By David F. Cohen

Phillies ace lefty and walking public relations disaster Cole Hamels has evidently never heard of the axiom:

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

The other day he told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he would like to be traded to a winner, which he has correctly deduced the Phillies will not be in 2015.

Now, the local Phillies butt boys said, “Oh, that’s nothing than he said in December.”

Which is true, but in December nobody was paying much attention.

Earth to Hamels: Spring training started this week and now everyone is listening.

And Phillies fans are pissed off!

Now Hamels has doubled down, telling USA Today that even though Boston is not on the list of 10 teams that he can be traded to, he wouldn’t hesitate going there.

“Of course, I would,’’ Hamels said. “It’s a fun city. There’s no better feeling than to have a chance to win every year, and they give you that chance. I’m all ears.”

The newspaper spoke to Hamels in Tampa, away from the team’s spring training facility in Clearwater. Hamels spoke at length about wanting to play for a contender.

“In the grand scheme of things,’’ Hamels said, “we have a very small window in our lives. You understand this is going to end. The Phillies will go on forever, but we know our careers are going to end.

“And I want to go to a place where I can win again. It’s not like I’m a hired gun. I’ve got four or five years left on my contract. I want to help that team win just like I did here.’’

The Yankees and Rangers can trade for Hamels without his consent in the American League. He’s owed $96 million on the remaining four years of his deal. There’s speculation he would only accept a deal to a team on his trade list if it picks up the 2019 option of $20 million.

Hamels added, “I don’t watch much TV in the offseason, and I had friends texting me and telling me what’s going on, so I tried to stay away from all of it. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was checking the Internet to see the latest.

“I wanted to see where I was going to spend my next four years. Now that I’m here, I plan on being here for the next six weeks. I think it would be pretty chaotic if that’s not the case. But it’s out of my control.

“All I can do is get ready this spring, be ready for Opening Day, and be prepared for the long season.”


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