Just four months after leading the Phillies to a World Series title, it would appear that Cole Hamels has become serious about backing up his "Hollywood" nickname.
In a well-done Sports Illustrated cover story this week, our pal Ben Reiter details the whirlwind that has taken the lefty from hoisting the World Series MVP trophy in October to becoming one of baseball's most visible stars with the help of his wife, ex-Survivor star Heidi Strobel.
But it's not all just about the Hamels: The couple is exploring building a girl's school in Malawi and they want to go the Brangelina route and adopt an AIDS orphan from Ethiopia.
Cole and Heidi, however, bristle at the suggestion that the world's most famous couple is the sole reason they'd consider adopting a baby from Africa. They have other reasons, too.
Says Heidi, via Sports Illustrated:
"We're not just doing it because it's the Brad and Angelina plan, but because we're in the position to do it and it's the right thing to do,"
Hamels has had such a busy offseason that we're probably going to be seeing a lot of spring training stories asking whether he'll be able to "regain his focus" for his fourth season and if he can better his 2008 season in which he went 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA and 196 Ks. Given that he made the media rounds more than Rod Blagojevich this winter, they'll be warranted.
But as Reiter notes, Hamels still found time this offseason to endure workouts that lasted up to six hours. And, of course, his stuff remains just filthy. If he keeps throwing that devastating changeup, it's possible his star can only get bigger.