Jan 29, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT
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
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