By Chris Stigall
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Veteran sports analyst Beasley Reece questioned Phillies’ Pitcher Cole Hamels’ recent performance and suggested that the team’s continued losing and trade rumors have affected him negatively.
Reece told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Hamels is not dealing with this difficult season in the manner he should be.
“I am beginning to question Cole’s recent mental toughness. I know he’s mentally tough because he has a past. You don’t have a decorated career and decorated seasons like he has in 2008, 2009, and a few other years without being mentally tough, but if the trade [rumors] are swirling over your head, and where am I going to be living, what’s about to happen, if you can’t perform under that pressure, that’s different kind of pressure for an athlete, it’s unstable, and if you struggle performing under that, I think that can make some teams wonder where you are in your career.”
He thinks teams teams have noticed his downturn and will be more reluctant to trade for him.
“The baseball teams that are looking to trade for a Cole Hamels are not looking three years down the road. They’re looking at, we might win the World Series right now, or we might make a playoff [run]. He’s the arm we need to take us over the hump to make a playoff run right now…It’s where you’re trending. It’s where you are at this moment and right now, Cole is not in a good place.”
Reece also praised the way outfielder Jeff Francoeur is handling the tough season the team is having.
“He is a positive guy in a press setting when you hear what he has to say. I like guys like that. Cliff Lee is like that, a real strong willed, personable guy. This guy has been a heck of a pick up. He’s got some game and him, along with the other young players, it might shorten the waiting period that we’ve got. Maybe it’s two years before we can get competitive again.”