Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Have They Touched Bottom?

How bad are things?

-  The front page of today’s Inquirer, not the Sports page, carried a major story detailing the soggy weather that has enveloped the entire Northeast lately and writer Anthony Wood had this to say among other things:

Rainfall in Boston delayed another Phillies' loss an entire day, as Sunday's game had to be played yesterday.

-  A pitcher with a 5.11 ERA is reported to have had words with his manager after being lifted from a game in which he allowed 4 earned runs in 5.1 innings.  Sure, Corey Lidle pitched well for the first five innings of work, but that 1/3 of an inning was a killer with the Red Sox scoring six runs.  For a guy who came to town with a reputation as an “innings eater” that line hardly impressed anyone, least of all Charlie Manuel.

- Team officials were already being criticized in many circles for allowing Brett Myers to start a game the day after being arrested for assaulting his wife  When Larry Shenk, VP for public relations, was asked about the 200 e-mails and about a half-dozen phone calls the club received, he had this to say according to Todd Zolecki of the Inquirer:

"It's understandable," Shenk said. "We have our work cut out for us."

Shenk said the reaction is similar to the 1991 automobile accident that involved Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton. Both players were injured and Dykstra was charged with drunken driving.

The “reaction” may be similar, Larry, but the circumstances are not.  Dykstra’s reckless endangerment is not the same as Myers’ deliberate violence, a fact apparently lost on the Phillies organization.

- Baseball players close ranks with the best of units, but David Bell’s reaction to questions about the Myers incident and the series in Boston reveal more than the normal us-against-them attitude.  Zolecki reports:

Asked whether the weekend in Boston had been tough because of the arrest and three losses to the Red Sox, third baseman David Bell said, "That's none of my business. Nor is it anyone else's. It's my business because I care about him, but it's nobody's business who doesn't care about him."

It appears that hitting with runners in scoring position is not Bell’s only shortcoming.  Rational thinking seems to, pardon the pun, throw him a curve, as well.  While hardly responsible all by himself for the Phillies ten losses in their last twelve games, it would seem that  anyone who is 4-for-28 with no RBI’s in his last eight games played some role.


Anonymous said...

Do you have Larry Shenk's e-mail? I'd love to fire one off to him! It's a disgrace how they have handled this situation, not to mention the season!

Nat said...

Well, hell, Bell, it's my business because I care about the Phillies, and having a would-be ace who can't control his emotions either on the field or in the streets is a problem for the team.

Often guys who exhibit this kind of behavior continue an ever-escalating series of events until something intervenes to make them stop. Apparently the Phillies are going to let this slide with a bunch of mealy-mouthed excuses and let Meyers go to at least the next level before they do anything. How sad will that day be?

I seem to recall an Eagles player who was dropped from the team a few years ago after it came to light that he had mistreated his dog. I guess the Phillies have a somewhat lower standard.

RickSchuBlues said...

Nobody's business, eh, David Bell? I guess the witnesses in Boston shouldn't have bothered calling 911, because they didn't care about Brett Myers. It was none of their damn business!

Bell is the ultimate emblem for the Phillies since he joined the team four years ago. Mediocre, tight, unsmiling. I cannot imagine a less enjoyable player to watch than him. He will live on as one of the worst baseball memories in the collective consciousness of the Philadelphia fan.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Add David Bell to the list of those who don't get it.

And Cory Lidle does not have a leg to stand on this year with complaining about anything.