Thursday, June 22, 2006

Time To Hit The Road

Cole Hamels bounced back. The rest of his teammates did not.

On a night when much-maligned leadoff batter Jimmy Rollins jump-started two different innings with solid base hits, no one else remembered to bring a bat to the game. In their defense [sic], the Phils were facing Jaret Wright, that world-beater who entered the game with a 3-4 record and an ERA of 4.45 (6.19 for June). In the process they wasted a fine effort from Hamels, who was coming off his worst performance since joining the Phils. I guess he hasn’t been around this team long enough to realize every game doesn’t count, especially against the Bronx Bombers.

So chalk up another desultory loss, their seventh in nine games during the home-stand that just ended. Things are looking up, however; the Phils’ itinerary for the coming days takes them to Boston, Toronto and Baltimore.

* * * * * * * *

Chris Coste was the feel-good story of the Spring, but we are in June now and Coste, the current backup catcher while Mike Lieberthal tries to return from his latest stint on the DL, has hardly set the world on fire with two hits in sixteen at bats. I guess he isn’t as overmatched in the eyes of the Phillies’ alleged brain trust as Carlos Ruiz was. Or maybe he is a better defensive catcher. Or maybe he can play more than one position. Or maybe the Phillies have decided to bury Ruiz. Or maybe they really do love the way Sal handles pitchers.

* * * * * * * *

I read in a few different places that Dallas Green, he of the lone World Series ring and big mouth, said on some radio show that the Phillies stink.

Dallas Green has been saying the Phillies stink for approximately 25 ¾ years, or ever since he stepped down as manager of the team. I don’t know why anyone would waste time re-interviewing him provided, of course, tapes from his previous rants are available, which I assume they are. I guess the keep dragging him before the mike just to hear him lay the blame for the latest stench he detects on someone new.

* * * * * * * *

The Yankees hit triples over Aaron Rowand’s head on consecutive nights and led directly to the loss Tuesday night and essentially cemented the loss on Wednesday. Rowand plays too shallow. I assume he feels he can go back on the ball better than he can come in, but the real reason may be compensation for his arm, which is his greatest weakness. This isn’t the first series during which Rowand has had some problems with balls hit over his head, THE CATCH notwithstanding.

* * * * * * * *

No one on the Phillies can complain about fan support during the last home stand. Sure, the Mets and Yankees were expected to draw extremely well considering the carloads of New Yorkers who inevitably make the trip to Philadelphia, but the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, hardly household names even in Florida, drew very well, too. Not even Pat Burrell complained about the turnouts.

* * * * * * * *

Last night wasn't a total loss. As I surfed the dial in search of some relief from the Phillies, I tuned in at precisely the moment Billy Wagner was blowing a save in the Mets' loss to Cincinnati.

* * * * * * * *

I go back and forth on Bobby Abreu with the best of them, but I am finally convinced his act has grown a bit old in Philadelphia. Reports that he told Larry Bowa a "change of scenery" might not be bad have been denied by Abreu. Bowa, of course, is a first-class troublemaker, but in this case I am inclined to believe him. I have grown weary of hearing about Bobby's OBP, number of walks, great sense of the strikezone, total number of pitches he sees, etc.. He no longer brings much heart to the game, at least not while wearing red pinstripes.

I can see it now. The Phillies will finally trade him, either in July or after the season, and get a middle-of-the-rotation guy or the number two propect in some organization. It may not be solely a case that Abreu's value has fallen; rather, everyone seems to think he wants out, a situation that hardly puts the Phillies in the driver seat.


J. Weitzel said...

It's the same damn thing over and over again. After the Washington series, they were road weary and needed to return home. Now they're desperate to get away and put the 2-7 homestand behind them. Round and round we go.

Tom Goodman said...

Jason: That sums it up perfectly.

Skeeter Harrison said...

Hello, Tom,
I wanted you to know there is a new beta site following baseball bloggers called "Baseball Nooz." We’ve been following your blog for a while and today I featured it on our main Community Page in a slot called, “The Catch”.
At Baseball Nooz, we’ve aggregated a lot of feeds from bloggers and news sources, all on baseball.
Registered users can choose the feeds they like most and build a custom baseball news page, with headlines from their favorite sources.
Every time you post, you also appear in our unique blog roll.
Register to be part of Baseball Nooz, then you can follow us following you!

Best of luck with your blogging,
Walter (also known as Skeeter)
P.S. It would be very cool to see a Baseball Nooz link on your site.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Not only was I at the game last night, I was in the press box. I have a connection.

The team looks the same from the press box as it does from the stands, which is to say not freakin good at all.

It takes a lot for me to get in "we suck" mode for the Phillies. I tend to be more forgiving. But now, I'm getting there.

RickSchuBlues said...

I wouldn't say Abreu has ever brought much heart to the game. He's the perfect centerpiece for a losing team.

Tom Goodman said...

Bobby struck out twice last night and looked for all the world like a guy who was thinking about something "dulce".