‘An incredible franchise and an incredible baseball city’: Cole Hamels discusses Cubs trade with Ken Rosenthal

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Pitcher Cole Hamels talks with Ken Rosenthall about being traded to the Cubs.

- Cole, from the start of the season, even before the season began, you were rumored to be traded. There was talk of the Yankees. There was talk of the Mariners. When it finally happened, and it was the Cubs, what was your reaction?

- I mean, it's always a tough situation, I think, to be in, just because I was I was very happy with being with Texas. They're a great organization, great teammates. But I think we do-- we all understand the nature of the business and kind of the direction that sometimes teams go. But it is. I think when your name gets tossed around, and quite frequently, it does become part of the business of what can happen. And it can kind of-- your mind can kind of stray away from really what the job is, to go out and pitch.

And I think when I did find out that the Cubs were making that sort of effort and then all of sudden getting a deal done, there's excitement knowing that you know I'm coming to an incredible franchise, an incredible baseball city. I've watched the Cubs for the past couple years, love playing in Wrigley. So I think just having that opportunity to now be a part of this team, and the direction that they want to go, and what we're trying to accomplish this year, very fortunate. And as now I can really kind of put my main focus on the task at hand and go out there and win ball games for them.

- Now how does it change for you competitively? I know you're a professional. I know you're a competitor. But you're pitching for a team that was not in it, and then you joined a team that is quite in it. What is different?

- I think it's not necessarily the focus that changes. It's just the sort of innate energy that you have inside of you, that you don't know, that all of a sudden comes out when you get into a pennant race, when you get into situations where each pitch matters and each inning matters. I think that's the reason that the playoffs are so exciting is because it brings out the best in you, brings out the best in the team. And when you all of a sudden get traded to a team that is in the hunt, that is chasing down trying to clinch a division, it all of a sudden becomes a sort of playoff scenario a couple of months earlier than what you're really used to. So I think it's great to be in this sort of situation because it is. Everything's kind of come now. My focus is starting to narrow, really just making sure that I'm at my best every day.

- Cole, thanks a lot.