Today in Philly Sports History: Hamels Breaks Hand in Bar Fight, 2005

Today in Philly Sports History: Hamels Breaks Hand in Bar Fight, 2005

When you think of Cole Hamels, the phrase "bar brawl" isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Our young lefty has developed a rep in recent years for being a little Hollywood by Philadelphia standards, a man whose career is far too finely structured for such a messy encounter as this. But Cole's hands haven't just been soaking in ivory liquid his whole life, and before he settled down as Mr. Heidi Strobel, the boy Colbert could certainly throw down when the situation dictated.

As the story goes, Cole and some Clearwater Threshers buddies were chilling at the local bar Razzel's Loung on the early morning of January 29, 2005, when a local named TJ Ferrol traded some barbs with the crew. Things got heated but didn't come to blows until Hamels and company were driving away, and noticed Ferrol in the back parking lot. A bunch of them got out and gave Ferrol a piece of their minds/fists, including Hamels, who suffered a broken hand in the altercation, as a karmic reminder to always play nice.

Hamels missed most of the rest of the minor-league season as a result, and later back injuries shut him down entirely. He rebounded with an extremely strong start to the 2006 season, which ended with a call-up to the big-league Phils that May. Since then, though, he's cleaned up his act significantly (thanks to an increase public persona and an, um, opinionated wife) and for all we know, he hasn't even been inside a bar since 2005. "I know for a fact that [Hamels] had never been in a fistfight before then or since then," confirmed William Gwaltney in a St. Petersburg Times article about the incident.

Meanwhile, Ferrol has long let bygones be bygones about the entire incident. "I have no hard feelings,' said Ferrol in that same article. "It was a drunken barroom fight. It wasn't like he did anything to my
mother. I'd shake his hand and congratulate him for winning the World
Series."

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons trust the NFL draft process on the parkway

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons trust the NFL draft process on the parkway

When fans came to Philadelphia to see the future of the NFL, they got a glimpse of the Sixers’ future too.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons walked through the draft festivities on Thursday surrounded by fans. 

Embiid posted an Instagram video soaking in a -- you guessed it -- “Trust the Process” chant. Check out that video above.

That night Embiid and Simmons expressed their appreciation for the crowd's enthusiastic reaction.

Humble Eagles' 14th pick Derek Barnett ready to get to work

Humble Eagles' 14th pick Derek Barnett ready to get to work

Derek Barnett, the former Tennessee defensive end, clad in an all-red, three-piece suit, stared at the landline phone in front of him in the green room at the NFL draft on the Ben Franklin Parkway.  

It wasn't ringing.

Despite his best efforts, the 20-year-old couldn't telepathically get that phone to go off. The Eagles, who he knew had some interest in him after a top-30 visit earlier in the offseason, were on the clock. But still, that landline remained silent.

Then his cell phone rang. And it was a Philly number.

"I just got very excited and I really can't explain it because everything happened so fast," Barnett said just after 11 p.m. Thursday. "But it was like a surreal moment."

When he answered the phone, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie was on the other end. Barnett was then passed around from head coach Doug Pederson to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and likely to the Eagles' two-headed personnel czar Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas.

By the time Barnett joined a conference call with reporters an hour and change later, he had already shaken hands with the commissioner, been shuffled through various media obligations and stood in front of thousands of Eagles fans.

So by 11:05 p.m., when he talked over the phone to reporters at the NovaCare Complex, nothing from his wild night had really settled in.

Of all the players who were selected on Thursday night, he was the only one who won't have to leave the city to be with his new team.

"It's very fun," Barnett said. "That means I can get to work quicker."

The humble pass rusher, who broke Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee, is the type of player that exemplifies what the Eagles are looking for, according to Roseman.

"He stands for what we want to be and I think everyone in the city will see what kind of person he is, what kind of player he is," Roseman said. "Unbelievably high character, unbelievable worker and tremendously talented and productive."

Barnett (6-foot-3, 259 pounds) finished his college career with 32 sacks and Douglas praised the young pass-rusher for his ability to finish at the top of his rush.

The Eagles took Barnett because, they say, he was the top-rated player on their board at the time (see story). But the team still has Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry and Chris Long and Marcus Smith.

Where will Barnett figure into the rotation?

"My mindset is to help the team anyway I can," Barnett said. "I know I have to come in and work hard and earn the respect of my team first. Just because I was a first-round pick, that don't mean nothing. I have to work harder now. My plan is to come in, get around those vets, learn from them and hopefully, when the season comes around, I can be able to contribute."

While the Eagles return several pass-rushers from a year ago, the team desperately needs to find a way to sack quarterbacks, especially because Schwartz's entire defense is predicated on getting pressure with the front four and not blitzing.

Barnett is pretty excited to join the group.

"I love it," Barnett said of Schwartz's defense. "That's my style and I feel like I fit it very well and Coach Schwartz said the same thing, too. I think it's going to be a good fit."

While there was certainly some mumbling when the Barnett picked was announced on the Parkway and while plenty of fans on social media weren't thrilled with the selection (see story), the newest Eagle said he felt nothing but love.

And he can't wait to play in front of those fans on Sundays.

"Great fan base," he said. "I've been feeling the love ever since my name got called. And I was a little nervous at first, I didn't know if I was going to get the love or some boos, but I got a great welcoming and I appreciate the fans for doing that, because I had no clue where I was going to end up at."

Now, he knows. And he won't have to go far.