boras, Scott) because they are not willing to give up the chance to shoot for the moon when they finally reach free agency.

The players cannot expect to have no restrictions on salary otherwise payroll would be completely out of control. The 6 years before free agency rule is the only thing that keeps teams other than Yankees/Red Sox/Mets/etc. competitive and even then the teams have a hard time maintaining any consistency even when run by a good front office. (i.e. Oakland/Minnesota). The Players Union decided that they preferred this structure, so if Hamels wants to complain about a "low blow" then he should direct those complaints to Donald Fehr. By no means am I without sympathy for Hamels in situation, as pointed out Eaton stands to make 16 times as much. It really sucks for him right now, but assuming he stays healthy, he will probably be reaping the benefits of the current system in about 4 years. Still, he should be pissed at the Union and Fehr, not the Phillies for taking one of the few advantages afforded to them in the current CBA. Owners lose on the draft (Boras trying to turn it into an auction) and free agency (It just takes one bad contract like Zito's to inflate the market value of everyone else), so they need to make up ground on the 6 years in between.

I know it's just spring training, but Noah Lowry's nine walks allowed in the first inning is just something else.

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