The overhaul of the Phillies continues abated with reports of the likely addition of yet another middling ballplayer, aka, the other Alex Gonzalez.
Now there will be at least three candidates for the third base job, or portions of it, none of them exactly likely to make us forget Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen or Puddin’ Head Jones.
The Phillies are becoming a collection of budding stars, fading run-of-the-millers, and guys who always flew just under the radar. Come to think of it, that last image is the perfect metaphor for a team that is in a perennial holding pattern. The only difference with this year’s installment is that the General Manager admits as much.
The motley collection of pitchers and utility infielders Pat Gillick continues to assemble will surely test Charlie Manuel to the limit, not as a hitting guru but as an in-game strategist. History is not on the affable skipper’s side.
Despite all, however, I am optimistic about 2007. At that stage the Phils will have more money to work with, fewer albatrosses on the 25-man roster, and hopefully a well-established nucleus of players coming into their prime. And if the newly reconfigured Cititzens Bank Park turns out to be even a little more pitcher-friendly, some free agent hurlers who heretofore have avoided Philadelphia like the plague might be enticed to sign
As for 2006, I expect a trying year. Still, with Aaron, Jimmy, Chase and Ryan in town, I expect plenty of excitement.