Cole Hamels operates hot dog cannon at Phillies game, shows off new mustache (video)

Mark Townsend

How is Cole Hamels (at least we think that's him) preparing for his opening day start against the Atlanta Braves on Monday?

If you answered "By commandeering the Phillies' hot dog cannon and launching a few Hatfield hot dogs into the stands during their exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night" you'd be a weiner -- just like I am for writing that.

It's true, though. Hamels really did take over the Phillies' mobile hot dog cannon following the fifth inning of their unofficial home opener at Citizens Bank Park. He was joined by accomplices Cliff Lee, who had already tossed four scoreless innings earlier in the evening, and the Phillie Phanatic, who happens to be a No. 1 seed in Big League Stew's Mascot Madness and is performing well through two rounds.

[NL East Preview: Can Phillies keep up with the Nationals and the Braves?]

But here's the thing. As bizarre a sight as those three riding around the ballpark truly was, it may have been topped by the debut of Hamels' new mustache. Yes, we were aware Hamels had the facial hair thing going on during spring training, but apparently he decided to ditch the beard look at the last minute and will now go with a straight up stache during the regular season.

I can't say I blame him. It's not a bad look at all. And it appears to blend in nicely with the Phillies' colors, or at least with the Phanatic's own fur. But that's just one person's opinion.

Getting back to the hot dogs, though. I think it should be noted that this was difficult for me to write. I have not been a fan of hot dogs since a very young age and the mere mention (let alone sight or scent) of them can at times be overwhelming. But I toughed this one out and feel no worse for the wear.

You're welcome.

Big BLS H/N: Cut 4

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