Cole Hamels met the press the other day in Clearwater (photo above being interviewed by ESPN reporter Tim Kurkjian.)

And, rather than clearing up or elaborating on the many conflicting statements he has made in the last week or so, we are left even more confused.

What do you think?

The front office has committed to a rebuild since October – how much do you hate hearing that word?

Any time you hear that, I still have a long time, a long contract, so any time you say that, I think being able to live in Philly and make Philly my full-time home you can see a lot. You get to understand the fans’ perspective and the owners’ philosophy. It’s tough to admit that there might have to be a direction change, but being able to win in this city and see what it means not only to the fans, but to the organization, you see that they want to have it happen very quickly. In the type of contract that I have, I know that I’ll still be here when the time comes for anything to happen.

I still agree with Pap and even Cliff. To still be able to have these guys on our team, they’re the best at what they do. Chase is the best at what he does. You still have confidence in our veterans. I think being able to see the type of bullpen and some of the young guys that have come in, there is still some really good excitement that we can give the fans something to expect. At the same time, you can’t count us out.”

So, if it were up to you, would you welcome a trade or not?

I’ve made my home in Philadelphia since the very beginning. This is where I’m fully committed. Being able to win a World Series in 2008, I know I mentioned that, it was the highest time you could ever have. To see what it means to a city and to that organization and to the management is something that you want to be able to do over and over. I know I’ve mentioned that and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do for being in this Phillies uniform. It’s the greatest place to play and I’m very fortunate to be able to have had the good fortune to be a Phillie during some of the best years. You want to be able to give that back to a city because it’s the reasons that you play the game. As an athlete, you want to mean something to somebody. Not only to yourself, but to a city. To see that type of excitement that we were able to create. We haven’t been able to have it for the past couple years. It’s pretty evident. But it’s something that we can create again. I think all of us are pretty excited to know if we have that opportunity to do so we’re going to live it up and show everyone what we’re all about and give them something to cheer for again.”

So, you’re changing your stance from what you told USA Today?

[That] was a continuation of a conversation from January and before spring training.

So, those quotes were inaccurate, or don’t represent what you’re feeling right now, or what?

At this given moment, I’m a Phillie.

Do you want to go to another team where you would have a better chance at winning?

Right now I know that as we start, I think we’re 0-0. I think everybody’s in first place. So you know it’s something where we get to do something special. I know from what we all understand, I don’t think any one of you guys have written anything about how we’re going to compete and win our division. So it’s something for us to take as a group and to go out there and prove to people the type of players that we are.

You said last summer your window of opportunity as a player is only so long, and then the front office committed to a rebuild this fall. This doesn’t seem to mesh, since your goal has always been to win as many World Series as you can, right?

You have the predictions, the sort of statistics that kind of point to different direction and different ideas for what you have to write about and what you have to say. But we all have the opportunity to prove people wrong. We all have the opportunity to prove people right if you’re in certain situations. So it’s a matter of us just going out and being the best competitor we can and to motivate our teammates to do so and giving the fans something that they want to watch and cheer for.”

So you could see the Phillies winning some time in the next 2 years?

Anything’s possible.

But your team president said this team won’t contend for at least the next 2 years, right?

I have no control over a certain direction. An organization, they have a bigger picture that they have to worry about. As a player, we really have to take the straight and narrow approach. We have a job to do, people are counting on us, and I think that’s kind of what an organization, an upper management, has to worry about is what players are going to be accountable, what direction can we go with what we have. I’m just one piece of the puzzle and as long as I can go out and do what they expect then I’m fulfilling my end of the bargain.”

Still trying to make sense from your comment earlier this week, and what you’re trying to say now. Help?

I think I stated it pretty clear throughout this – how long has it been, 25 minutes? I think I was pretty clear.


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