Cole Hamels, the newest member of the Texas Rangers’ rotation, met with the local media Friday night after the opener of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
He touched on several topics over eight minutes, beginning with a review of his long day and including advice he got on the organization from Cliff Lee. Hamels’ Friday started in Philadelphia, where he met with the local media, and then traveled to Globe Life Park and arrived in the fourth inning.
“I think all of us fortunate enough to play the game of baseball. When you get to this level and you’re able to do something that’s monumental to a city, it means a lot. We put in a lot of hard work, day in and day out. We do it in the off-seasons. We do it on the road. We love what we do. That was something where as much as I can thank the fans as much as possible for their understand and their support because I love what I get to do and I want to do it at the very best and highest level. And I was able to do it there.”
“Heading here, it’s another chapter, but at that same time, I’m going to keep my same beliefs and my same work ethic where I’m going out and I play to win every day. And I put in the type of work that it takes to be able to win. I hope that they see that. I know we’re all human beings and not everything goes perfectly, but I don’t take it lightly. I’m out to give it everything I have and at the end of the day help this club win.”
“To be able to meet some of these guys — I’ve faced quite a few of them — it’s exciting. I’ve definitely been following them the last couple days and trying to keep up with doing my homework as much as possible. This team is great, and I’m excited to be a part of it. That’s all I want to do, to be a part of it with these guys and help them continue to win and get to the postseason and go from there. I think that’s all I’m going to try to do tomorrow and the next couple days and every five days. That’s what I do.”
Showing up in the fourth inning, the on-field shouting match, and hanging out in the dugout?
“That’s some serious excitement, just to be welcomed with them and then to join them. That’s the type of excitement that I love. It’s going to be fun, especially to hear the stories from the guys and get an introduction in the last couple of innings. I have a lot of catching up to do. With this group of guys, I think it’s going to be pretty easy. They make it easy, and they’re true competitors. It’s fun to watch them out on the field and know those are the guys that are going to be behind me.”
What do you like about the Rangers organization?
“Just being able to get the basic understanding. I think having Cliff on the team, he talked a lot about the Rangers how exciting it was during his time. Being able to be a part of Dallas, having family here, getting an understanding of what Dallas, Texas, really represents. It has a lot of the core value that I really enjoy and believe in and my family believes in. And then starting the opportunity to be able to win here. Being able to win a championship in a Texas Rangers uniform means a whole heck of a lot. That’s what I want to be a part of, and that’s what I want to do.”
Thoughts on the Rangers’ rotation?
“It’s great. I followed a few of them. I’ve faced Yovani Gallardo probably more than anybody. I’m just glad he’s not hitting of me anymore. It’s a great rotation. I like being able to just fit right into that. The guys are true competitors, and I’ve been able to see it and witness it. To now be a part of that … I’ve been a part of some pretty great rotations and learned a lot from them, and I think I have a lot to learn from these guys. I’m really excited what type of knowledge they can give me and that competitiveness. It’s seems like they’re pretty competitive, especially when we were in the dugout. I’m really excited to see how we do that on the field and off the field.”
Dealing with the heat?
“I think everybody has to adjust to the heat. I know I didn’t have too much of that in San Diego growing up, and in Philly it’s more of a humid heat. I understand the dry heat and the temperatures it gets up to. There’s way to prepare for that. That’s what Cliff really touched on. Even C.J. [Wilson] when I’ve seen him in the past. Those guys are trying to hydrate and make sure you’re able to cool your body down before you go out for the next inning and being able to maintain that so you can pitch seven to eight to nine innings. I think that’s just the process I’ll have to adjust to, but I’ve done it in the past. I’ve had some really hot games that I’ve been successful in, and I’ve had some hot that I haven’t been. I look forward to the challenge, and I know I’m up for it.”
Rangers’ playoff chances in 2015?
“I firmly believe that when I first saw how many games back they were. Being able to be a part of something and believing in Philadelphia with what we were able to accomplish, you can never count out the work ethic, the belief and the talent that they have here in Texas. So, being able to now come in and provide what I can, I’m just excited for the nature of the game and being in that opportunity. That’s kind of what has propelled me to the level I’m at, and I’m excited to be able to go out there and show that.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760