Our Tuesday open thread topic focuses on the World Series MVP.
Summary: Cole Hamels’ three-year extension signified commitment to the team and city. Coupled with his postseason dominance and regular-season endurance, the California kid – considered ‘soft’ by some just months ago – is a proven winner, a characteristic that will take you very far in the city of Philadelphia. Publicly, he’s cultivating a likeable persona, blending honesty with a certain bravado that we like. Compare him with Chase Utley, who definitely oozes toughness, but isn’t nearly as approachable. He also didn't shine quite as bright as Hamels in October and might have hurt his image with his outburst during the championship celebration.
Beerleaguer: I pitched this story to a friend and he offered one clear distinction: Public appeal doesn’t necessarily put you on top, and it’s especially hard to be the man when you don’t take the field every day. By all accounts, Jimmy Rollins sets clubhouse policy, while Utley leads the troops to battle on the field. Nevertheless, Hamels is clearly the man of the hour right now, winning World Series and Championship Series MVP and signing his deal. Plus, he's saying all the right things.