Is Cliff Lee More Popular Than Cole Hamels?
By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today’s Audio Roadshow Poll (for the WIP Morning Show) had more votes than any poll we’ve had since its inception. The question posed was: “Which Phillie do you like more, Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee?”
Cliff Lee won the poll, 56% to 44%, to Angelo’s dismay, who said yesterday that he would remove his pants if Lee beat out Hamels in the voting. Angelo stayed true to his word of course (see the video), but more interestingly is that it is possible that the 2008 World Series MVP and life-long Philadelphia Phillie is less beloved in our city than the rugged, who gives a crap dominant pitcher, who will go anywhere to win.
Honestly, it’s an incredibly tough question, maybe even an unfair question. It’s like picking your favorite child. You just don’t want to do it. It’s difficult, but there’s always an answer.
I was on the fence all day. I love both of these guys, and it’s a privilege to be able to watch the two of them take the mound for two out of every five days.
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Cliff Lee is easy to fall in love with. He is the ultimate competitor and teammate. He wants to win and his passion for winning is evident in his demeanor. Fans have fell in love with Lee’s nonchalant, yet fierce attitude he takes with him every time he steps on the field, best displayed by his ho-hum pop-up and behind-the-back catches during game 1 of the 2009 World Series, combined with his “that’s baseball” type of comments.
Lee is cool and dominant, and is revered for, in December of 2010, taking less money to play for the Phillies instead of the Yankees. However, Lee didn’t win a World Series. In fact, if you want to get knit-picky, Lee squandered a four-run lead in a very pivotal game 2 of the 2011 NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, at home, allowing five earned runs over six innings of work in a 5-4 Phillies loss.
Cole Hamels, on the other hand, who certainly has had his share of ups and downs throughout his career, criticized by some for his “Hollywood” Hamels movie-star like look, won one of the two World Series championships in Phillies franchise history. And I say “won”, not “played on”, on purpose, because without Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, that parade never happens. Hamels, how quickly people forget, dazzled in the Phillies memorable 2008 playoff run, going 4-0 with a remarkable 1.80 ERA.
Maybe his “Hollywood”, too-cute style bothers some people. But a World Series championship ring, a World Series MVP, and the fact that the only jersey he has ever worn is a Phillies jersey, doesn’t bother me. It puts Hamels in a special class, that maybe sometimes, we under appreciate.
Andrew Porter is the Audio Roadshow Coordinator for SportsRadio WIP, editor and writer for The School Philly, and a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @And_Porter.