October 31, 2009
WARNING: The above video contains offensive language and images. Click with caution.
Ever since being named last year's World Series MVP, Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels(notes) hasn't met an endorsement opportunity he didn't like. His whirlwind rise to being a top pitchman was met with plenty of criticism, which only intensified during his so-so 2009 season (and might come to a head if he doesn't show up against the Yankees tonight).
At any rate, all of Hamels' previous appearances could be filed under the category of white bread, All-American goodness. Well, at least until this clip from the "Call of Duty" video game line. The spot is just plain strange with a digital Hamels — an avid video game fan — talking about the "Fight Against Grenade Spam" (check out the acronym) before swearing when he realizes that his video self is going to be blown to bits.
Though this gives some more, uh, "ammo" for his detractors, I don't have a big problem with Hamels' appearance. Like I said, I just find the whole thing very odd, especially considering MLB has been pushing its "Welcome Back Veterans" initiative very hard for the past few years. (Can't imagine that real soldiers who have been seriously injured or had friends killed by explosives like the idea of a pretty boy pitcher posing like this.)