Cole Hamels not impressed with Milwaukee turnout in Brewers-Cubs 'rivalry': 'I've been in rivalries'

Cole Hamels has been in some big games.

The 2008 World Series MVP was a star on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies of the late 2000s that made the playoffs five straight years, including that ’08 World Series run.

Now he’s back playing for a contender again, having been traded from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs before the deadline.

Hamels underwhelmed with Milwaukee baseball fans

He got his first taste of pennant-race baseball in Milwaukee Monday when the Cubs, holding a five-game lead in the NL Central, took on the Brewers with Hamels on the mound at Miller Park.

He was not impressed, per NBC Chicago’s Tony Adracki:

“When you have a majority Cubs fans in the stands, I don’t know if that’s a rivalry yet. I’ve been in rivalries. They’re not gonna like me for the comment but you can look at the ticket sales.”

That’s a pretty big-league stance toward a small-market team.

Milwaukee’s one of MLB’s smallest markets, dwarfed by the gargantuan Chicago market that houses two teams just a 90-minute drive away. So it’s no surprise that Cubs fans would take advantage of the opportunity on Labor Day to make the drive to an opponent’s stadium if tickets were available.

2018 World Series odds: August 15
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2018 World Series odds: August 15

Toronto Blue Jays: Off the board

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Texas Rangers: Off the board

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres: Off the board

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

New York Mets: Off the board

(Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Miami Marlins: Off the board

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Kansas City Royals: Off the board

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers: Off the board

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox: Off the board

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Baltimore Orioles: Off the board

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays: 900/1

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minnesota Twins: 900/1

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Reds: 900/1

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels: 300/1

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

San Francisco Giants: 80/1

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Pirates: 50/1

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

St. Louis Cardinals: 45/1

(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colorado Rockies: 40/1

(Photo by Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners: 30/1

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Washington Nationals: 26/1

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Oakland Athletics: 20/1

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks: 18/1

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Phillies: 16/1

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Milwaukee Brewers: 16/1

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves: 15/1

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Cleveland Indians: 12/1

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs: 19/2

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

New York Yankees: 7/1

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers: 6/1

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Houston Astros: 4/1

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Boston Red Sox: 7/2

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)


Is Hamels right?

But that’s where Hamel’s criticism gains some merit. If the city of Milwaukee is truly behind its emerging Brewers as they seek their first postseason berth since 2011, then why wasn’t Miller Park sold out on a holiday and filled with fans of the home team?

Maybe it’s because the Brewers have only made the postseason four times in their existence with no World Series hardware to show for it. Sometimes the “believe-it-when-I-see-it” approach make sense.

Either way, Milwaukee and its fans — however few there may have been — got the last laugh. The Brewers beat Hamels and the Cubs, 4-3 to close the NL Central gap to four games.

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