Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thawing Ropes

Jim Salisbury reports Brett Myers has arrived at camp pissed off at comments by GM Pat Gillick that the Phillies lacked that certain championship something, especially pitching.

Now, some guys benefit from playing pissed off at the world, channeling their us-against-them attitude into a competitive edge; thus far in his career, however, Brett Myers isn’t one of them.  Indeed, Myers is more likely to come unraveled when he becomes agitated.

It’s also worth noting that while he was at it, Myers didn’t miss the opportunity to take another swipe at the fans, with whom he has always had a contentious relationship for reasons not altogether clear.  "I don't know if [Gillick’s comments are] reverse psychology or if he's selling us short, like the fans.”  Should the fans be blamed for getting on an overweight and out-of-shape Myers last year, one who admitted he couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without getting winded?

The more things change….

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Forty-three year old Roger Clemens has made the American roster for the upcoming WBC tourney.   For old fogies such as me this should be an uplifting development but it isn’t.  Clemens’ on-again, off-again retirement plans have become annoying.  Moreover, while he normally starts off the season like a ball of fire, Roger hasn’t exactly knocked ‘em dead in the post-season throughout his career, especially in the last few seasons.

Forty-three year old pitchers wear down as the season wears on, even legends.  It’s time to hang it up, Rocket.

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Speaking of hanging it up, where’s B.J.?

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I am excited about the Phillies offense for the coming season but like most of the blogosphere I worry about their pitching.

So it will be understandable that we will be doing some scoreboard watching in the early going every time a certain Nicaraguan takes the mound for the Texas Rangers.

Closer to home, at this juncture the Phillies don’t appear inclined to give Rob Tejeda much of a chance to crack the starting rotation despite his impressive stint last season before arm miseries sidelined him.  An impressive Spring might make the Phillies’ brass reconsider, however.  Tejeda has a live arm, fluid motion and great temperament.  Thrown into the rotation last season as an emergency fill-in, he performed well in general.  Given more work and a boost of confidence from Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee there is no reason he cannot help the back of the rotation.  Why Ryan Franklin is ahead of him on the depth chart is a total mystery to me.  Unless Tejeda continues to suffer arm problems the Phillies haven’t told us about, he deserves a shot.


Anonymous George S said...

Simple question for an irate Brett Myers:
"Brett, if the Phillies do not lack that certain championship something, if they in fact have it, then where are the championships?"

By definition, if you are not the champions, then you lack something necessary to be champion (even if it's luck). So figure out what you're lacking and address it. Since the Phillies of 2005 were one of the top offensive teams in baseball, and had a very good fielding team, what's left?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Between you, me, the lamppost and anyone else out there, Brett Myers' temperament is always going to get the best of him.

8:39 AM  
Blogger gr said...

they probably see robT's ability to throw 100 mph and think "bullpen". he's just got get some form of control.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

gr: I think he can develop that control to go along with the heat with more steady work. Somehow, coming into a pressure situation for one batter or one inning doesn't seem like the best way to get that control, if he ever wills.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous George S said...

If the Phillies have decided that RT is not a starter, I sure hope it's for reasons of RT's ability or that they already have 5 starters better than him and NOT just because they need an arm in the pen.
I'm gonna hold off until spring training and see if they even give him a chance before getting too irate, though.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

Tejeda got pretty bombed the last two seasons prior to 2005 and is a flyball, home run pitcher. He missed time last season with a shoulder injury, but he also missed a good chunk in the minors with an injury to his pitching elbow. I think the Phillies are rightfully skeptical, but not reluctant. I feel the same, skeptical, but not reluctant to see where it goes. If I were a scout, I'd write "fast but fat fastball."

1:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

If I were a scout I'd say "Tendency to be wild. Pitched hurt toward end of his 2005 season but still went 4-3 with 3.57ERA. Live arm. Great attitude. Deserves a look on a team that needs starting pitching."

1:33 PM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

Sounds like a classified ad.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

It is one, for a chance to compete for a slot in a rotation that features Ryan Franklin!!!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

Don't get me wrong: I agree with the premise and want to see him in the mix. But don't take the marriage to Franklin too seriously. He's penciled into that slot, and it's the correct choice, if only to satisfy reporters and their brilliant "Top 5 Keys to the Season" stories.

Reason 4: The Ryans!

So clever I think I'm going to be sick.

Franklin's job this spring is simple: Represent the man five other pitchers should be gunning for.

"If you want a shot in the rotation Rob, here's the man you have to beat. He's got four years on you and can eat innings. Go to work."

Of course, Tejeda can forget about it if he decides to participate in the WBC and sit in the Dominican bullpen. Career suicide.

Any word on his plans regarding the WBC? If I'm Tejeda, I come to Clearwater early, stay, and say "Dammit! I pitched pretty f**king well last season and they signed this slug who can't throw!"

2:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

I had no idea he was considering pitching for the DR in the WBC. (Just another reason your finger on the pulse is so valuable to the rest of us.) I absolutely agree it would be a huge mistake. He needs to show the Phillies what he can do.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

Tejeda agreed to participate if selected. There's a list of about 30 Dominican pitchers that have agreed to participate, but many of them are starting to drop out of the mix. I have not seen a current list definites. There is a chance he will not be selected.

I'm sure Tejeda is very proud to be included on such a list, next to names like Pedro. It might be hard for him to resist.

But let's face facts, Rob. You are a fringe player. You will not get much exposure in this, especially if you are in the pen.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

I'm borrowing back some of my comments and turning this Tejeda WBC stuff into a post.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous J. Weitzel said...

Forget it. I missed this piece yesterday:

4:24 PM  

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