Cole Hamels, the young rookie Phillies phenom pitcher who will become a better ballplayer than Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton and the incarnation of The Holy Spirit, all rolled into one.
Listen, I’m a Phillies phan. I’ve grown accustomed to disappointment they way people aquire tastes for straight scotch, black coffee or broccoli rabe.
I accept disappointment in the Taoist sense. I am a part of it, and it is a part of me. I’ve seen teams full of promise fall as flat as one Star Jones’ seat cushions. I’ve seen Bobby Abreu hit a year’s worth of dingers in the All-Star home-run contest; the rest of the season he swung a bat like he was striking a pinata.
I’ve seen David Bell try to take third base with two outs in a game the Phillies were losing. I still blame him for the Phillies missing the playoffs last year.
I am not a man and fan full of hate. I love my Phillies. And I love them enough to accept them for who they are and what they’ve done to me over the years.
Which leads me to Cole Hamels. By all means, he appears to be the real deal. In his first major leauge appearance last week, he was a force. But I think the Phillies brought him up too early. A young pitcher needs to be nursed. One bad major leauge outing early in a career can ruin a pitcher for life, moreso than any other position in any sport.
So I will root for Hames. And I will second guess the Phillies. And I will watch each game, through each year, waiting for a sign that this is THE YEAR. Back in the World Series in 1993, I thought this "sign" was called destiny.
But it’s not called destiny.
It’s called endurance.