CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The fans in Phillies red cheered Cole Hamels Saturday.
And . . .
"The Yankee fans were really nice to me, for some odd reason," Hamels said after his two-inning spring debut. "Maybe they were having fun in the Tiki Bar."
Or maybe they were aware that Hamels is eligible for free agency next winter.
If the Yankees stick to their talk about getting their payroll under $189 million, a big Hamels contract wouldn't fit. Besides, as CBSSports.com colleague Jon Heyman wrote a couple of weeks back, the smart money says that Hamels eventually signs a new deal to stay with the Phillies.
Until he signs, though, fans in other cities can dream. They can tell him how much they want him, too.
"Fans prepare," Hamels said. "They know when things are coming up. When I was playing with Cliff [Lee] in 2009, I saw it all the time."